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Chef Philippe's Choucroute With Sausages

It's a one-dish meal, easy to prepare and heavy on meat. Vary the amount of meat as you like, but variety is important. Serve with mustard, as Alsatian restaurants do, and another bottle of the wine. Eat no hors d'oeuvres: "You mustn't eat starters before choucroute," chef Philippe Kientzler says.

  • 2-pound bag refrigerated fresh sauerkraut
  • 1 large sliced onion
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 8 juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1 bottle Alsatian wine, such as Riesling or Sylvaner
  • 4 slices thick bacon (not cooked)
  • 4 bratwurst sausages
  • 4 slices smoked pork loin, or smoked pork chops
  • 1 cut-up pork knuckle (we used bone remaining from a baked ham half)
  • 4 large peeled potatoes, cut in half

Wash sauerkraut and drain it. In a very large pot over low heat, melt butter and add onion slices, coriander and juniper berries (we bought the berries from the spice rack at McGinnis Sisters). Cook until onions are soft, but have not changed color.

Add sauerkraut, wine and a little water, if needed. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add meats and potatoes, cover and cook for another 30 to 45 minutes, or until potatoes are soft. Serves 4.

To serve, remove sauerkraut separately and pile in the middle of the dish, add meats and potatoes on the side. Pick out the juniper berries before serving.

Sunday, September 29, 2002

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