This Alsace speciality (which goes by the name of sauerkraut across the border in Germany) is a bit of a meat-feast involving various cuts of pork and sausage. Though it is often a weekday dish it does take a while to assemble and is better suited to serving to a group because of the quantities involved. Every town, village, restaurant and family will have their preferred version of the dish and the exact amount and choice of meat is not cast in stone. The recipe below comes from Alsace restaurant 'Aux Armes de France'in Ammerschwihr and although it is now possible to source even the most obscure regional produce in this country, if you can't get hold of the sausages below, do feel free to experiment and devise your own version.
- 4lb/1.8 kg choucroute (tinned or fresh)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2 ham knuckles
- 2 lb/900g smoked shoulder of ham
- 1/4 lb/113g bacon in one piece
- 3 links white sausage or caraway-scented artisan sausages
- 4 knockwursts or meaty smoked sausages
- 2 black puddings
- 1/2 cup light beef stock
- 1 pint/500cl sylvaner or riesling
- 4 whole juniper berries, pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 8 small potatoes
If tinned, place choucroute in a colander and let running water wash out the salt.
Drain and set aside. Place butter in an oven proof casserole.
When melted (over direct heat) add onions and brown quickly.
Remove casserole from heat and add the various meatscut into 2"-3" pieces.
Add stock, wine, juniper berries, choucroute,pepper and crushed garlic.
Return to a very low heat (350°F/170ºC), cover and simmer for approximately one hour, checking meat for tenderness.
Serve in same dish with boiled small potatoes on the side
Recommended Alsace wine: sylvaner or riesling
From Restaurant 'Aux Armes de France'-AmmerschwihrCourtesy: vinsalsace.com