Choucroute Garnie… a.k.a. YUM

11 01 2011

Every eastern European group has a name for this stew, the polish call it Bigos, and use mushrooms in it, the Germans don’t use white wine in there stew etc. I picked the Alsatian (French) version because I am snotty like that and because the name of the street I grew up on was Alsace. Chourcroute garnie is not for the faint of heart, or those who dont like sauerkraut as this dish translated means “dressed sauerkraut”. I often tell a story where, in my earlier years on Alsace Avenue, I had been known to make a sauerkraut sandwich or two. I love the stuff, and in this recipe, combined with the smoky bacon and sausage, it is pure gold. Because you simmer this over a couple of hours, the sauerkraut loses it’s bite, and the wine and apples mellow everything into a deliciousness.

Choucroute Garnie

12 ounces of double smoked bacon
8 ounces of pork or turkey kielbasa (make sure you take the outer paper off of it !)
1 large tin of sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp corrainder seeds
4 dried juniper berries
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup of white wine (OR 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar, topped up with chicken stock)
1 chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
1 apple, peeled and chopped

You can make this either in a dutch oven on the stove OR in the crock pot. Cut the double smoked bacon into strips, removing the tough outer rind, and layer it at the bottom of your pot. Add the kielbasa remembering to take off the paper outer casing.

In another bowl toss in the rinsed, and liquid free sauerkraut, spices, chopped up apple, onion and garlic. Mix with your hands until everything is uniform, and put on top of the meat in the pot.

Simmer it as long as you want, but minimally four hours. Serve with a nice strong mustard, and boiled potatoes if you want the carbs.

Nuts are a little high on the fat side, which can be brought down with using turkey kielbasa, but dont let it deter you from making this at least once every winter.
This makes 10 (WLS) servings; calories 233, fat 17g, carbs 5.5g, fiber 2.5g, 20g protein.
Enjoy this !

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