Choucroute

Adapted from my culinary school’s classic textbook, The Professional Chef

1 large or 2 small heads of cabbage, thinly sliced

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium onions, julienned

1/4 cup olive oil or butter

2# smoked pork loin, or pork shank

1 large link of kielbasa, or 6 German Frankfurters, Knackwurst, or similar sausage

1# piece of smoked slab bacon (if you can’t find it feel free to use sliced bacon)

Chicken stock

about a dozen sprigs of Thyme and the same of Parsley

6 juniper berries

1/4 cup cracked black peppercorns

1# sauerkraut

Assorted whole grain and dijon mustards to pass at the table

Instructions:

  1. Saute the onions in the olive oil or butter until softened and slightly caramelized. Add the cabbage and saute until softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 more minutes.
  2. Cover about 2/3 way with chicken stock, and add the thyme, parsley, juniper berries and black peppercorns. I used a tea infuser ball for the loose berries and peppercorns. Simmer very gently on the stovetop, covered, for about 1 hour, or place in a 350 degree oven for about 1 hour. Check periodically that it hasn’t dried out.
  3. After the cabbage has cooked for about an hour, nestle in your pork products, add more chicken stock if it’s less than 1/2 way up the pan, and cook for another 30¬†minutes. Add the sauerkraut and cook another 15 minutes or until kraut is warmed through.
  4. Remove the thyme and parsley stems, and the juniper and pepper if using a sachet or tea ball. Remove and slice the pork products and return to the pan.
  5. Serve the entire dish at the table, with several types of mustard on the side.