How to organize an Happy Choucroute Party?!
3 hours cooking
30 min preparation
Recommended wines pairing for this dish:
A white wine from Alsace like a Gewürztraminer , Pinot Gris , Riesling or Sylvanerhttp://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/Matchmaker-Choucroute-Garni-and-Alsace-Riesling_2342
For 6 persons:
6 pounds sauerkraut (in plastic bags), drained and easy to find in Trader-Joe’s stores),
1 pound back bacon sliced,
2 pounds boneless Ham Hock,
12 sausages ( the one in whole-food are fantastic but if you want the real deal there is a list of german store’s you can get it from. The perfect mix would be 2 Strasbourg sausages/ person, 2 Frankfurt sausages and 2 Montbéliard sausageshttp://www.germancorner.com/yellowpages/foodstores/alameda_to_oakland.html
12 medium patatoes
6 garlic cloves
6 cups veal stock
4 cups white wine
7 table spoon of goose fat
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
15 juniper berries
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 large bay leaves
Don’t forget to add assorted Mustards in your plate during the degustation.
Yes it is possible to make a delicious choucroute even if you live in the United State. There are great German store’s that have the traditional sausages that you are looking for but you can also keep it simple and use the ones that are sold at your local store (I do recommend Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s).
The preparation of the choucroute is very commonly eat at the German and French border known as Alsace. The cabbage is chopped in small pieces and stored in wood barrel spreading on each layer, juniper and salt and two pounds of gin for twenty-five whole cabbage.
Fortunately for us, today we can buy the cabbage in pre-conditioned plastic bags so we don’t have to go through all of those steps. I get my sauerkraut from Traders Joe’s and it is perfectly fine.
The choucroute is an extremely nourishing dish that’s why it is usually consumed during winter time. The vegetable itself is excellent for your health. Believe it or not but according to a recent study, fermented cabbage is part of the family of the “super food” and it is an immune system booster that will help you protect against most infectious diseases like the flu, most cancers and has been used my European people as a powerful and tasty digestif helper.
I was not a big fan of veggies when I was a little girl but today I find them miraculous for your health and well being. The choucroute has been around a long time already during the 17-century this dish was heavily supplied to marine vessels, to preserve the sailors from scurvy during long trips.
Ideally I will use a pressure cooker but I made the choucroute in a large Stock-Pot in the past.
Get the goose fat and the diced onions, wait for coloration then ad half of the white cabbage and braise for 30 seconds, ad the second half, the veal stock, the garlic, the juniper berries, the cloves, the caraway seeds and the bay leaves cover and cooked at small flame (Gas Mark 4) for 2 hours. Make sure to check from time to time to make sure that the Sauerkraut is always moist, if not pour a few cups of water to prevent the preparation from burning.
In a separate large sauce pan boiled the potatoes in salted water until tender then ad them to the stock-Pot. Pre-cook the meat in the owen moderately hot (400F or 200C) for 45 min. After that time ad the meat to to the Sauerkraut and potatoes, all cooked in the same Pot.
When the sauerkraut is almost cooked, sprinkle with 2 glass of white wine, dry to reduce the liquid to be good fire, discard the bay leaves upon serving and VOILA, a delicious Choucroute party for your family and Friends.