Cranberry Jalapeño Sauerkraut

Looking for an autumn or holiday themed sauerkraut? This tart-sweet-spicy version has it all!

Cranberry Jalapeño Sauerkraut
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 2 quarts
 
Ingredients
  • 5 lbs./2.25kg green cabbage, about 2 small heads
  • 3-4 oz. fresh cranberries
  • 1 orange or tangerine
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper
  • 3 Tablespoons/45ml fine sea salt
Instructions
Prep & Season Veg
  1. Slice cabbage in half lengthwise, so that stem keeps each half together. Shred each half into ¼” to ½" ribbons using a v-slicer, mandoline, cabbage shredder or good ol' chef’s knife.
  2. Add salt to shredded cabbage.
  3. Rinse orange to remove dirt.Slice (unpeeled) into very thin (1/8" thick) rings using a mandoline or chef knife. Discard peel ends. Roughly chop slices and add to cabbage.
  4. Cut top off pepper. Separate seeds and membrane from flesh and discard. Finely dice flesh and add to cabbage.
  5. Massage contents thoroughly for a few minutes with clean or gloved hands, or pound until brine forms.
  6. Add cranberries, cracking about half of them. Gently mix until they're incorporated evenly.
  7. Pack contents into a half-gallon or one-gallon glass jar or ceramic crock (food-grade plastic containers are also acceptable.) Or pack into several wide-mouth quart-sized jars. Leave 1 to 1½" of head space if using wide mouth jars.
  8. Make sure to pour every last drop of brine that formed in the bowl.
  9. Pack down contents so that surface is even and flat.
Ferment
  1. Place a plastic lid (or ceramic plate) that fits inside the jar or container. Add a weight such as a glass bottle filled with water. Or use small-batch fermentation weights and lids to secure the jar(s).
  2. There should be enough brine to completely cover the contents when weighed down.
  3. If not using fermentation tools, cover container with a dish towel or tea towel to keep out flies and dust. Secure with a rubber band, twist ties or elastic strap. Stash it in a cool, dark place– a cellar, under the stairs, or under the sink in the kitchen.
  4. Let ferment at room temperature 7 to 28 days. Fermentation time varies with the seasons and the climate.
  5. When taste and texture are to your liking, transfer to jars and store in refrigerator.
  6. Lasts up to 1 month in refrigerator.
Cleaning
  1. Check on it every few days. Mold may form on the surface. Remove weight and lid, and wash them with warm soapy water. Scoop out any surface mold, getting as much as you can. Don’t worry if you don’t get it all. Then stir the contents and re-pack the surface. Any residual mold will quickly be killed in the acidic environment of the brine. The contents are safe under the brine.