Choucroute Royale (Braised Sauerkraut)
- 2 pounds sauerkraut
- 1/2 pound chunk of bacon
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 1 1/2 cup sliced onions
- 4 tablespoon pork fat or butter
- The following tied in washed cheesecloth:
- 4 sprigs parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 peppercorns
- 10 juniper berries (or add 1/4 cup gin to casserole)
- 1 cup sparkling wine
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 3 to 4 pounds various kinds of browned meat such as:
- Roast pork
- Pork chops
- Smoked pork loin
Drain the sauerkraut and soak in cold water for 15 to 20 minutes. Taking it by small handfuls, squeeze out as much water as you can. Pick it apart to separate the strands.
Remove the rind and slice the bacon into 1/2 inch cubes about 2 inches long. Simmer it in 1 quart of water for 10 minutes and drain.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Cook bacon, carrots, and onions in butter slowly in the covered casserole for 10 minutes without browning. Stir in the sauerkraut and when itis well covered with the fat and vegetables, cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes more.
Bury the herbs and spices in the saurkraut. Pour in the wine, and enough stock to just cover the sauerkraut. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Lay a buttered round of wax paper on top of sauerkraut. Cover and set in the middle of preheated oven. Simmer slowly for 3 1/2 hours.
Brown assorted meats in skillet. Bury them in the casserole while the sauerkraut is still braising.
Continue to simmer in oven for another 1 1/2hours. (5 hours total).
Recipes Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking Julia Child and Simone Beck