Saturday, April 4, 2009

Choucroute garnie

Last night we had Choucroute for dinner. It is a favorite. Traditionally, it is a German and East European dish, but the French annexation of Alsace and Lorraine in 1648, brought this dish to the attention of French chefs.

Choucroute garnie means dressed sauerkraut. The original recipes required hours of simmering for this wonderful dish. I have found a 'quick' method which we really like. This recipe is out of Bon Appetit, December 2001. This way, it is also easier to eat it more often because it comes together rather quickly.

I served it in a casserole dish I bought in the Alsace region of France in 1991 when we visited there. Did you know the word casserole is French for sauce pan?

Quick Choucroute Garnie

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

  • 1 pound fully cooked smoked sausage cut into 3 inch lengths, and halved (Tonight I simply used smoked pork chops and that makes it a much leaner meal)

  • 2 cups chopped onions

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 pound purchased sauerkraut, drained

  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme, more if fresh

  • 2/3 cup dry white wine

Heat oil in large skillet and add sausages, meats, and cook until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn over, add onions and saute until onions are beginning to soften. (Now it really starts smelling good.) Cook about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with boiled red potatoes. We also had a lovely German Riesling from the Mosel that made the meal.

One hint I have is to throw out your old bottle or tin of caraway seed and buy a new one. It makes such a difference. I know you don't use it often and it does lose it's wonderful taste. And that goes for all spices. I have been dating them and you will be amazed how old they get quickly. Toss the old stuff and buy new. Food is too important to use flavorless spices.

Speaking of spices and herbs, we now are growing more than ever and they do so well here in Florida. We have a wonderful large rosemary shrub, oregano, thyme, basil, mint, chives, tarragon, and lavender. It is so wonderful to just open the door and go out and harvest what we need for dinner.

Oh yes, one more thing. You say you don't like sauerkraut? You really need to try this because cooking it this way with the caraway and the wine, just mellows it so much. It really is very, very good. Sehr gut, mein Freund!


  1. Seriously, if I lived near you I'd PAY YOU to cook dinner for us every night. You make the most fantastic meals. YUM.

    - Suzanne

  2. I can't wait to try this one. I love sauerkraut. Yum!

  3. I love sauerkraut too! I like to cook a pork roast with sauerkraut. Maybe it's similar tasting. Your dish looks very yummy!

  4. I will admit, that if I lived alone I would probably cook very little. My husband is really the cook and planner of meals. I assist and CLEAN UP!!

  5. I love sauerkraut...with hot dogs and mashed potatoes. And on Rubens...Oh Yeah!

  6. Susan, this sounds like a delicious meal! I love choucroute garnie and a way to make it quickly is your gift to us. Thanks!

  7. Looks so delicious!