Quick Choucroute 6.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Feb 26, 2014

The traditional dish from Alsace Lorraine, usually comprising many kinds of sausages, pork belly and salt pork, slow-cooked in sauerkraut, can take hours to make. This version takes far less time and incorporates fresh cabbage, leeks and mushrooms to cut the assertiveness of the sauerkraut. Using chicken or turkey sausage reduces the fat content while maintaining the dish's heartiness.

Serve with Dijon or whole-grain mustard on the side and, if you wish, boiled potatoes.

Make Ahead: The choucroute can be made a day or two in advance and gently reheated, but you risk drying out the sausages that way.


Servings:
6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 6 servings

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Four 4-ounce fresh sausages, such as chicken, pork or turkey
  • 12 ounces peppered bacon, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into very thin slices
  • 1 large leek, white and light-green parts, halved lengthwise, cut into 1-inch pieces and washed well
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thick
  • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 small head (2 pounds) white cabbage, cored and shredded
  • 1 cup hard cider
  • 2 cups sauerkraut, squeezed dry
  • Dijon mustard or whole-grain mustard, for serving

Directions

Heat the oil in a large, straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the sausage; brown them for about 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to a plate.

Add the bacon, onion, leek, mushrooms, garlic, caraway seed, juniper berries and bay leaf to the pan; cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leek and onion have softened, the bacon has browned and the liquid released from the vegetables has evaporated.

Stir in the cabbage; cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens and begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the cider to deglaze the pan, stirring to dislodge any browned bits on the bottom. Stir in the sauerkraut until well incorporated.

Return the sausages to the pan, seating them deep into the cabbage mixture. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 30 minutes, until the sausages are cooked through. Discard the bay leaf and juniper berries.

Serve hot, with mustard at the table.

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Recipe Source

From Washington food writer David Hagedorn, co-author with chef Cathal Armstrong of "My Irish Table: Recipes From the Homeland and Restaurant Eve" (Ten Speed Press, March 2014).

Tested by David Hagedorn.

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