Do you have a few heads of end-of-season cabbage floating around in the back of your fridge? Don’t be afraid to make sauerkraut! It’s not rocket science folks and is one of those miracle fermented foods we should be eating much more of.
Find a clean crock or large 2 quart jar, core your cabbage, thinly slice it by hand, mandolin, or Cuisinart, and pile it in. For every head, add 1-2 tablespoons of salt and use a large masher to mash the mix until enough juice has been released to cover it. I use caraway seed and juniper berries too, and sometimes sliced onion, but this is not necessary.
When you are finished, put a plate upside down over the top with weights to keep the cabbage under the liquid; but for awkward containers, a ziploc bag filled with water does the trick too. The kraut can ferment for five days or five weeks (depending on your taste) and can be stored in the fridge for a long time. If you need fridge room, like the taste of kraut and don’t mind losing much of the goodness, you can also can it in quart jars.
Best way to eat it (in my humble opinion)? Rinse some and sauté in butter with cubed potatoes and apples, salt and pepper, finishing with a little cream. It will up the game on your frankfurter plate, believe me!
Full disclosure: With the aid of my trusty Cuisinart I processed 16 heads in about an hour and a half last night. That’s pretty quick work for food that lasts as long as it does.
Fuller disclosure: If you leave it to get beautifully sour, there is a certain fragrance wafting around the kitchen/pantry/garage by week two. I usually leave it until my husband starts asking who left their wet shoes in the pantry.