I’m married to an Austrian; sauerkraut is a way of life in these parts. The fermented down cabbage mush is a cupboard staple, and yet on asking I found out that my wife has never made it herself. Neither, does she think, has her mother or any of her wider family.
I’m reading more and more about sauerkraut and various other fermented foodstuffs as I make my way through Sandor Katz’s back-catalogue (as explained in a previous post), and I’m learning that it doesn’t seem to be that difficult. There seems to be no real reason why we’ve not ever attempted it… until now.
I got some cabbages, got some salt, and then hot-footed it to Landi (a Swiss version of Wilko’s, Canadian Tire, etc) and bought a crock.
The recipe is simple, a combination of advice from www.wildfermentation.com and some info from various recipe books –
- 1tbsp of salt per 750g of cabbage (or thereabouts)
- Cut the cabbage into slices or strips, rub in the salt, and then push down into the crock
- Cover the crock with the tea towel, returning to push down and compress whenever you remember
- Eventually, the salt with draw the water out of the cabbage so it covers the leaves, but it might be that the cabbage doesn’t contain enough water to completely cover itself. If, after 24hours, the brine hasn’t risen above the level of the cabbage, you can top it up with a brine made from 1tsp salt per 250ml of water
- And then leave… the kraut will be ready in 1-4 weeks apparently!
So this is where we are right now, with the brine topped up above the cabbage and the crock sitting happily in the kitchen. Now we just wait to see what this culinary home-brew creates…