Mason Jar Sauerkraut
Materials and Ingredients
about 12 loosely-packed cups of shredded cabbage
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup shredded carrot (it's nice, but optional)
a Mason jar (wide-mouth works best)
a large, sturdy, non-reactive bowl (stainless steel or heavy ceramic)
Sprinkle the salt in layers over the cabbage as you shred it into the large, sturdy bowl. When you have about a 12 cups of cabbage and salt, begin to mix, mash, and knead it until the cabbage releases an amazing amount of juice into the bowl. The shredded cabbage will seem relaxed and bruised—almost cooked in texture.
Push the shredded cabbage into the jar, taking care to pack it tightly. Cover the sauerkraut completely with cabbage juice. Don't fill the jar any higher than the shoulders of the jar, or about an inch and a half or two inches below the lip. Be strict with yourself about this.
After you've packed the cabbage and juice into the jar, weigh the kraut down with something like a jam jar or a plastic bag with water in it so that the cabbage is totally submerged.
Place the jar on a plate or glass dish. Even though you were very careful to leave plenty of room in the jar, sauerkraut juice is definitely going to seep out of the top of the jar and onto your counter. It doesn't seem possible, but it's true.
Leave the sauerkraut in a warm place for 2 or 3 weeks. Check the jar once a day for the first 3 or 4 days, burping the cabbage of air bubbles and re-sealing it once again. After 3 or 4 days, the jar will require less attention. Transfer to cold storage when it’s sour to your liking.
Use sauerkraut in countless dishes, from pierogi to reubens, borscht and beyond.