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How to Make Fresh Sauerkraut

How to Make Fresh Sauerkraut
October 2014
Josh Keeler hails from Pennsylvania, where he grew up eating sauerkraut and pork on New Year’s Day. (In German and Pennsylvania Dutch cultures, the dish is thought to bring good luck for the coming year.) Today, as the chef and co-owner of Two Boroughs Larder, he uses the stuff year-round to garnish oysters and perk up hot dogs and pickle plates. Here’s how he makes it, in six easy steps

❶ Slice fresh cabbage very thinly, sprinkling with salt as you go. Place in a bowl.

❷ Prepare a spiced brine by mixing four cups of water, a quarter cup of fine sea salt, one teaspoon of dill pollen, one and a half teaspoons of toasted coriander seed, and one teaspoon of toasted caraway seed. Combine with the cabbage.

❸ Add the mixture to a clean, dry crock, pressing down as you go to release air pockets. Place a plate and two sealed bags filled with water atop the cabbage to weigh it down.

❹ Cover by tying cheesecloth tightly to the top of the crock.

❺ After 24 hours, check to see if the cabbage has released enough water to cover itself. If not, add just enough water to cover.

❻ Leave crock in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight and let it ferment for three to five weeks, or until desired taste is achieved. Every few days, check the sauerkraut for any surface bloom, skimming it off as needed. If mold forms, the batch should be disposed. Once the kraut is ready, keep it refrigerated until serving.