Author and Educator
Choucroute garnie, a traditional specialty of the Alsace region of France, reflects its German ancestry. Steaming platters of sauerkraut are piled high with a variety of hearty sausages, frankfurters, salted meats, and cooked potatoes. Of course, the dish pairs perfectly with a sensuous glass of Alsatian Riesling.
- 3 pounds fresh or canned sauerkraut, washed
- 3 cups chicken stock
- Big chunk of salt pork, soaked in water to remove excess salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3-pound piece smoked pork loin (not ready-to-eat)
- 12 frankfurters, 6 knockwurst, or other hearty sausages
- 1 pre-cooked Polish kielbasa
- 12 potatoes
Preheat oven to 325ºF.
Put washed sauerkraut in a stockpot with chicken stock. If you like, use beer or white wine for part of the liquid. Add a big chunk of soaked salt pork, garlic cloves, and black pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Put frankfurters or knockwurst and kielbasa in with the sauerkraut for the last 20 minutes to heat through.
Roast smoked pork loin the oven about 25 minutes per pound, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 170ºF. Boil potatoes in their jackets separately, then peel.
When it comes time to assemble the dish, drain the sauerkraut and mound it in the center of a big platter. Slice the pork loin and arrange around the sauerkraut. Garnish with sliced kielbasa and salt pork, whole frankfurters or knockwurst, and peeled potatoes. Serve with hot mustard, such as a Düsseldorf or German-type mustard, or French Dijon.