After several tries, we have finally found the best way to make sauerkraut! Now 'kraut is something that not everyone likes, but many do. It took several New Year's dinners for me to even try it because the smell was just awful!! But now I guess I can say I really enjoy pork and sauerkraut as well as kielbasa sausage and sauerkraut. I have always enjoyed cabbage and really anything with cabbage in it...but it's the fact that it's sour...eww! However, my tastes have changed as I have gotten older. Well here's our recipe for sauerkraut.
Things you will need:
Kosher salt (only--do not use iodized salt of any form, i.e. table salt, it will ruin your batch)
Crock of 10-12 gallons with lid
Bag of water and plastic garbage bag
kitchenaid mixer with attachment (we use
the largest attachment for shredding cabbage)
stomper (or a wooden baseball bat will do as well)
Start off by taking the outside leaves off of your cabbage. Go ahead and take off all the darker green leaves as these do not shred up very well. Cut the cabbage into small enough pieces to put into your Kitchenaid mixer attachment. Make sure to cut out the hearts of the cabbage, they will not shred up very well also. Use a large bowl to catch the cabbage in once it is shredded.
Once you reach 5 lbs of cabbage collected, add 3 tablespoons of Kosher salt to your cabbage and pour into your crock. Immediately begin stomping your cabbage. You want to stomp your cabbage and you will have lots of bubbles and water form over the top of the cabbage.
Continue to stomp the cabbage while you continue to shred cabbage and keep adding 5 lbs. of cabbage + Kosher salt (3 Tablespoons) at a time.
Once you have cut up all your cabbage and stomped the cabbage and made a lot of water and bubbles you will want to seal off your cabbage. You will cover the cabbage with your plastic bag and add the bag of water on top. Add the lid to seal. Place the crock in an area where it can rest for 6 weeks. Make sure this is a place it can bubble
over, since it will most likely do as such. We place ours in the corn crib for the 6 weeks.
After 6 weeks, take off the lid, take out the water bag and plastic garbage bag and load the sauerkraut into quart sized ziploc bags. Freeze your sauerkraut in your freezer or deep freeze.
For 20-22 heads of cabbage, it yields about 9-10 gallons of cabbage, and we yielded about 30+ quarts of sauerkraut.
**This is a job for a family to do together! We usually have a couple of people cutting, someone running the Kitchenaid mixer and pouring the salt. We also have a couple people taking turns on stomping the cabbage. You will also need several people with very strong arms to carry your crock to a place to store! It is EXTREMELY heavy!!! **
Enjoy your sauerkraut!!!