Alsatian Choucroute Garni


Choucroute garni combines the smoky flavors of several sorts of sausage, pork butt, and thick-cut bacon with the pungent perfume of sauerkraut, bay leav es, juniper berries, and caraway seeds.


  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds

  • 1 teaspoon whole juniper berries

  • 4 whole cloves

  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns

  • ½ teaspoon whole caraway seeds

  • 2 dried bay leaves

  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced

  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt

  • 1 pound double-smoked bacon, cut into 1-inch-thick slices

  • ½ pound fresh bacon or salt pork (in 1 piece)

  • 1 ¼ pounds smoked pork butt, sliced crosswise into 1-inch-thick pieces

  • 4 pounds fresh sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

  • 1 bottle (750 mL) dry Riesling

  • 8 medium red or Yukon gold potatoes, or a combination (about 1 ½ pounds total), peeled if desired

  • 8 small carrots, peeled

  • 3 coarse-textured smoked pork sausages, such as Hungarian kielbasa, bauerwurst, or smoked bratwurst (12 ounces total)

  • 3 fine-textured pork-and-beef sausages, such as knockwurst or frankfurters (12 ounces total)

  • 3 mild-spiced fine-textured white vealand-pork sausages, such as weisswurst or bockwurst (12 ounces total)

  • Fresh parsley sprigs, for garnish

  • Variety of mustards, for serving


  1. Make a spice bundle: Place spices, bay leaves, and garlic on a square of cheesecloth; tie into bundle with kitchen twine.

  2. Heat oil in a very large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add bacon, pork butt, and spice bundle. Cover with sauerkraut. Add wine and enough water to come 1 inch below sauerkraut. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover, and simmer 45 minutes.

  3. Add potatoes and carrots. Cover; cook until almost tender, about 20 minutes.

  4. Using a skewer or the tip of a paring knife, poke a few holes into each sausage to prevent them from bursting. Place kielbasa in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook, turning often, until browned, about 8 minutes. Put all sausages into the Dutch oven; cover, and cook until heated through, about 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausages and vegetables to a plate. Drain sauerkraut, and arrange on a serving platter. Arrange sausages and vegetables on top. Garnish with parsley, and serve with mustards.

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