One of the most impressive dishes I’ve eaten at Le Commerce in Autun (and a classic winter recipe of the French kitchen) was their choucroute garnie. I first had it on a cold afternoon in late February, and it was an experience I’ll never forget. The dish was substantial enough to easily serve two. Besides sauerkraut and boiled potatoes, it included three different kinds of sausage as well as a thick, succulent slice of pork belly.
Here is my version of that unforgettable dish. Not as heavy as the original, but certainly very good.
- 2 tsps goose fat
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 125g bacon, cubed
- 800g sauerkraut
- 1 tsp juniper berries
- a bay leaf or two
- 1 tsp sugar
- a large glass of dry white wine
- salt (preferably fleur de sel)
- 6 black peppercorns
- 1 large smoked sausage, cut in four pieces
- 4 hot dogs
- 4 slices cured pork loin
- peeled and boiled potatoes, plus mustard, to serve
Heat the goose fat in a large pan. Add the onions and garlic, and gently cook for about five minutes. Add the bacon and give everything an extra minute. Follow with the sauerkraut, juniper berries, bay leaf, sugar, wine, salt and pepper. Cook the sauerkraut over a gentle heat for about two hours. Add in the sausage and give it fifteen more minutes. Finally add in the hot dogs and the pork loin. Cook for a further ten minutes and serve with the boiled potatoes, the mustard and a dry, crisp Riesling.