Homemade Choucroute Garni
This feast of earthy flavors will make guests feel welcome. Serve it with grainy mustard, crusty bread, and bottles of dark beer.
- Servings: 12
- 5 or 6 pounds drained sauerkraut
- 25 whole black peppercorns
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 5 whole cloves
- 15 juniper berries
- 6 fresh sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup goose fat
- 4 medium onions, sliced 1/8-inch thick
- 1 1/2 cups Riesling or other dry white wine
- 2 cups homemade or canned low-sodium chicken broth, skimmed of fat
- 1 slab (1 1/2 pounds) dry-salted bacon, rinsed and dried
- 1 slab (1 1/2 pounds) smoked bacon
- 2 dry-salted pig's knuckles, (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1 pound smoked pork butt
- 3 carrots, peeled
- 1/4 cup finely minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 8 small red potatoes, peeled
- 4 white veal sausages (weisswurst or bockwurst; about 4 ounces each)
- 4 smoked country sausages (bauerwurst; about 4 ounces each)
- 4 knackwurst sausages (about 4 ounces each)
Place sauerkraut in a colander set in the sink; rinse with warm water, and drain.
Make bouquet garni: Place peppercorns, coriander seeds, cloves, juniper berries, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves on square of cheesecloth; tie with kitchen twine.
Melt goose fat in very large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sliced onions; cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent but not brown, about 10 minutes.
Add wine, chicken stock, and 2 cups water to Dutch oven; stir to combine. Add dry-salted bacon, smoked bacon, pig's knuckles, pork butt, carrots, garlic, salt, and bouquet garni. Lay washed and drained sauerkraut on top of mixture in Dutch oven. Add enough cold water to bring liquid to 1 inch below sauerkraut. Cover, increase heat to high, and bring liquid to boil. Reduce heat to low; cook at strong simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
Add potatoes; simmer, covered, until potatoes are just becoming tender, about 30 minutes more. Add sausages; simmer, covered, until heated through, about 10 minutes more.
Remove bouquet garni and discard. To serve choucroute garni on platter, remove meat, potatoes, and carrots from Dutch oven. Drain sauerkraut, and place in middle of serving platter. Slice bacon and pork butt. Arrange meat, potatoes, and carrots around sauerkraut on platter.