Not at all difficult to make. It just takes some prep time, about an hour or so; a clean crock for fermenting the cabbage, there are really nice ones online; fresh cabbage, this is the perfect time of year to get some great cabbage from your local Farmers Market; a good recipe and many are available. Here is our recipe for Sauerkraut and you can modify this anyway you want to make it “yours”. Recipes, like dance routines, are only suggestions. The recipe listed here is also on permanent file in the Boise Foodie Guild Recipes listed above. Here is the process that I use. In the final photo, I seal the cabbage from air by (1) Covering the top of the cabbage with uncut cabbage leaves and not plastic, and (2) Make sure the water seal on the top of the crock is always full. At times, you will hear that kraut “perking”. It is fermenting when that happens – a good thing! Robin bought me this crock several years ago online. It is awesome! See the safety tips below.
Shredding the cabbage using a mandolin. See the blend of red and white cabbage. 4 heads of white cabbage to 2 medium heads of red cabbage. Nice color blends.
The shredded cabbage in the crock. See the recipe for the spices I use. There are only 4.
Uncut cabbage leaves are placed on top of the shredded cabbage. Note the “water trough” on the edge of the crock. The top lid fits right in this “trench” and seals the mash from air.
Finally, weights – these came with the crock – are placed on the leaves to hold the cabbage under the liquid that forms. The idea is to keep the cabbage submerged and out of any air.
Here are some great safety tips when making sauerkraut, or any fermented vegetables. Sauerkraut Fermentation Gone Bad. And from the site listed in the link,
Three Basic Fermentation Rules
1) Keep it Salty! Weigh your cabbage and vegetables to ensure you add the correct amount of salt to create a 2% brine. The correct numbers are 1 3/4 pound vegetables for 1 tablespoon salt OR 5 pounds vegetables for 3 tablespoons salt. Remember, these weights include not just the cabbage, but any vegetables and seasonings you’re mixing with the cabbage.
2) Keep it Under the Brine! Use some type of weight to keep fermenting cabbage and vegetables submerged, especially during the first 7-10 days when the microbial climate of your jar is established. Put on a lid to keep out the air! Fermenting is an anaerobic process.
3) Keep it Clean! No, you don’t need to sterilize equipment or use bleach, just make sure your tools, fermentation vessels and weights are thoroughly washed and well rinsed.