Start this recipe from 2 to 6 weeks before you plan to serve it.
8 pounds cabbage
3 tart apples (such as Granny Smith
1/4 pound kosher or pickling salt
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
4 strips bacon
1 onion, chopped
3 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 potatoes, finely grated
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Remove 2 or 3 outer leaves from each cabbage and set aside. Cut cabbages in half
and slice very fine by hand or in a food processor.
Peel, core, and finely chop the apples.
In a large pan, mix the cabbage with the salt, caraway and apples.
Line a gallon crock with the outer cabbage leaves, saving a few to cover the top. Put
in a quarter of the cabbage mixture and tamp it down with a heavy clean object like
the bottom of a wine bottle. Repeat until all the cabbage is in. From the tamping,
sufficient brine should be released to cover the cabbage. Cover the cabbage with
the remaining leaves. The cabbage will swell wile fermenting, so it should not start
out reaching all the way to the top. Lay a plastic bag or a cloth over the leaves.
Cover with a plate and then a weight, such as a heavy can or jar of water, to keep
the cabbage under the brine and out of the air.
The cabbage will take anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks to ferment; below 75 degrees
F, 4 to 6 weeks; above 75 degrees F, 2 to 3 weeks.
Every few days, remove scum from
the top of the brine, replace plastic bag or cloth, wash the plate and the rim of
the crock, and return plate and weight. When the bubbling stops, fermentation is
complete. Cover crock lightly and store in a cool (38 degrees F) place, removing
scum once a week, or refrigerate and dispense with scumming. Rinse the cabbage before
Apfelkraut: Sauté bacon until crisp; remove from pan and drain, and pour off
all but 4 tablespoons fat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Rinse the sauerkraut;
drain well, and stir into the onion. Cover pan and simmer 10 minutes.
Add apples, broth, wine, potatoes, vinegar and sugar. Return to the simmer and
simmer gently until apples and potatoes are tender but not mushy, 10 to 20 minutes.