Hey gang! I promised to share my very favorite sauerkraut recipe with you, and I’m here to deliver! If you missed my post on Fermenting 101, or how to make sauerkraut, be sure to go and read those two posts so that you know how to make the basic sauerkraut first-then add more delicious ingredients!! You can use your imagination with sauerkraut, it’s versatile that way! We have lots of dill coming up in our yard this year, so I plan to try to make a dilly kraut this fall.
For this particular kraut I make it in my 2 gallon Ohio Stoneware crock. You can make just a single batch and pack it into canning jars, just to make sure you like it first before making massive batches.
I really wish I had some pictures of this kraut because it was so pretty in the jars-but alas, it was so good we snarfed it all down pretty quickly!
This sauerkraut goes well with roasted chicken-or just as a snack! This sauerkraut will showcase the local produce abundance!
- 2 lbs cabbage
- 4 tsp himalayan salt
- 3 whole bay leaves
- 1 small onion, peeled
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery stocks
- 1.5 tsp dried thyme
- 1.5 tsp dried sage leaves
- Step 1 You will need to wash 1 wide mouth canning jar, lid, and ring for this. If you have a dishwasher with a sanitize setting that works well-just let the jar cool a bit before packing the kraut in. Excessive heat and produce ferments don’t got together well. If your dishwasher doesn’t have the sanitize setting just wash it and let it cool-or you can also wash by hand just be sure you are not using an antibacterial soap as this could inhibit the fermentation process. Be sure your jar is very clean and rinsed well.
- Step 2 Begin making your kraut by washing the cabbage heads, and removing any leaves that are blemished. Set aside one whole leaf to cover your kraut when you are done. This helps prevent any bits from floating above the brine and causing mold.
- Step 3 Place all the shredded sauerkraut in a large plastic bowl. You will be pounding it with your kraut hammer in a bit-so no glass bowls, and no metal bowls bc metal can cause a reaction with ferments that you don’t want. Sprinkle the salt over the shredded cabbage, and toss to mix well. Cover the cabbage with a tea towel and allow to sit for about 30 min to 1 hour. The salt will help draw the moisture out of the cabbage, so that you won’t need to work so hard with your sauerkraut hammer!
- Step 4 While you are waiting rinse and dice up all your veggies and measure out the spices. Set all these ingredients aside.
- Step 5 You can then massage or squeeze the cabbage, or pound it with your kraut hammer to release enough juices that there is a puddle at the bottom of your bowl.
- Step 6 Add your diced veggies and herbs-except the bay leaves-and mix well.
- Step 7 Pack a bit of the cabbage mixture into the bottom of a canning jar. Next slide a bay leaf in so that it is standing against the glass of the jar. This will make it look pretty while it’s fermenting, and also impart it’s flavor into your kraut.
- Step 8 Pack the rest of the cabbage tightly into the jar. Press it down until you have the juice/brine of the cabbage above the cabbage-all of the mixture should be submerged under brine. Remember this fermentation is an anaerobic process. You will want about 1/2 inch of headspace in the jar-so push it down! The bottom of a plastic cup works well for this.
- Step 9 Then use the intact cabbage leaf you set aside to tuck on top of the cabbage like a blanket. This leaf should also be submerged, and is just an extra measure that will help prevent bits of floating cabbage, veggies, or herbs.
- Step 10 Next place the weight of your choice on top. I really do like my pickle pebbles which are glass weights that fit exactly into the mouth of most wide mouth canning jars. I have also used sanitized marbles in a ziplock baggie before. Both work well.
- Step 11 Screw the lid on just finger tip tight. Your kraut will begin bubbling in about a day and releasing carbon dioxide as part of the fermenting process. You want to allow for this gas to escape, but you also don’t want much oxygen getting into your jar. If too much oxygen gets in it can produce Kahm yeast which looks unsightly, and can affect the taste of your ferment. It does not make the ferment dangerous-just be sure you differentiate between kahm yeast and mold. If your ferment gets moldy-even a little, you will need to toss it out.
- Step 12 Allow your ferment to sit at room temperature for 6 weeks-put a reminder in your phone of when 6 weeks has passed.
- Step 13 If you notice the brine level is getting low open the jar and with clean fingers press down on the weight to bring the level back up so that it’s all submerged. If you can’t extract anymore liquid, you may add a bit of filtered water, and a tiny pinch more of himalayan salt.
- Step 14 Once your kraut has fermented for 6 weeks it’s time to check the pH. Any pH between 3.0 and 4.5 is great! You can begin eating it!