All throughout January we’re bringing you 30 Days, 30 Ways to Good Health, a series of easy strategies for overall wellness (and because we love food, it’s focuses on the foods and cooking techniques to add into your life instead of what to take away.) Read on for our latest eat well strategy: love your probiotics.
Our sauerkraut recipe comes from Jose Alvarado, chef and owner at Jose O’Connor’s in Carthage, NY. Every year he gathers his community to harvest 3,000 pounds of cabbage for a fermenting festival — complete with beer, camaraderie and plenty of stories. Incorporate sauerkraut into dishes like his Grilled Reuben Sandwiches and Upstate Shoo-Kroot, or use it as a foundation to experiment with new flavors and ingredients. Be creative!
Jose O’Connor’s Sauerkraut
35 lb. green cabbage, trimmed, outer leaves removed, cored and quartered
3/4 cup canning salt (any store-bought brand that is not iodized)
Before you begin, find a cool, dry, dark place, about 60°F, where you will store a 5-gallon crock, and prepare the cabbage there.
Using a mandoline, slice the cabbage about 1/16 inch thick.
Feather a few handfuls of the cabbage into the crock, alternately sprinkling in the salt between handfuls.
When one-third of the cabbage and the salt are in the crock, pound with a long, thick wooden stick or mallet. Firmly pound straight down onto the cabbage, which will bruise and cause it to release its liquid and combine with the salt to form a brine. Evenly distributing the salt when sprinkling it on the cabbage will help with this process because the salt acts as an abrasive against the cabbage before dissolving into the resulting liquid. Using clean hands, occasionally reach down to the bottom layer of cabbage and pull it up to the top to ensure that all of the cabbage is being pounded.
Push the cabbage down below the layer of liquid and repeat the layering and pounding 2 more times until all of the cabbage and salt have been processed in the crock. Push the cabbage down below the liquid a final time, then top with a large, clean plate. Fill an empty milk jug or a gallon jug with water and place on top of the plate to keep the shredded cabbage submerged in the brine throughout the curing process.
Remove the jug and plate from the crock once a week and skim off the foam. Clean the plate and weight down the cabbage again. The sauerkraut is finished when it stops foaming, which means that the fermenting process is complete; this should take about 4 weeks.
Ladle the sauerkraut into vacuum bags and seal. You may want to freeze a portion for later use. Makes about 20 lb.
Read about how to make your own yogurt and check out our Guide to Fermenting.
Haha – it wasn’t just a UPS problem though. Apparently because of the holidays, my order literally got lost. If I still wanted what I ordered on 12/24, they would need to enter an entirely NEW order and I would get it an ESTIMATED 1/21 (4 weeks after I placed the order). What a joke. Usually when a company screws up they give the customer something to compensate for all of this (missed present, wasted time following up on my order, etc.).
PLEASE DO NOT ORDER FROM THIS COMPANY!!! AWFUL EXPERIENCE
With regards to order #043586538712, I put in the order on 12/24 as a present for my mom who was visiting from overseas. The estimated delivery date was 1/7 so given that she was leaving 1/14 I thought this was ample time to receive the order. It is now 1/14. Today was the FOURTH time I had to call to inquire about my order. They have no idea what happened to it and deny accountability since the item that I ordered comes from one of their direct ship vendors (if you are selling it, you need to take responsibility!!). This is the worst customer service I have ever experienced. I was told in two of those phone calls that someone would call me back but every time, I had to call back myself to get updates. I finally just cancelled my order out of pure frustration today and was almost in tears after my phone call. The manager on duty didn’t even seem to sympathize that I couldn’t get this gift to my mom. This was my first and absolutely last time ordering from Williams-Sonoma. I NEVER put in complaints or write reviews or leave comments but my experience was so awful that I feel the need to warn others.
Any company using USPS will experience these problems. USPS gets worse every day.