Sauerkraut Rules

What the hell have we been eating all these years? Whatever it’s been, it shouldn’t be called sauerkraut. Making my own completely changed the way I see and appreciate this cabbage dish. Without a doubt, sauerkraut rules.

IMG_0290 I enjoy kraut dogs here and there and I’ll enhance a bottle for a party if need be. But it’s usually underwhelming and always cooked.  Sauerkraut from a bottle is pasteurized, so in essence, it boils down to cooked cabbage, (puns are fun).  Don’t get it twisted…I like cooked cabbage, but not like bottled kraut.

I promise you, there is nothing like homemade sauerkraut, in all it’s raw glory.  I’ll take it over kimchi any day and twice on Sunday. Again, kimchi is awesome, but it doesn’t have the crunchy bounce sauerkraut has. Maybe I need to make kimchi with green cabbage instead of Napa.

The complexity you get from a few pantry ingredients is giggle inducing.  The texture is tender yet bouncy, with crunch and moisture.  Flavors are fruity, sweet, sour, earthy and awesome.  If you’ve never made it before, do yourself a flavor and get after it. 

How to make Sauerkraut rule

1 organic cabbage
2-3tsp salt
1/4tsp caraway seed
7ish juniper berries
pinch of dried dill

Wash and rinse all surfaces well and wash hands. Thinly slice or shave cabbage into a large bowl; mandolines work great. Add everything else and massage the cabbage until it goes a bit limp. I work it for 30-60 seconds, walk away for 5 minutes and work it another 10 seconds. Pour into a lidded jar but don’t cover. Place small glass bottles inside to weigh down the cabbage. After the jars are weighing it down, add some water to cover and a little salt to help the fresh water. Cover with a towel and place in a cool but non-refrigerated spot for a few days. Once you see a bunch of bubbles…you’re good!

– It is important to have it fully covered with liquid before letting it ferment. The acid you want is anaerobic. – If mold appears on top, just remove it and refrigerate. This is common. – I used too much caraway in mine on accident. I don’t care because it’s f’ing glorious, but it was a mistake. I used 1/3-1/2 teaspoon in the pictured kraut.

I’m sparing you all the fermentation science about lactic acid, and sauerkraut being a probiotic wonderland. There are a gazillion articles about that, I just want you to make it cuz iz good.

-Just like O’Doyle…Sauerkraut rules!