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Mason Jar Sauerkraut

Ingredients
1 green cabbage
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, for flavor)
1 jalapeño (optional)
6 carrots, shredded (optional)
 
Equipment
Cutting board
Chef's knife
Mixing bowl
2-quart wide mouth canning jar (or two quart mason jars)
Canning funnel (optional)
Smaller jelly jar that fits inside the larger mason jar
Clean stones, marbles, or other weights for weighing the jelly jar
Cloth for covering the jar
Rubber band or twine for securing the cloth

1. Clean everything:

2. Slice the cabbage: Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage.

3. Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Work the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. Gradually, the cabbage will become watery and limp. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. Mix in caraway seeds, or cracked pepper

4. Pack the cabbage into the jar: Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the canning jar.  Occasionally tamp down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar. Place one of the larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the sliced cabbage. This will help keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid.

5.Weigh the cabbage down: slip the smaller jelly jar into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles to help keep the cabbage weighed down, and eventually, submerged beneath its liquid.
 
6.Cover the jar: Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band or twine. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevent dust or insects from getting in the jar.
 
7.Press the cabbage every few hours: Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jelly jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
 
8.Add extra liquid, if needed: If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
 

Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days: keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature — ideally 65°F to 75°F.

Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid. it will ferment more quickly than larger batches. Start tasting it after 3 days — when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate or allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 10 days or even longer.


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