|Prep time||1 hour|
|Cooking time||3–4 hours|
Alsatian choucroute garnie is the best way to eat cabbage. Make your own sauerkraut if possible – it's a big improvement on the varieties you can easily buy.
You can use a variety of different meats, depending on what's available – the goal is to cook with whatever you can get. I've added the specific ones I normally use but you can mix it up depending on what's available, but this is just a general guide! The idea is to independently cook each variety of meat as best suited and add it to the braising pan when it's ready.
I'd personally say that sausages, pork belly, and pork loin are essential. The rest is up to you.
- Large oven-suitable dish or crockpot
- Baking paper
For the sauerkraut
- 1000g drained sauerkraut
- 100ml vegetable oil, lard, or goose/duck fat
- 1 onion
- 250ml dry white wine (e.g. Riesling)
- 125ml chicken stock
- 2 gloves garlic
- 10 juniper berries
- 2 cloves
- 0.5 tsp caraway seed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp kirsch
- 3 potatoes (small-ish)s
And the meats
- 4 emulsified sausages (e.g. frankfurters, bratwurst etc.)s
- 200g ham hock
- 500g pork belly strips
- 400g pork loin steaks
- 400g bacon, pork shoulder, or salt pork
- Up to a day in advance, season the pork loin and shoulder (if using) with salt and leave uncovered in the fridge.
- Chop the onion into thin slices. Make a small spice parcel by lightly crushing the garlic cloves and placing on the cheesecloth along with the juniper berries, cloves, caraway and bay leaves, then tying into a small parcel.
- Preheat the oven to 120℃. Place two thirds of the oil in a casserole or dutch oven, then place over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and barely starting to brown – less than ten minutes.
- Add the spice parcel along with the wile and stock to the onions. Add the pork shoulder/bacon/pork belly/ham hock as appropriate and nestle it down in the liquid.
- Cut a disk out of baking paper that's large enough to sit on top of the ingredients in the pan, then set it directly on top of the contents. Place in the oven and cook for around 90 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pork loin by placing on a separate rack in the oven, until cooked through – the time taken will depend on the size and shape. Once cooked, set aside.
- Prepare the salt pork, if using, by boiling gently for about an hour, then transferring to the braising pan in the oven.
- Peel and halve the potatoes, then boil in salted water until tender. Drain and set aside.
- Prepare the sauerkraut by draining and squeezing out any excess moisture. When the braising pan has been cooking for 90 minutes, add the sauerkraut and mix it all around a little. Re-cover with the baking paper, then return to the oven. Increase the temperature of the oven to 150℃ and leave for about 1 hour.
- Prepare the sausages by simmering in boiling water for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the baking paper lid from the braising pan and add the reserved pork loin, along with the potatoes. Mix, then return ot the oven for about 20 minutes, until everything is warmed through.
- Remove from the oven, and then separate out all of the meats and set aside. Discard the spice packet, then stir in the kirsch. Season with salt and pepper as required, then spoon the sauerkraut onto a serving platter with a slotted spoon, leaving behaind any excess juices. Arrange the meats on top and serve.