Choucroute Garnie

It’s  finally getting cooler here in St. Louis, which makes the weather perfect for making this hearty Alsatian dish.  I am not usually a fan of sauerkraut, but I make an exception for choucroute garnie, which we affectionately know as “MeatFest” at our house.  My recipe is a variation on this one from Epicurious.com (minus the precision, of course).  Enjoy!

Choucroute Garnie

MeatFest

-1/2 pound sliced bacon

-1 lb. pork (I use whatever cuts I have on hand–chops and roasts both work fine)

-4 bratwurst

-4 chicken apple sausages

-1 jar sauerkraut, drained

-2 bosc pears

-1 onion

-bay leaves

-whole cloves

-salt, pepper

-dry white wine

Dice the bacon and cook in a large sauté pan until nearly crisp.  Dice the pears and onion and add to the bacon; cook until onion is translucent.

Transfer the bacon mixture to a large mixing bowl.  Add drained sauerkraut, a few bay leaves, and several cloves, and mix to combine.

Meanwhile, season the pork with salt and pepper and brown it and the sausages  in batches in the same pan you used for the bacon.

Layer the sauerkraut mixture and the meats in slow cooker.  Deglaze the sauté pan with a cup of white wine, scraping up the browned bits; pour this over the layered meat and sauerkraut.  Cook on low for four and up to eight hours.

Although Choucroute Garnie is traditionally served with boiled potatoes, we prefer to add a few slices of crusty bread.  Mustard and horseradish are also traditional accompaniments.

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