Monday, March 1, 2010

Choucroute garni

I could barely wait for my homemade sauerkraut to be ready. I gave it 10 days (the last 3 in the fridge) and then plunged in to this recipe. I kept it very simple. Few ingredients and a relatively short prep. Assuming you will be buying sauerkraut instead of making it, don’t buy it in a can off the shelf. Your supermarket should have some in bags in the refrigerated pickle area.

Also, don’t rinse it – the whole flavor profile for this dish comes from the briny liquid.

Choucroute garni
4 medium red potatoes, quartered
2 large or 4 medium carrots, cut into 2” pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
½ medium onion, sliced
4 of your favorite sausages (brats are good, but Italian are not)
salt and black pepper to taste
20 oz. sauerkraut
Chicken stock if necessary
Grainy mustard and/or prepared horseradish as garnish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with the potatoes and carrots in it. Parboil the veg for 8 minutes over medium heat. Drain and set aside.

In the meantime heat oil and butter in a pot large enough to hold veg and sausages in (nearly) a single layer. Saute the onion and sausages for about 5 minutes, turning the sausages so that they get some color on all sides.

Nestle the carrots and potatoes into the pan, sprinkle them with salt and pepper and top with the sauerkraut and its brine. Add enough stock so that there’s about ½” liquid in the pan.

Bring to a simmer, cover the pan, and go away for 30 minutes. The potatoes and carrots should now be tender. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool completely. When it’s time to eat, reheat the casserole over medium heat. You certainly can eat it right away, but the flavors will develop better if it can sit. Make it day ahead and refrigerate overnight if you wish.

Serve with grainy mustard and/or prepared horseradish on the side.

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