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Choucroute Garnie (garnished sauerkraut)

Allen Selig suggests Choucroute Garnie, which means garnished sauerkraut, made with the homemade kraut. He recommended cooking the sauerkraut and then adding "as many sausages as you can" to the pan. Because of limited time, our recipe uses widely available ingredients to make the perfect winter entree.

4 pounds sauerkraut
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds country-style spareribs
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 cups fresh or canned chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
2 pounds smoked pork butt
2 whole cloves
8 juniper berries or 1/2 cup dry gin
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
12 small white potatoes, scrubbed and peeled
1 1/4 pounds kielbasa

Drain the sauerkraut and press to extract most of the liquid. If you wish a milder dish, run cold water over it and drain again, pressing. Set aside. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Sprinkle the spareribs with the salt and pepper. Add them to the oil and brown on all sides. Scatter the onion and garlic between the ribs and cook briefly, stirring. Put the sauerkraut over and around the ribs. Pour the broth and wine over all. Place the pork butt in the center of the sauerkraut.

Add the cloves, juniper berries or gin, caraway seeds, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes and add the potatoes. Cover again and cook for 15 minutes longer.

Add the kielbasa and cover again. Cook for 15 minutes longer or until the sausage is piping hot throughout. Makes 6 to 8 servings. Can be made one day ahead and reheated.

Adapted from "The Best of Craig Claiborne"
by Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey

Thursday, December 28, 2000

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