Sunday, February 13, 2011

Choucroute garnie

There are many ways to prepare sauerkraut, but one of the best and most famous is choucroute garnie.  There are many versions - but all contain various cuts of pork, copious amounts of sauerkraut and white wine.  Potatoes are almost always served on the side.

As you will see in the recipes, this dish is not for vegetarians.  A good choucroute garnie contains serious amounts of pork.  I wouldn't encourage you to eat this every week.  It is a great winter party dish to share with 6-8 friends.

If you have not gotten around to making your own homemade sauerkraut yet,  you can find good commercial versions in the refrigerator case at your favorite coop or grocery store. Some jarred brands are good, too.  Canned sauerkraut is my least favorite.

Here are some links to some good choucroute garnie recipes:

Or this one from Epicurious (I would not use Delicious apples and I might use a little less sausage - but this recipe is still worth checking out.)

Or this from Saveur - see the article accompanying it as well.

If these recipes are too overwhelming, there is nothing wrong with a simple dinner of sausage, sauerkraut and vegetables.  I like to brown sausages first, then add rinsed sauerkraut, some chopped onions and apples and white wine (about 1/4 cup per sausage).  You can add boiling potatoes (cut into chunks if they are large) right into the baking dish.  Some chunks of turnip or carrots are good too.  I like a high ratio of vegetables to meat in this dish.  Cover and bake at 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours - until everything is tender and flavors have melded -  and enjoy.

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