Anyone who glances at my blog once in a while knows that I’m a fool for braising. And one of my favorite braises is choucroute garnie, that wonderful varied-meat and sauerkraut dish from Alsace.
In fact, I enjoy choucroute garnie so much that my cookbook includes two recipes for it—Choucroute Garnie pour le Week-End (a dish that takes some time to braise), and a quicker Choucroute Garnie Mardi Soir (a version that’s quick enough to serve on mardi soir—Tuesday night). Below, I offer the latter version.
But first, let’s talk about the ultimate accompaniment: No choucroute garnie would be complete without mustard served alongside. Outside of Alsace, the mustard I’ve seen served most often with this dish is moutarde de Dijon.
But for a true-to-Alsace mustard, I turned to chef David Baruthio, a native of Strasbourg who owns the acclaimed Baru 66 restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa.
Bereft of mustard from his native homeland, he taste-tested through many available choices before coming up with the perfect condiment: French’s Mustard.
Surprised? Me too.
Of course, there’s a trick. To the French’s mustard, David added a little bit of Cognac. It adds a depth of flavor and a glossy sheen; Baruthio claims that the French’s mustard/Cognac combo best approximates the mustard that would be served with Choucroute Garnie in Alsace. Give it a try.
Here’s my recipe:
Choucroute Garnie Mardi Soir
From The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day, by Wini Moranville.
Makes 4 servings
1 (2-pound) bag sauerkraut
8 juniper berries
2 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium-size onion, chopped
1 cup white wine, preferably an Alsatian Riesling
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 boneless smoked pork chops, each cut in half
4 good-quality, natural-casing frankfurters or 4 fully cooked Knockwurst or smoked sausage
8 small red-skinned potatoes, peeled, or four medium-size
red-skinned potatoes, peeled and halved
Salt to taste
Dijon mustard, for serving (or, see note, above).
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Rinse and drain the sauerkraut well in a colander under cold running water. Rinse again and drain; set aside.
3. Tie the juniper berries, cloves, and bay leaves in a piece of cheesecloth or a spice bag; set aside.
4. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in an oven-safe Dutch oven or braiser over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until tender but not browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine, chicken broth, bacon, pepper, and spice bundle. Stir in the drained sauerkraut. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pot, transfer to the oven, and bake for 30 minutes.
5. Add the smoked pork chops and frankfurters to the pot, burying them in the sauerkraut. Cover and return to the oven; bake until the meats are heated through, about 30 minutes more.
6. Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a saucepan. Cover with water by at least an inch, add salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook at an active simmer until tender, about 20 minutes; drain. Return the potatoes to the pot along with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
7. Discard the spice bundle. With a slotted spoon, transfer the sauerkraut, smoked chops, and frankfurters to a platter. Toss the potatoes with the butter (which will have melted), then arrange the potatoes around the platter and serve, passing the Dijon mustard at the table.
If you love braising recipes, be sure to check out my e-book: The Braiser Cookbook. And be sure to check out my blog, Chez Bonne Femme—I’ll be posting great braising recipes all season.
New Venue for My Photos
I have been invited by a café to display my photos, so if you missed seeing them at my show last month they will be up till November 10.
Café Petit Luxe
29 rue Vaugirard, 75006
Metro: St. Sulpice
Open Monday-Friday 8:30AM-9:30PM,Saturday 8:30AM-6PM
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 210 euros for up to 3 people, and 70 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour