Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Choucroute Alsacienne.......Cold Weather Food.



I Have Taken This Picture
Most Delicious Picture.  My Mouth Is Watering
 It may be Spring but the weather is still cold, and you need to eat something which will warm you up.  I would like to share with you today "La Chouroute Alsacienne" prepared my way.
First I would like to share with you some background information.
Alsace is one of the  26 regions of France. It is on the border with Germany, on the river Rhine. Wines, specially the white such as the Riesling from that region are very good.  Of course, since it is  neighbouring Germany, it is spcialized in all kinds of salami, and sausages. They also like pickled cabbage known as Choucroute or Sauerkraut.
It is a whole feast to eat this meal.  You need lots of beer or Riesling wine, the big heat resistant platter with all the sausgages, smoked shank or hock (jamboneau in French or Kotsi in Greek), the boiled potatoes and the Sauerkraut in the middle of the table on a shafing dish to keep it warm will bring joy and laughter which will be getting louder as the meal goes on.

Photo From Google Under "La Choucroute Alsacienne"
Photo From Google Under
"La Choucroute Alsacienne"
You Can See The Bowl Of Mustard
Photo From Google Under "La Choucroute Alsacienne
You will need:
Serves 8
-  2 kg of sauerkraut but not yet ready to serve.
-  2 kg of small potatoes, peeled, and boiled.
-  2 shanks or hocks, smoked and ready to eat.

-  10 sausages of different types, some smoked some not.
-  4 smoked pork chops.
-  16 juniper seeds
-  1 bottle of Riesling wine or any dry aromatic white wine for the cooking.
-  Freshly ground pepper and salt.
-  Lots of Colman's or Dijon hot mustard ( you know the kind the heat comes out of your nostrils !)
Method:
A)  Preparation of the meat:
In a big pot put lots of water and boil all the sausages, smoked pork hocks, smoked pork chops. They should boil for about 20 minutes or until they are soft, and hot. Don't boil too much lest the sausages burst.
B)  Preparation of the Sauerkraut:
Put the cabbage in a sieve and wash with water and loosen it with a wooden fork till it is not as compressed as when you bought it.
In a  large deep sauce pan, heat the sauerkraut. Add the juniper seeds, freshly ground pepper, 3/4 of the bottle of wine, and 2 cups of water. Let boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the cabbage is done.
Drink the rest of the wine while cooking!! (This is not part of the recipe).
Note: Remember the sauerkraut you bought is just plain pickled cabbage. You have to doctor it as mentioned above.
C)  Dressing the platter:
Serve the sauerkraut in the middle of a large heat proof platter.  Add 2 - 3 ladles of hot steaming sauerkraut liquid. Try to find the guniper seeds in the sauerkraut and spread nicely all around the surface.
Place the two hot hocks on the sauerkraut.
Place 2 smoked pork chops on each end of the platter if it is oval, if round on opposide sides.
Arrange the sausages vertically to the platter leaning on the sauerkraut.
Arrange all the potatoes all round.  If the platter cannot hold the potatoes, serve them on the side in a heat proof casserole dish in boiling water where you disolved two cubes of  beef bouillon.  The potatoes must
also be kept hot over another shafing dish.
Your guests must be already sitting at table and everything must be steaming hot and kept that way all through the meal. You arrive with the platter and place it in the middle of the table on the already lit shafing dish (don't try to light it at the last minute) and enjoy the "AHHHH" when your guests see it.
Make sure you have enough sauerkraut liquid to last you through the meal as it will be evaporating.
Have lots of chilled Riesling  or beer.
Enjoy!
Stelio
Read more: http://www.blogdoctor.me/2007/02/expandable-post-summaries.html#ixzz1QI9F1mh2