Sauerkraut Dinner

CHOUCROUTE GARNI “Garnished Sauerkraut” Main Course Classic

Choucroute Garni (shoo KROOT gar NEE) is an Alsatian dish of sauerkraut braised in white wine, chock full of meat and vegetables. The meat and wine sweeten the kraut over a few hours of slow cooking.

Part of my culture is traced to this province, a section of northeast France—rich with French and German culture. My mom learned to simmer a few pieces of fatty pork in her stovetop pot of sauerkraut and was a staple side dish for every high-holiday meal.

The flavor of pork braised in sauerkraut is an Eastern European classic.

This dish is also “garnished” with sausage and very basic garden fare. You will taste the sweet and sour of the peasant garden in this dish.

— Recipe adapted by B. Hettig

INGREDIENTS: This dish can be made using a slow cooker or oven braising. The amounts can vary depending on what ingredients you have or want to accenuate. This will feed 4-5

  • oil or lard – 2 TBS
  • sausage – 1 LB, kielbasa or bratwurst, cut into approx. 4 inch lengths
  • pork – 1 LB, boneless country style ribs, cut into 3 to 4 inch pieces
  • salt and pepper to season pork
  • sauerkraut – 2 LBS, drained, and lightly rinsed, then drained
  • onion – 2 cups, [1 large], crescent slices
  • garlic – 1 TBS, minced
  • caraway seeds – 1 tsp, [optional]
  • potatoes – red, or golden, 2 cups, 1-inch chunks
  • carrots – 2 cups, 1-inch chunks
  • white wine – 1/2 cup, [vermouth, or other dry variety]

INSTRUCTIONS: This is for a one-pot oven braise. I also like to use a slow cooker; at Step 5 layer all the above ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours; until 190º is reached

  1. Heat a large skillet or oven proof pot and add the oil or lard and bring to almost the smoking point
  2. Add the sausage and brown and remove
  3. Dry the pork with toweling and add to the hot skillet and brown on all sides; and remove and reduce heat to medium
  4. Add the onions, garlic, and caraway seeds [if using] and cook a few minutes to soften the onion
  5. To the onion mixture add in the sauerkraut in layers with the sausage, pork, potatoes, and carrots
  6. Preheat the oven to 325º if baking, or if using a slow cooker see note above
  7. Cover the pot and braise for 2 hours, then lower the heat to 225 degrees for another hour until meat reaches 190º
Sauerkraut dinner

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