Posted by BIll Hettig on 30th May 2015

Ludwig van Sauerkraut


The Old World Dutch were among the earliest to bring back spices from Asia. You can sense the cook’s pinches and dabs of rare spices evolved into a traditional Dutch blend known as Speculaas. I modified my Ludwig van Beets by substituting cabbage for beets to create Ludwig van Sauerkraut. I fashioned this warm, sweet blend—used mainly in their Christmas cookies—to enhance red cabbage any time of year. You will need to prepare Speculaas. For the curious, Ludwig Van Beethoven translates as Ludwig of the Beet Garden

Prep Time: 45 mins
Jar Size: 1 quart

Speculaas Spice Recipe -After roasting anise & coriander place all in spice grinder or mortar and grind finely

  • anise seed, 1 tsp., dry roast in heavy skillet
  • coriander seeds, 1 tsp., dry roast in heavy skillet
  • nutmeg, 2 tsp., whole nutmeg and freshly grated is best
  • cinnamon powder, 2 TBS.
  • cloves, whole, 2 tsp., or pre-ground
  • peppercorns, 2 tsp., fresh ground is best



When shopping, look for a heavy head of cabbage. It should have a tight leaf structure and feel heavy for its size. If it has a lot of spaces between the leaves, it is not the time to make this recipe.

  • 2-½ lbs. red cabbage, shred finely
  • 1 TBS. Speculaas spice blend
  • 1 TBS. Celtic Sea Salt® or other premium brand


  1. Prepare cabbage and place in large bowl. Prepare remaining ingredients and add to bowl.
  2. Sprinkle salt over ingredients in bowl. Traditional kraut is made by drawing out the liquid in the cabbage to create the brine - not adding it to the recipe. Two easy ways are to pound the cabbage with a one-piece rolling pin held vertically or by massaging the cabbage with your hands. This is similar to kneading dough but is basically just squeezing the cabbage repeatedly. It should take only 10-15 minutes but depends on freshness of cabbage.
  3. After a generous brine has formed, load a clean 1 quart jar with the mixture, tamping and submerging the mixture after each addition. When well-packed with 2 inches of space remaining at the top, pour in any additional brine left in bowl. Gently wiggle jar to release any air bubbles trapped in veggies.
  4. Press brine overflow cup into jar until just level with jar rim. (TIP: you may want to do this with jar in your sink as some brine should spill over).
  5. Allow cup to float as you clean off veggie/seasoning debris from jar rim to ensure good seal.
  6. Twist on Perfect Pickler® lid until just hand snug.
  7. Pour tap water into airlock to the max line and gently twist into lid.
  8. Place in cool location (68-74 degrees) and wait patiently for 4 days!

You can adjust for more spice blend after fermentation is complete by removing from jar and mixing in more and then repack.