This is my childhood's sauerkraut. The big jar of fermenting cabbage with a precariously balanced stack of smaller jars weighing it down is pretty much a staple in any Ukrainian grandmother's kitchen, and I have very fond memories of sneaking samples from the giant jars (regardless of how close to done they were) while my grandmother was busy elsewhere.
This version is dryer, crispier and generally milder-tasting than the German-style sauerkraut. While it's incredibly delicious raw, it's also the main ingredient in the tasty but underrated sour cabbage soup (Sour Schi in Russian, or the similar Ukrainian and Polish Kapusniak), and also makes for a nice stewed cabbage side dish (half sour/half fresh cabbage).
Step 1: Supplies and Ingredients
To make this sauerkraut you will need:
A jar, large bowl, or bucket. Whatever you choose, you'll need to find something heavy that will cover as much of the surface area as possible. For a bowl or bucket, a plate works best provided it's the right size to smoosh down the cabbage and you can balance anything you want on top for extra weight.
Cabbage -- regardless of how much kraut you plan to make, whether it's just a single jar or a bathtub's worth(that works too if you have a spare tub), I recommend getting small, firm cabbages rather than the larger ones. The younger cabbages tend to have more juice and produce a crunchier final kraut.
Salt -- I've always used kosher salt, but I'm sure table salt would be fine too.
Cranberries -- are optional. I didn't have any on hand, so I didn't use any but they're a nice addition if you do. Just toss a few in as you're packing the cabbage.