Monday, June 25, 2012

Homemade Sour Kraut~YUMMY YUMMY!

WHAT DO YOU DO when your friend drops 50#s of fresh cabbage in a box on your front porch?

Uh... LOL..well, what we did was GOT BUSY making sour kraut and slaw...and freezing some...ATE SOME steamed...oh yes, cabbage a plenty for a while!

But if you love sour kraut and want some homemade GOODNESS~here's what I did ;-))

Please note that this is a good solid site for food preservation.  I use others as well, but I TRUST THIS ONE the most!  You won't go wrong going to a state university extension site like this one!

Here's the pics!

The cabbage was washed and cored...chopped with our kitchen aid mixer's chopping attachment!

I followed the directions of working in 5# cabbage increments and using a scale and measuring cup I layered the cabbage into the crock and with VERY WELL WASHED HANDS mixed the salt into the cabbage ;-)) til I had a crock full and began pressing it down.  As it sat, the 'brine' of cabbage/salt juices rose to the top of the mixture.  Using a food grade plastic bucket lid cut to fit the inside of the crock, I placed it over the cabbage mixture allowing the brine to come out over the edges where it began to bubble.

NOTE: BUBBLING IS the sign that your fermentation process is happening as it should...and when it stops~YOU ARE DONE!  This is very smelly, so be prepared for THAT SMELL! ;-))

Here's my gorgeous crock that belonged in my hub's family.  AND it is a secret to good sour kraut.  I had attempted to make sour kraut last year ANNND the yr before...unsuccessful....I didn't have this crock! I believe crocks are key...

Sooo head out to a store of somekind that sells old crocks~junk/antique/thrift/garage sale..or hit ole great auntie or grandma up for hers...she might not be using it now...and clean it very well...I used bleach and rinsed it multiple times!

Alrighty, I have salted cabbage in the crock with the 'plate' that fits about 1/4 inch from the edge of the crock so juices can flow around it~the purpose of the plate it to hold down the cabbage UNDER juices...they won't sour or rot that way...

Also you will need a heavy object to set on the top of the plate to weight it down.  Some suggested a sterilized rock, others a quart jar of sterile water.  I used a well scrubbed vinegar gallon's what it looked like in the crock...

I set the crock on this chair over to the side of my kitchen so I could keep an eye on it over the processing time. I checked on my progress about every other day.  The idea is to catch the kraut when the fermentation stops which is WHEN THE BUBBLING of juices stop...

IMPORTANT: Cover the crock with a dish towel or table cloth so NO BUG or VERMIN can get into it! I used a table cloth (freshly laundered) and bungee cord.

When we saw that they had, it was time to can our sour kraut.  It took 2 and 1/2 weeks for our kraut to process~and man was it good!

I gathered all my supplies. 
waterbath canner with lid
jars (12 1/2 pt; 2 1/2 gallon; 2 pts; 4 qts)
Lids and rings to fit all
clean dish towels
fork, tongs, pots, measuring spoons, (thingy that you put in jar to put food in through :-))
distilled water, pickling salt for brine to add to jars for canning

I followed the cold pack method.  But I sterilized the jars each one before placing the room temperature kraut backing it firmly into each jar. We left 1/2 in head space.  After packing to about 1 inch, I added about 1TBS brine to the jar to cover the kraut so that it wouldn't dry out in the jar after it was sealed.

Sterilizing jars imho IS CRUCIAL. I also sterilized the lids and rings as well as the tongs I lifted them with to place on the jar.  One CANNOT BE TOO CLEAN in canning!  Can you see that I've turned them upside down in the pots so that the boiling steam goes inside the jars? Also be sure to begin with just hot water from the sink.  NEVER place a cold jar in a pot of boiling water as it will shatter!

Brine is 1 1/2 TBS pickling salt into water (I used distilled water.) Boiled and cooled.  I used a measuring spoon to place into jars.

I had tightened the lids/rings to the jars and placed into canner. Following the directions for each size jar (as listed on the link above), I processed the jars for the full time.  Afterwards, I lifted each processed hot jar using a hand towel  (my jar lifter was in the basement ...) to set on a dishtowel to cool seal...

ALL sealed and look DIVINE!

Here's one of our 1/2 gallon for the fridge!

Are you gonna try it?  I can't wait to make rubens sandwhiches! OH YES!

HOW do you like to eat sour kraut? GOT recipes? I will post a couple of ways we like to eat it for's so soo good!

SisterT ;-))

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How about stuffed cabbage?