July 7, 2016 — French
‘…If you are unsure about sauerkraut then try this recipe. It’s not at all like you would imagine. German (Weissbier) wheat beer washes down very well with this dish…’
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500g fresh (from a plastic pouch) or pasteurized (from a jar) sauerkraut
1 ham hock or knuckle of pork (unsmoked and cooked) 4 sausages – German-type such as frankfurters, bockwurst, krakauer, bratwurst
4 thick pork belly slices
A selection from the following, balancing smoked with unsmoked: salted belly of pork, smoked belly of pork, chunk of smoked bacon, pancetta or speck,
1 large onion
2 large carrots
650g Charlotte potatoes
2 small eating apples
10 juniper berries
1 tbs caraway seed
2 bay leaves
250ml white wine
250ml apple juice
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What is sauerkraut?
Pickled cabbage. It’s made by adding salt, herbs and spices to shredded cabbage. Over time the natural bacteria and yeasts ferment and pickle the cabbage. The process does not need heat or refrigeration, so has always been a useful method of food preservation. Sauerkraut is very nutritious, especially in its raw and ‘fresh’ state, where the presence of live bacteria and vitamin C can promote good health. Many people swear by ‘fresh’ sauerkraut, claiming it to be a new super food.
Until recently, buying sauerkraut in the UK was difficult, but now jars are easily obtainable from Polish deli’s and supermarkets. Sauerkraut can also be sold unpasteurised or ‘fresh’ and generally available in plastic pouches – check out the German Deli at Borough Market or your local Polish deli.
The Secret to sauerkraut…
The secret to sauerkraut is to serve it with cured pork joints, sausages and ham – as in the recipe below. The acidity cuts through the richness of the meat and creates a delicious combination of flavours. Try these combinations with German or Dijon mustard and a glass of Alsatian Riesling – then you’ll begin to understand the allure of this pickled treat – and who knows, may even learn to love it!
Choucroute Garnie is a regional speciality of Austria, Germany and Northern Italy. It’s a celebration of porcine meats for sure, but also sauerkraut, which mellows wonderfully from the long cooking and sweetness of the apple and meats. Even Mrs WDC approves! Balance the meats and sausages according to your taste and appetite. So, to make the Choucroute Garnie:
If you like Dad’s choucroute garnie recipe, you may also like: Weisswurst, Shanks, Hocks, Knuckles, Shins and Legs or German Hot Dog.
A perfect winter warmer – Cassoulet!
Try Dad’s loaded low-fat salsa quesadillas with The Laughing Cow Lightest x8 cheese.
An excellent way to turn a popular Italian slow food standard into an easy and quicker family classic.
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