I recently bought a Harsch Gairtopf fermenting crock and it has been turning over excellent batches of Kraut. I highly recommend it, but if your on a budget then shown below is how you can make it with darn near anything. Here is a recipe for sauerkraut:
5 pounds of cabbage and 3 tablespoons of salt (non-iodized). Sea salt works great.
A Harsch Gairtopf Crock or
A ceramic crock or gallon bucket, a plate that fits snugly inside the bucket, a gallon of water and cheese cloth or a pillow case to cover the crock/bucket.
1. Go to the farmers market and get about 5 pounds of cabbage. I’ve been told that it is important to get cabbage from the farmers market because for the most part, it isn’t sprayed with a ton of chemicals. These chemicals can affect the way the sauerkraut ferments. This is coming from Grandma Ruth, so if you have a better explanation for why this happens, then fill me in.
2. Shred up or slice the cabbage up thinly.
3. Layer a few inches of cabbage and sprinkle some salt over it. After the salt is layered, then smash the cabbage down using a potato masher or your fist. Pack it down hard and as you do this water should be pulling from the cabbage.
4. Continue step #3 until all the cabbage and salt is used. Let it sit for a few hours, maybe even over night. Letting it sit will allow you to asses the water level in the crock. The water that is pulled from the cabbage should cover the cabbage. If it doesn’t cover the cabbage than add 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of boiled water. Let this mixture sit and cool, then pour over the cabbage. Use as much as you need to make sure the cabbage is fully covered under the brine (about 1-2 inches over). If you have the Gairtopf crock then all you will need to do is put the stone weights on top of the mixture, press down, put the lid on, seal it with water and then leave. If not, see below.
5. Once the water level is accurate, place the plate on top of the mixture and press down. This should press some more water out, which is fine.
6. Place the gallon of water on top of the plate. This acts as a weight, helping to keep the cabbage submerged under the brine.
7. Cover the crock with the cheese cloth or pillow case, to keep everything but air out.
8. Check the cabbage ever so often and expect it to be finished in three to four weeks. I like to taste the sauerkraut throughout the process. It changes flavors as it goes so enjoy it. Once it gets to your liking, scoop it out and put it into the fridge. This slows down the fermenting process and should allow you to keep your sauerkraut for some time.
Enjoy this super simple gut healing food! For more information and more elaborate details on fermentation check out click here. This is where this sauerkraut recipe was found. Also, be sure to check out Sandor Ellix Katz’s book, Wild Fermentation. I have gotten tons of cool ideas and information from his work!
Here is a link to the Crock Pot I bought!