Tuesday, September 19, 2006

RECIPE: Choucroute Garni

Choucroute Garni
Serves 6

Choucroute means sauerkraut which is pickled cabbage. Garni means garnished.

4 pounds sauerkraut
3 tablespoons schmaltz or vegetable oil
3 cups onion, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
Bouquet Garni of:
10 juniper berries or 1/4 cup of gin, 10 black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds, 4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup Riesling
1 cup beef stock
15 new potatoes
1 2-pound smoked pork butt
4 bratwurst
2 kielbasa
3 knockwurst
Mustard, to serve with

Preheat oven to 350F.

Drain the sauerkraut and rinse with cold water. Soak for 10 minutes and rinse. Repeat once more and completely drain. Squeeze out as much water as possible. Set aside.

Place the smoked pork butt in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for two hours.

Heat the schmaltz or oil in a large casserole and add onions and carrots over low heat for a few minutes until lightly browned. Make up the bouquet garni by putting the ingredients in a cheese cloth and tying it closed with a string.

Add the bouquet garni, sauerkraut, wine and stock to the casserole. Bring to a boil. Add salt to taste. Cover with lid and place in the oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours. The choucroute should be bubbly, not too dry and not soupy.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil Add the kielbasa, lower the heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes. Then bring back to a boil, add bratwurst and kielbasa, cover, lower heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let rest in the water another 5 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add potatoes and boil until done. Drain and place the potatoes on top of the choucroute once it has cooked for the 2 1/2 hours.

Remove the bouquet garni from the choucroute. Place the meats on top of the potatoes. Serve with mustard.

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