December 20, 2012

That's What I'm Talkin' 'Kraut

You've seen us mention our homemade sauerkraut here and here, so I guess its about time we tell you how we made it.  Its actually a really easy process that takes little to no time at all.  We consulted our good friend, Alton Brown, for a recipe and he didn't lead us astray.

We've received a lot of cabbage lately, and sauerkraut is a great way to use it since it just gets better over time.  You really just need 3 ingredients: cabbage, Kosher salt, carraway seeds.

Step 1: Slice, dice, chop your cabbage however you like it.
Step 2: Mix in the Kosher salt and carraway seeds.  We didn't have juniper berries, so we omitted them, and it still came out tasting great.

Step 3: Toss the cabbage around so the salt and carraway are thoroughly mixed in.
Step 4: Pack the cabbage into air tight containers.  Since Mason jars are now being hoarded by hipsters, we had to come up with an alternative for storing and fermenting our cabbage.  The first time we made it, we packed it all into a plastic container.  Since the cabbage didn't fill the space, and you need everything packed air tight, we filled a ziploc bag with water and placed that on top of the cabbage to keep it packed down.  This time around, I'd picked up some jars from Ikea that we packed the cabbage in.
Step 5: Place your cabbage in a cool place to ferment.  I stored mine in the pantry where it will sit and ferment in peace and quiet.  The salt will draw the water out of the cabbage, and after a week or two, the cabbage will be submerged in the water where it will just hang out and get sour.  As the water is drawn out of the cabbage, make sure its still packed tightly in your container.  After about a week, we were able to combine our 2 jars of cabbage into just 1, to make sure things stayed nice and tight.Now you can put it in the fridge and use as needed.  The longer you let it sit, the more sour and delicious it will get.
Our first batch is pretty perfect right now, and we've had it for almost 2 months.  The cabbage still has some bite to it, along with the sour tang from fermenting.  Now that we've mastered sauerkraut, I want to try experimenting with pickling other veggies.  Stay tuned!

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