The french learned how to eat Sauerkraut from the Germans, but the ancient French cuisinieres held that the French adaptation, Chou-Croute, was a very poor way indeed of expressing what the German term “Sauerkraut” intends to convey. The Creoles, while not overfond of Sauerkraut, nevertheless know how to make it, and occasionally cook it after old French methods.
To prepare Chou-Croute, take a large head of Cabbage, and take off the green leaves. Shred the Cabbage into fine pieces, of about five inches long and one wide. Then get an earthen vessel or a keg, and line the bottom and sides with the green leaves of the Cabbage. Put in a layer of salt, of about three ounces, and lay over this a layer of Cabbage leaves of about three inches in thickness. Cover again with a layer of salt, and pound down well, and so continue until you have used up the Cabbage. Pour over this sufficient vinegar to cover, and also, if possible, a bottle of White Wine and a glass of Brandy or Whiskey. Take some boards or the cover of the keg and line them with Cabbage leaves, and cover the keg closely. Put the cover on the keg, or the board over the bowl, with a fifteen-pound weight on top. Set it in a place of even, moderate temperature. Bore a hole in the bottom of the keg, and insert a piece of wood. When the Cabbage begins to ferment, take the piece of wood out, and let the liquor from the fermentation flow through this canal. This will be in about four or five days. After this first operation open the keg and renew the vinegar and Wine, skimming the fermentation from the top, and so continue until the Cabbage is clear and without odor. The Chou-Croute should be placed in a cool place. When ready to use, take it out and soak for two or three hours in cool fresh water, and when quite fresh-looking put it into a saucepan and cook as you would Cabbage, with salt meat, pork, sausage or corned beef.