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Bradshaws Blog

Easy Sauerkraut Recipe

 

We’ve been experimenting in the kitchen with our Mortier Pilon fermenting jars and to say we were beginners at Fermenting is an understatement, BUT with some guidance from Sara Bradford from Nourish Real Food and our Mortier Pilon Fermentation recipe book…we were surprised how easy it was!

*** Take our Ferment With Confidence 101 Class with Sara on Thursday September 28th at the Stratford Chef School!***

Follow Sara's easy sauerkraut recipe here is her step by step guide...

EASY SAUERKRAUT RECIPE
By Sara Bradford of Nourish Real Food

STEP ONE 
Items Needed To Get Started

• cabbage (green, red, or a combo)
• kosher salt
• mixing bowl

STEP TWO
Choosing A Cabbage (or 2 or 5)



Cabbage is easy to find year-round. But it’s best to grown your own, or purchase them organically grown. Organic cabbage have the best bacteria on them, which benefits your fermented end-product.
Carefully peel the 2 outer layers of cabbage leaves and set aside. (These will potentially be used in a later step.)

STEP THREE
Choose a Shredding/Chopping Method



• mandolin (my personal choice)
• sharp, heavy knife
• food processor (this will land you with finely grated cabbage)

Chop or shred cabbage into very thin, short strips. Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl (or two).
The method you choose affects a couple things.
1. The time it takes for you to shred the cabbage. (But really? Unless you’re chopping 14 cabbages this shouldn’t really matter. If it does… the food processor is your best bet.)
2. The end product’s texture. (If shredded too finely, your sauerkraut will end up softer — less crunchy. If shredded too thick, your kraut will be TOO hard.)
3. The amount of time it’ll take to ferment. (The finer the shred, the less time it takes to ferment. If you’re DYING to dig into your kraut, then consider shedding it finer.)

Personally I like using a mandolin on the finest setting (1/16″), but shred on the second finest (1/8″) for about 1/3 of the cabbage, to give it more texture. Then I hand chop the chunks the are impossible to shred without slicing your fingers off.

STEP FOUR
Adding Salt

Sprinkle the cabbage with kosher salt (or a delightful sea salt). I use about 2 tsp kosher (or grey sea) salt for every average sized cabbage. (One cabbage usually equates to over 1 litre of kraut.)



STEP FIVE
The Cabbage Massage
 
Begin massaging the salt into the cabbage by hand. As you do you will slowly break down the cellulose, allowing the juice to escape. The amount of liquid your release will be alarming. But this is the liquid you need to submerge your cabbage in.
This part is the most time consuming, but hardly takes more than 5 or 10 minutes. (Besides…I kind of find a zen in a it. I listen to great tunes and zone out for a bit.)

STEP SIX
Packing It In



Tightly pack the cabbage in your clean mason jar, or fermenting crock. Fill to the point where the jar starts to narrow at the top. (But leave a bit of space.)
Press it down so the cabbage is completely submerged in its own juices. (There should be more than enough liquid.) If not, pour a little filtered water into the jar or crock, so it just covers the cabbage.



IF USING A MASON JAR:
Fold a large saved outer leaf into the size of the mouth of the jar. Use this to press the kraut down into the liquid, to keep probiotic bacteria in, and allowing gas to escape.

IF USING A MORTIER PILON CROCK:
Use the weight that comes with the crock to do the same thing the outer leaf would — by weighing down the cabbage into its liquid.

STEP SEVEN
Storing Your Fermenting Kraut

Lightly apply a lid to the jar, but do not close it tightly.
The Mortier Pilon crock has a really cool feature. There is a space on the lid (that screws onto the crock) for you to pour in some water. Once you’re done that, the final lid gets place on top of the water, but prevents it from closing/sealing completely — allowing gas to escape.
Place the jar or crock in a bowl or on a tray to catch any water that may spill over. Place the jar or crock in a cupboard of an inner wall.
An additional, but important note (that no one EVER mentions): Sauerkraut, while it’s fermenting, absolutely stinks. You’ll come home around day 4 and wonder why your house smells like farts and old socks. THIS IS NORMAL. And an unfortunate side effect. The stinking of your house can be prevented by placing your crock in the garage, or possibly the basement. But it’ll happen. (I find this to be exclusive to sauerkraut and not other things I’ve fermented.)

STEP EIGHT
Fermenting Time

Ferment your kraut for 4 to 5 days, and up to 2 to 4 weeks. You an check it every day or two — smell and taste, then pack down until liquid rises above it again.
The longer you ferment, the more sour it’ll taste, but the more lactic acid builds, and the healthier it is for you.
Once fermented, close the lid on tightly (or transfer from your crock to a sterilized jar) and refrigerate. This will halt or slow the fermenting process.
Consume within 8 weeks. It keeps longer if the jar isn’t opened.

For more info on Sara’s fermenting expertise visit her blog and explore her delicious recipe for Lacto-Fermented Apple Fennel Sauerkraut!

Check out Sara's past blog on making Kimchi using Mortier Pilon Fermentation Crocks!