This happy fellow at left is a sour cabbage head, sauerkraut in whole-cabbage form.
You can make sour cabbage heads simply by burying little cabbages throughout your sauerkraut crock after you have liberally salted and mixed your shredded cabbage. The mass ferments together, and at the appointed time you can prod through the conventional sauerkraut til you find the whole heads of cured cabbage. It’s rather like an Easter egg hunt only with more lactobacillus.
It didn’t cross my mind to make sour cabbage heads this season until about a month after I had started my large crock of kraut. Lisa had bought some pretty little savoy cabbages. I stole one. Then I dug a deep well into the centre of the dense, wet, tangled mass of kraut. I planted my cabbage head in the bottom, then back-filled the hole.
Today, a month or two later, I fished the cabbage from the crock.
The most common use of cabbages cured in this manner is to snap off the whole leaves and make them into sour cabbage rolls.
When making cabbage rolls with sour cabbage leaves I forgo the tomato sauce and instead use mushroom cream sauce. Not sure what the traditions are, but the sour cabbage leaves don’t need any supporting acidity.