Add some zest to your favourite BBQ meal with this homemade sauerkraut.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
11.3 kg white cabbage
3/4 cup pickling salt
Ingredients preparation process
Discard outer leaves from cabbage. Rinse under cold running water and drain. Quarter cabbage and remove cores. Shred or slice cabbage, removing any large pieces. You should have about 9 kg of cabbage.
Next, add 2kg of shredded cabbage to a clean crock. Your crock may be made of stone, glass, food grade plastic or stainless steel. Mix with 3 Ttbsp pickling salt and let sit 15 minutes for juices to flow. Press firmly on cabbage to squeeze out juices. Repeat with another 2 kg until all cabbage and salt are in crock, ensuring that the cabbage is at least 10 cm below the rim of the crock.
Following, insert a clean dinner or glass pie plate on top of the cabbage inside the crock. The plate must be slightly smaller than the crock opening, yet large enough to cover most of the shredded cabbage. To keep the plate under the brine, weigh it down with 2 or 3 clean mason jars filled with water and covered with lids. Cover the container with a clean, heavy bath towel to keep out airborne particles.
Store for 3 to 4 weeks at 21 to 24ºC, checking 2 to 3 times per week to remove any scum that forms. Fermentation is complete when bubbling ceases.
When sauerkraut has fully fermented, store tightly covered in the refrigerator for several months or process as follows to preserve in jars.
Jars and sealing disks preparation process
Place nine clean 1-litre mason jars on the rack in a boiling water canner. Cover the jars with water and heat to a simmer. Heat sealing discs in hot, not boiling, water. Keep jars and sealing discs hot until ready to use.
Pack sauerkraut into a hot jar, leaving 1 cm of headspace at the top. Using a spatula, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more sauerkraut. Wipe the jar rim clean to remove any food residue. Place lids and bands on jars and screw tight until resistance is met. Do not over tighten. Return the filled jar to the rack in canner and repeat for remaining jars.
Cover the jars with water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. Boil filled jars for 15-25 minutes.
Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them on a protected work surface. Cool undisturbed for 24 hours. Do not retighten screw bands.
After cooling check jar seals by pressing the top of each seal. If they do not bounce back it means the seals have taken. Remove screw bands and wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use within 6 months.