Choucroute Garnie

Choucroute, from Alsace (the narrow region of France between the Rhine river and the Vosges mountains which stretches from the Swiss border in the south to the the German border on the north) is a dish that is usually served in the autumn. Choucroute differs from traditional forms of pickled cabbage (sauerkraut) in two important ways; it is cooked in wine and it generally contains a rich blend of meats (although we have also eaten choucroute aux poissons which uses a firm fish filet in place of the meat). We first encountered choucroute in a restaurant a number of years ago, but it took many months and ideas from a number of cookbooks to create something similar to the taste we remembered. A side dish of potatoes is used to complete this hearty meal.


Saute onion in butter over low heat until soft. Add carrot and saute another 5 minutes. Add drained sauerkraut and white wine. Cook over medium heat until moisture has evaporated. Add juniper berries and pepper, set aside.

Saute pork chops and sausage until lightly browned.

In a dutch oven, spread one third of the sauerkraut mixture in bottom of pan, add half of meat, one third of sauerkraut, remainder of meat and top with sauerkraut. Pack firmly and pour hot cream over the mixture. Heat on top of stove to a simmer, cover tightly and place in 350° oven. Bake for 1-1/2 hours, checking to see if additional liquid is required. At the end of cooking time, remove cover and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake another 20-30 minutes or until browned. While the choucroute is in the final cooking phase, boil the potatoes until tender and serve separately. Remove juniper berries. 6 servings.