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As winter is upon us and thoughts turn to the holidays, it is inevitable we start thinking of the coming new year and the beloved tradition here in the Coal Region of ushering in New Year’s Day with a scrumptious meal featuring Pork and Sauerkraut.

If you find yourself picking up a can, jar, or bag of sauerkraut at the grocery store time after time, you might be surprised at just how simple it is to make your own sauerkraut for use in all your favorite recipes. (The flavor is amazing, too!)

Sauerkraut was developed in Europe as an alternative way to preserve cabbage. Recipes were brought over from Europe by Germans who settled into the Lancaster County region of Pennsylvania. Originally, mainstream American society frowned upon sauerkraut. It was looked upon as peasant food eaten only by farmers, but by the 20th century, this Pennsylvania Dutch favorite became popular throughout the country among all levels of society.

The ingredients are simple: cabbage and salt. The ratio is: for every 5 pounds of cabbage use 3 Tablespoons kosher or canning salt (Penn State Extension cautions: “The exact ratio of 3 tablespoons of canning or pickling salt to 5 pounds of shredded cabbage controls pathogen growth. Changing the proportions could result in an unsafe product.”) The remainder is technique and time.

Get the recipe on A Coalcraker in the Kitchen