Classic Sauerkraut

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Classic Sauerkraut*

Sauerkraut - done!
Sauerkraut – done!

Makes about 3 quarts of sauerkraut


5 pounds of green cabbage (1 large head or 2 small)
5 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon juniper berries



1. Peel away the outer leaves of the cabbage, then quarter and take out the core. Finely shred the cabbage using a knife or a mandolin. In a large bowl, toss the cabbage with the salt and juniper berries.

2. Let the cabbage sit in the bowl for a few hours, smashing it down every once in a while, to help release the liquid from the cabbage. It should get fairly watery after this.

3. Transfer the cabbage and the liquid to a 1-gallon ceramic crock or glass jar with a lock lid and press down. If the cabbage is not submerged under the liquid add some brine (1 tablespoon of salt mixed with 1 cup of water) over the cabbage to cover. Top the cabbage with something heavy – a clean plate, a mason jar filled with water, even a clean rock from your garden (be sure to clean well).

4. Check the cabbage daily and taste the brine. Tiny bubbles should begin to rise through the liquid. If it looks cloudy on the top, simply skim that off the top. Add more brine, if necessary, to keep the cabbage submerged.

5. The sauerkraut will be fully fermented and done when the liquid stops bubbling and is a pale golden color, about 1 to 2 weeks at room temperature.

Inspiration from Sherri Brooks Vinton, Put ‘Em Up! 

*Feel free to experiment with red cabbage, adding beets, or other herbs such as dill.  I found hundreds of variations to this classic recipe.

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