Sauerkraut with Pork and Sausages (Choucroute Garnie)
Choucroute, this hearty dish of wine-braised sauerkraut, cured pork, and sausages, comes from Alsace, in northeastern France.
Yield: serves 8-10
- 6 juniper berries
- 3 whole cloves
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 2 fresh ham hocks (about 2 1⁄2 lbs.)
- 1⁄2 cup rendered duck fat
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cups white wine, preferably dry riesling
- 2 1⁄2 lb. Kasseler rippchen (sliced bone-in smoked pork loin chops)
- 1 (12-oz.) piece smoked slab bacon, sliced lengthwise into 3/4"-thick strips
- 1 (12-oz.) skinless piece salted pork belly, sliced lengthwise into 3/4" strips
- 4 1⁄2 lb. raw Sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 knackwurst
- 3 bauernwurst
- 3 bockwurst
- 10 small-medium waxy potatoes, such as Red Bliss, peeled and left whole
- Dijon mustard, for serving
- Heat oven to 350˚. Put juniper berries, cloves, garlic, and bay leaf into a piece of cheesecloth and tie ends to form a spice bundle; set aside. Bring a 4-qt. saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ham hocks, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Transfer hocks to a plate, reserving cooking liquid. Meanwhile, heat duck fat in a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Add wine and 1 cup water; boil. Add spice bundle and ham hocks along with pork chops, bacon, and pork belly. Put sauerkraut on top of meat, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cover. Transfer to oven and bake until meat is tender and sauerkraut has softened slightly, about 1 1⁄2 hours.
- Meanwhile, return reserved cooking liquid to high heat; boil. Working in batches, boil sausages until tender, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil. Add potatoes and boil until tender, about 15 minutes; transfer to a plate. To serve, pile sauerkraut in the center of a large platter. Arrange meat on top of sauerkraut and arrange potatoes along the outside. Serve with Dijon mustard.