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Food Preservation - SAUERKRAUT

I guess the reason that I chose to write something about sauerkraut is because it's sooo yummy and it's good for you. In a 1/2 cup serving (4 to 4.4oz) of canned sauerkraut you will find:

  • Calories---22
  • Carbohydrates---5g
  • Fats---0.2g
  • Sodium---780 mg
  • Protein---1g
  • Vitamin C---30% US RDA
  • Iron---10% US RDA

In early January 2007 I was in Wisconsin for my mother's 90th birthday party and a few evenings later we had a group of people over for supper. My mother supervised the making of the meal which had the following as the main course:

Brown pork chops, pork steak or meaty pork ribs and put into the bottom of a roaster. Smother this with sauerkraut and the juice and cover tightly. Put into an oven preheated to 350F and cook for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 250F and leave it for an hour or so. Be sure to check it to see that it does not go dry. We like it served with mashed potatoes, salads, etc.

The reason that I didn't have to drain the sauerkraut or rinse it is because we used my mother's homemade sauerkraut and it is not so sharp and salty like some store bought kraut. If using kraut from the store you may have to drain and rinse it before using it in this recipe. The easy-to-make recipe for this really great homemade kraut is as follows:

Use a large bowl made of food grade plastic, stainless steel or glass and a wooden or stainless steel spoon to stir.

5# shredded cabbage in a large bowl. 3 1/2 Tbsp. canning salt sprinkled over cabbage. Mix well. Let stand 30 to 60 minutes. Pack firmly in room temperature jars, leaving 2" headspace. Fill with cold water. Screw lids on tightly. Place in pan (plastic is good) to catch brine that overflows during fermentation and curing. Keep cabbage covered with brine. If necessary, add more brine by dissolving 1 1/2 Tbsp. salt in 1 quart of water. Sauerkraut is cured and ready to bottle in 6-8 weeks. Clean rims of jars and replace washed lids. Screw bands on tightly.

Put in canner with cold water 2" above top of jars and slowly bring to a boil. Process 30 minutes for either quart or pint jars. Makes 7 pints.

Keep in mind:

  • You may have to replace some of the lids if they get too deeply grooved during the curing process.
  • Sauerkraut smells really bad during the last part of fermentation so you may want to find a good protected place outside to make it...like the garage or a place in the shade.

 


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