Ingredients for 6 servings:
- 5 pounds fresh sauerkraut,
- 1/4 cup duck or goose fat or peanut oil,
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped,
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped,
- 8 juniper berries,
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns,
- 3 cloves,
- 2 bay leaves,
- 2 cups dry white wine, preferably Riesling or Sylvaner,
- 1 cup chicken stock,
- 12 ounce chunk of unsmoked bacon,
- 6 of each different sausages (frankfurter, bratwurst, knockwurst, etc.),
- 2 ham hocks, scored,
- 12 medium potatoes.
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Rinse the sauerkraut in cold water, drain and squeeze dry.
2. In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, melt the fat or peanut oil, add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes.
3. Stir in the sauerkraut, juniper berries, bay leaves, cloves, black pepper, stock and wine and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the ham hocks and the bacon, cover the pot, place in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hour, undisturbed.
4. When the meats are tender, remove from oven, imbed the sausages in the sauerkraut. Cover the pot and return it to the oven until they are hot, about 25 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
5. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water, add salt and bring to a boil over high heat; cook the potatoes until tender when pierced. Drain the potatoes and cover to keep warm.
6. To serve, pile the sauerkraut on a large heated platter and garnish with the meats, sausages and potatoes. Serve very hot with assorted mustards.
Wine Pairing Tips:
While most people associate choucroute with beer, nothing beats a nice, mineral Riesling, especially when it makes an appearance in the recipe. Uncork a Grand Cru for a special occasion!