Choucroute Garnie

Choucroute Garnie

Details

This classic Alsace dish consists of sauerkraut, pork, ham hock, carrots, onions, juniper berries and, of course, Riesling wine. It is typically served with potatoes and a variety of sausages. Traditionally, the more people there are the wider the variety of meats and sausages are used.
  • Serves: 8 to 12
  • Active Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 3 hrs
  • Views: 18,806
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog
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Steps

Step 1: Cooking the Onions & Garlic

• 1 large onion
• 1 large clove garlic
• 3 tbsp oil, bacon fat or lard
• sea salt (to taste)

Method

Roughly dice the onion and emince the garlic.

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed over medium heat. Add the oil and onions with a pinch or two of salt. Sweat the onions until they are softened but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for anther 1 to 2 minutes. Once done, remove half of the onions and set aside.

Step 2: Preparing Your Mise en Place

• 2 1/2 lb sauerkraut
• 1 whole onion
• 5 cloves
• 2 bay leaves
• 10 juniper berries
• 2 carrots
• 1 ham hock or knuckle
• 14 oz salt pork belly
• 1 - 14 oz piece pork shoulder

Method

Roughly chop the carrots. Make sure you do not cut them too small, as they will cook for at least a couple of hours.

Squeeze out all of the moisture from the sauerkraut. Many recipes say to rinse the sauerkraut several times under water and then squeeze; however, we have never found this necessary, as we like the slight tartness the sauerkraut adds.

Peel the onion and stud it with the cloves.

Cut the pork belly into thick strips, about 1/2" -inch thick slices.

Gather the ham hock, pork shoulder, bay leaves and juniper berries. To draw out more flavor from the juniper berries, lightly crush them.

Step 3: Assembling the Choucroute

• 2/3 cup white wine, preferably Riesling
• 1/2 cup water or stock

Method

Layer the pot with half of sauerkraut. Then add the whole onion and ham hock. Scatter the carrots, juniper berries and bay leaves over top. Season with salt and pepper.

Next, add the remaining onion and sauerkraut. Top with the pork shoulder and strips of pork belly and then season again with a bit of salt and pepper.

Next, add the white wine and water, cover and bake at 375°F (190°C) for approximately 2 1/2 hours. Check after about 1 hour. If it looks very dry you may want to add a bit more water.

Step 4: Adding the Potatoes

• 15 to 20 small potatoes

Method

Wash the potatoes but leave the peel on.

After about 2 hours or so, add the potatoes, cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Alternatively, you can boil the potatoes on the side and add them after. You can do this particularly if you are serving the dish the next day.

Step 5: Finishing and Serving the Dish

• 6 to 8 European wieners
• 6 to 8 sausages*

Method

About 20 minutes before the dish is ready, cook the sausages in simmering water until heated through. Save the water.

About 10 minutes before the dish is ready, poach the European wieners in the simmering water until just heated through.

*Note: Almost any sausage can be used. The key is to buy the best quality sausage you can find. We often use a combination of Strasbourg, Weisswurst, Bratwurst, Kielbasa or any other delicious German-style sausage that we can find.

You can also serve as many different varieties as you like. Typically, the more guests you have, the higher the amount and number of sausages you will need.

To serve the dish, remove the onion and cloves. If you like you can still serve the onion – it’s up to you (just remove the cloves first).

Cut the meat from the ham hock. Slice the pork shoulder and sausages so people can just help themselves to a variety of meats.

This dish is often served on a large platter and placed in the middle of the table. To do this, arrange the sauerkraut onto the platter and then place the potatoes, carrots, sausages and pieces of meat around the platter. Serve with Dijon mustard, bread and maybe some nice French cheese.

Chef's Notes

As with most classic dishes, there are many versions. This dish generally includes various cuts of pork, different sausages and, most often, potatoes. It is usually served with some sort of Alsatian Riesling or Sylvaner wine.

One of the best things about this dish, besides the fact that it is super easy to make, is that there are no hard rules, so have fun with it and feel free to experiment a bit to make it your own.

3 Comments

  • Tony M
    Tony M
    OMG!!! This is just too good! Easy to prepare. This would be great in winter. But you know what? I would eat this in the spring, summer and fall. I used home-made sauerkraut from a local deli and increased the number of hocks. The flavours were wonderfully layered - just like little surprises as you bit in. This was a green-meal as well. Since the oven was already in operation I browned off extra veggies and beef bones to start a beef reduction. We're set for the weekend: leftovers and a demi glace for something or other. Our tummies thank you.
  • Rebecca B
    Rebecca B
    Hello, I would like to make this recipe for an Octoberfest themed dinner. However, it is my understanding that juniper berries are best avoided for children under 12, and pregnant women. Is there a reasonable substitute?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Apparently equal parts bay leaves and caraway seeds make a good substitution. Here is a good site for food substitutions that you may want to bookmark. Cheers!

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