At Chez Jenny, a classic 30s Alsatian brasserie in Paris close to Place de la République, there's an endless progression of staff carrying choucroute (sauerkraut) platters heaving with smoked sausages and meats to appreciative regulars. Once you've tried a few variations, it's easy to become an afficionado of this addictive Alsace staple. Try and find a decent butcher, such as Schultz Butchers in Angaston in the Barossa (08 8564 2145) or Sydney's Bavarian Smallgoods in Ermington (02 9638 7809) for a suitable supply of interesting smoked sausages and pork products.
- 60 ml goose fat (¼ cup)
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1.8 kg canned or bottled sauerkraut, drained
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp juniper berries
- 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
- ½ tbsp cloves
- 500 ml Alsatian riesling (2 cups)
- 400 gm piece smoked bacon
- 580 gm piece pork loin
- 1 kransky-style sausage
- 1 smoked pork knuckle (about 650gm)
- 2 weiss (white) sausages
- 4 continental frankfurters
- 500 gm desiree potatoes, peeled and boiled, each turned with a knife into a barrel shape
- To serve: Dijon mustard
- 1Heat goose fat in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onions and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft. Add sauerkraut, bay leaves, juniper berries, peppercorns and cloves, wine and enough cold water (about 500ml) to just cover mixture. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid and cook until almost boiling, then simmer for 45 minutes. Add smoked bacon, pork loin and kransky-style sausage and simmer for another 45 minutes.
- 2Meanwhile, place pork knuckle in a separate saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil then simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Drain, then when cool enough to handle, peel off outer layer of fat and coarsely shred meat, discarding fat and bones. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- 3Bring another saucepan of water to the boil, then simmer over low heat, add weiss sausages and frankfurters and cook for 10-12 minutes, making sure the water does not boil, otherwise the frankfurters will split.
- 4To serve, drain sausages and meats and thickly slice. Arrange sauerkraut on a platter with sausages, meats and boiled potatoes and serve with Dijon mustard to the side.
Drink Suggestion: Plenty of chilled, dry Alsatian riesling to soak up the fat. Drink suggestion by Andy Harris