Sour and richly complex, sauerkraut is a vibrant fermented food with deep flavor. While making sauerkraut at home can seem complicated, it's actually marvelously easy. And you only need two ingredients: cabbage and salt.
Remove any bruised or damaged exterior leaves from your cabbage, and then slice it in half cross-wise. Remove the cabbage's core, and then slice the cabbage into strips no wider than ⅛-inch thick.
Toss cabbage and salt together in a large mixing bowl and let it rest about 20 minutes, or until the cabbage begins to soften and release a little juice. Then squeeze the cabbage with your hands to to soften it even further, and help it to release more juice.
When the cabbage has become limp and has released ample juice, transfer it to your jar. Pack the sauerkraut tightly into your jar, using a kraut pounder or a wooden spoon, so that the cabbage continues to release its liquid and no air bubbles remain.
Continue packing the cabbage into the container until the cabbage is completely submerged by its liquid. Place weights over the cabbage, and then seal the jar with your airlock. Allow the cabbage to ferment at room temperature and away from direct sunlight at least 1 month, or until done to your liking. When the sauerkaut is sour enough for your liking, transfer it to the fridge where it will keep at least 6 months and up to 1 year.
To use a traditional stoneware crock, consider quadrupling this recipe. Most crocks ferment a minimum of 4 liters of sauerkraut. Use 8 pounds of cabbage and ¼ cup fine sea salt, prepare the cabbage and salt exactly as described above, but pack it into a stoneware crock. Cover the cabbage with stoneware weights, seal the crock and fill its well with water to complete the airlock.