Classic Choucroute Garnish

2008 Nov/Dec

Many recipes instruct you to rinse the sauerkraut quite aggressively, but the tang of the sauerkraut lends nicely to the dish, so just lightly rinse it once. Innisfail Growers makes a high-quality sauerkraut available at the Calgary Farmers’ Market. If you can’t find duck fat, use butter and olive oil, or just olive oil. Valbella meats are available throughout the city.


  • 3 T. duck fat or butter
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 4 pieces bacon, minced
  • 2 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 c. sauerkraut, lightly rinsed
  • 6 juniper berries
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 3 c. riesling wine
  • Meat: 2 Valbella veal bratwurst, 2 Valbella bratwurst, 2 smoked pork chops
  • 16 small potatoes, peeled
  • Grainy mustard


In a large, heavy bottomed pan heat the duck fat and olive oil to quite hot. Add the bacon and cook slightly, about 2 minutes, to release some of the fat. Add the sliced onions and continue to cook at high heat about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn heat to medium and cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Turn the heat to low, cover the pot and allow the onions to ‘sweat’ for 15 to 45 minutes.

Remove the lid and stir in the garlic, sauerkraut, juniper berries and peppercorns. Turn the heat back up to medium-high and add the wine; bury the sausages and potatoes in the sauerkraut and simmer gently to reduce the liquids and cook the potatoes, about 30 minutes. Add the smoked pork chops, cover, and cook for another 15 minutes. The choucroute can be served immediately or refrigerated and served the next day. Gently heat and serve with a bowl of grainy mustard. Serves 6 to 8.