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Home made sauerkraut

posted Feb 19, 2012, 6:20 PM by Dennis Kurc
I canned about 50 jars of sauerkraut this weekend, enough for about two years of personal use.  I froze about half of my last batch but noticed the flavor wasn't as good as the canned.  If I freeze some again it'll be first to be used. It is a lot easier than canning.  I make my own because the store bought kraut just doesn't have the same excellent taste of home made.

The secret to making good kraut is using and mixing in the right amount of salt. Too little or too much is not a good thing.  I use the recipe from the USDA department of Agriculture which recommends 1 pound of salt to 50 pounds of cabbage.  I shred about 10 lbs of cabbage at a time and then mix in 3 oz of salt. The salt extracts water, nutrients and sugar from the cabbage which starts the fermentation process.  It is important to press the cabbage to a point where the water covers the top of the cabbage.  Any air between the cabbage could provide oxygen for spoilage organisms, particularly the acid-loving molds and yeasts. Don't bruise it tho.

Fall is a good time to start your kraut because too high of a temperature may soften it (70 degrees is ideal) and the big cabbages are ready then too.

One of my favorite meals with kraut is very simple to make: get a pork roast, put it in a roaster with a jar of rinsed kraut, and a few peeled and quartered potatoes. Season with salt, garlic, pepper, to taste.  Bake at 325 degrees about 4 minutes per lb. OMG

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