It’s been over 4000 years since Chinese Mongols first introduced sauerkraut to the Europeans. Since that time, sauerkraut has become a regular part of menus all over the world. In the United States sauerkraut is so popular, that it was considered a patriotic food during World War II, despite its German sounding name. Sauerkraut has been a food that people have relied on to make it through famines. When you are making a batch of homemade sauerkraut you need to remember that it takes three weeks to complete, and won’t be ready to eat the same night that you make it.
How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut
Remove the cabbage leaves from the cabbage.
Roughly chop up the cabbage.
Mix the salt and the chopped cabbage together in the large cooking crock
Use your wooden mallet to crush the cabbage until it is all mashed up and there is a large amount of cabbage juice. If you are having a hard time mashing the entire amount of cabbage at once you can do it in smaller amounts and mix the entire batch of cabbage together.
Fill the crock with water so that the cabbage pulp rises to the top
Cover the top of the crock with the white cloth. The reason you use a cloth instead of a glass or metal cover is so that air can pass through the cloth and assist in the fermenting process. You will have to either wash or replace the cloth each day of the fermentation process.
Store the crock full of cabbage somewhere that the temperature is a steady 70 F for three days.
Lower the temperature to 60 F. to 50 F on the third day. It will remain here for the next three weeks.
After three weeks you need to cold pack it into your cunning jars, make sure you leave approximately two inches of space so the sauerkraut can expand. Process it for thirty minutes.
The sauerkraut is now ready to serve. Keep any unused sauerkraut in a sealed container and stored somewhere cool and dark.