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Choucroute Garnie

serves 2-4

Choucroute garnie is a classic French and German dish of sauerkraut and sausages braised together with white wine and spices. It's often served with boiled red potatoes and lots of chopped fresh parsley. Serve with a glass of chilled Alsatian white wine or a cold beer.



ingredients

1/2 pound pork belly
2 or 3 strips of smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 Red Delicious apples, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 pounds sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2 pork rib chops, bone-in
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 pound kielbasa, fully cooked
1 pound bratwurst, fully cooked
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon juniper berries
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
10 whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
3 bay leaves
1 cup Alsatian Pinot Blanc, or other dry white wine
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

timer

prep: 25 minutes
total: 3 hours 30 minutes

tools

baking sheet
aluminum foil
skillet (with lid) or Dutch oven
tongs
cheesecloth
kitchen twine

instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Lightly salt the pork belly and put onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes. Prep the bacon, onion, apples and sauerkraut.

2. Meanwhile, lightly salt the pork rib chops and coat with the flour, shaking to remove any excess. In the skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, brown the sausages and rib chops in 1 tablespoon of canola oil, 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and keep warm.

3. In the same pan, add 1 more tablespoon of canola oil and sauté the bacon to render its fat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent and lightly browned, 8 minutes. Add the chopped apples and cook until the apples soften, 5 minutes. Tuck the juniper berries, whole black peppercorns, cloves, allspice berries and bay leaves into cheesecloth and tie tightly with kitchen twine to create a bouquet garni.

4. Add the rinsed and drained sauerkraut to the skillet and scrape the bottom to release all the browned bits. Toss with the tongs to mix well with the onion and apple mixture.

5. Turn the oven down to 350F. Nestle the pork rib chops and sausages in the onion, apple and sauerkraut mixture. Pour the wine and vegetable broth over the dish and tuck in the sachet. Cover tightly and braise in the oven for 2 hours.

6. Remove the pork belly from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before slicing very thin. To serve, mound the sauerkraut and surround with the sausages, slices of roast pork belly and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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