Bon Appétit | October 1999
Choucroute — the pickled cabbage that is a cornerstone of Alsatian cuisine — is similar to sauerkraut. One key difference is that choucroute is always cooked in wine. Here, sauerkraut is combined with smoked ham hocks, sausages and potatoes
1 pound fully cooked bratwurst
8 ounces thick-sliced bacon strips, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 large onions, chopped
1teaspoon juniper berries (optional)
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
10 whole cloves
8 whole allspice
3 bay leaves
3 Red Delicious apples, unpeeled, cored, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 2-pound jars sauerkraut, squeezed dry
2 pounds fully cooked kielbasa, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 pound fully cooked knockwurst
2 cups Alsatian Pinot Blanc or other dry white wine
2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes
2/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
Prepared white horseradish
Preparation: Place ham hocks in large saucepan. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat is very tender, about 2 hours. Transfer hocks to medium bowl. Boil broth until reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Place hock meat in medium bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover hock meat and broth separately; chill.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add bratwurst and bacon. Sauté until bacon is crisp and bratwurst is brown, about 10 minutes. Place in bowl with hock meat.
Add onions, spices and bay leaves to same pot. Sauté until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add apples; sauté 2 minutes. Mix in sauerkraut. Add all meats; press to submerge. Add reserved broth and wine. Boil 10 minutes. Cover choucroute and bake 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, cook potatoes in pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 18 minutes. Drain; cool slightly. Cut potatoes in half. Dip cut sides into parsley. Arrange sauerkraut and meats on platter. Surround with potatoes. Serve with mustards and horseradish.