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Pickle Log: Buried Core Kraut  October 30

Cabbage cores in a sauerkraut crock

A few months ago Instagram user @kaikatsu_konnichiwa posted this comment on one of our photos of us making sauerkraut:

“I know every recipe, YouTube or tutorial recommends the tiny shredded cabbage but I have tried so many different sizes and my quite large family all love thicker, larger, crispier cuts. And don’t get me started on how we all fight for the core!”

In addition to being pretty funny, this got us thinking about fermenting larger chunks of cabbage. For this batch we made “Buried Core” sauerkraut – instead of chopping the cabbage cores and mixing them in with the shredded cabbage, we nestled the cores into the middle of the crock, where they’ll be surrounded on all sides by shredded cabbage during fermentation.

Buried Core Kraut, 8/29/2014

Peeled and washed the cabbage, trimmed the bottoms, sliced the heads in half and then cut out and reserved the four pyramid shaped cores. Shredded all the cabbage using the mandoline and knife. Added the cabbage to the crock in 1000g increments, each with 20 g of sea salt. About half way through, packed the four cores into the shredded cabbage, then continued to pack more shredded cabbage (and salt) above. Submerged the cabbage with the help of a crock weight and covered the crock with a top.

Making sauerkraut

Our cabbages of the hour. We’re perilously low on sauerkraut so I wanted to make a larger batch, but just eyeballing these cabbages on the counter next to the crock, I wasn’t sure they would both fit. I was braced for a coleslaw contingency.

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I like to peel down to where the cabbage leaves are fairly white. Before peeling…

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And after.

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Cutting the cores out of the half cabbages. I find this easier (and somewhat safer) than coring from the bottom with a paring knife.

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With the added bonus that we make these lovely, sculptural cores. The Great Pyramids of Cabbage. Or Eve Hesse. Take your pick.

Shredding cabbage for sauerkraut

About half way through shredding the cabbage and we’re already amassing quite a pile!

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Done – and you can barely see the crock!

Cabbage cores in a sauerkraut crock

Adding the cabbage cores after about 3 kg of shredded cabbage. We could have put them on the bottom, but for some reason, I had this vision of them suspended in kraut.

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Proof that it all fit. As the crock got fuller and fuller, and I packed it tighter and tighter, our doubt grew that we would fit it all in the crock – but fit it did.

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This was all that was left – I swear!

Sauerkraut held beneath the brine by the crock weight

With one last final push on the crock weight, the cabbage was submerged below the brine.

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Topped up and ready to go.

Posted by Eric on October 30, 2014