Sunday, November 13, 2016

Reminiscing About The Alsace: Choucroute Garni

Alsace is a lovely and fascinating region of eastern France; with impressive cities such as Strasbourg and Colmar, the Alsace wine route, historical castles set on isolated hilltops, pretty villages sitting quietly in the vineyards and forests of the region, and large areas of protected and scenic countryside.


It is also where I first experienced the German-Franco dish of Choucroute Garni. I have been experimenting with this dish for several years and I think I have finally come close to what I was served in Kaysersberg, or was it Saint-Hippolyte? This was 26 years ago so my memory might be a little hazy on the place, but my taste buds remember the dining experience.

                             Choucroute Garni

  1/4         pound  bacon -- lardons
  2            pounds  pork roast -- cut in 2" cubes
  1            medium  onion -- peeled and coarsely chopped
  1            large  carrot -- pared and sliced
  1/4         cup  chopped parsley
  1             each  bay leaf, whole
  4             each  black peppercorns
  4             each  juniper berries
  1             cup  Riesling wine
  1             cup  chicken broth
  1             pound  smoked sausage -- sliced 1/2" thick
  1             pound  bratwurst -- sliced 1/2" thick
  2             pounds  sauerkraut -- rinsed well and drained
  1             cup  green apple -- cored and coarsely chopped

In a large Dutch oven, over medium-low heat, render bacon fat.

Add pork cubes, onion, and carrots and sauté slowly; stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes.


Place parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns, and juniper berries in cheesecloth bag.

Add to pot along with wine and broth.

Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 1 hour.



Add sausage and sauerkraut to pot, stir, cover, and simmer another hour.


Add apples and simmer an additional 20 minutes.



Start to Finish Time: 2:30
                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 1318 Calories; 97g Fat (69.0% calories from fat); 76g Protein; 22g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 281mg Cholesterol; 4181mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 10 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 13 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

It should be noted that this isn't diet food.

Bon Appétit and Guten Appetit, y'all.

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