Pickled Cabbage: Sauerkraut in Two Weeks
A Old Wooden Kraut Cutter
Making Homemade Sauerkraut
My family introduced me to sauerkraut and how they made it some thirty years ago. I have tried to make it in the past and was moderately successful. We have wooden sauerkraut cutter and we have a large Redwing crock and we have grown our own cabbage upon occasion.
It is a lot of work doing it the old fashioned way.
Well. Today I decided to try something different. I bought three bags of pre-shredded coleslaw mix. I bought it from my local grocery store. I already had some canning salt at home and I had a gallon size Sun Tea maker just sitting on a shelf.
In years past, we used to make pickles in the crock and then one day someone found out that you could take an ice cream pail and use it for your crock. Worked the same. Pickles became pickles. Everyone was happy. Yes. You have to eat the ice cream before you start. If you DO NOT like ice cream, give me a call.... I'll help you out.
So. I looked at the recipe in my Saving the Harvest book and it said that you needed to take 5 pounds of sliced cabbage and put 3 tablespoons of canning salt on it and let it work.
By work, they mean that when you put salt on the cabbage, it draws the juice from the cabbage and the cabbage then sits in its own juices.
Can I Call it Cheating?
I bought three bags of the pre-cut coleslaw mix. I thought to myself, how perfect. It's sliced exactly the size I needed it. It was already sliced and I had salt to put on it. How ideal!!
So. I cut the bag open and drained the cabbage into my jar. The book said to add 3 tablespoons of salt to 5 pounds of cabbage, but I only bought 3 pounds. I put one tablespoon of salt into the jar and shook it down through the cabbage. I started to stir and flip it over with a wooden spoon. It occurred to me that I could put the cover on the jar and shake it around to let the salt coat the cabbage.
Then, I added the next two bags of cabbage one at a time, adding a tablespoon of salt in between each bag.
It says that the cabbage needs time to work. It started to get watery after a few minutes. As I sit and type this, it is getting more and more translucent. So, it is working. I will tamp it down in a bit after I let it wilt for a while.
The New Way I Tried to Make Kraut
Three Bags of Pre Sliced Coleslaw Mix
First Bag into my Jar
In Goes my Canning Salt
Stir It and Mix the Salt Around
Turn Jar Sideways and Flip The Cabbage Over
Put Cover on and Shake it Too
3 Bags Filled the Jar Very Nicely
One tablespoon per pound of cabbage. Let work. Let sit at 68 - 72 degrees for 6 weeks. The recipe says that I need to put a plastic bag filled with water in the top of the jar to seal air from the working cabbage.
How About You?
Have you made homemade sauerkraut?
Uses for Sauerkraut
When the sauerkraut is done fermenting, it can be eaten by itself, eaten cold with hot dogs or brats, steamed with pork, or, eaten cold with a sugar coating with apples, onions and raisins in a cold salad.
This list is not all inclusive. I'm sure there are many other ways to serve sauerkraut. Oh, yes there are. You can eat it hot in Reuben balls; a hot, deep fried mass of sauerkraut, corned beef and swiss cheese. There is a sauerkraut casserole that has fried, ground sausage, noodles and sauerkraut.
Can you think of any other ways to serve sauerkraut? Leave a comment below. Thanks!