A French Choucroute Alsatian is a typical dish to share with the family: cabbage marinated then cooked in white wine, accompanied by sausages and potatoes.
Alsace is a region located in the North-East of France, in the heart of Europe, bordering Germany and Switzerland, divided into two departments: Bas-Rhin (67) in the North and Haut- Rhine in the South (68).
Sauerkraut (Choucroute)* HISTORY
The French Choucroute Alsatian is an emblematic dish of Alsace. This dish, which is the pride of Alsatian gastronomy, has distant inspirations despite its local character. Sauerkraut comes from China.
It was in the 16th century that the Germans invented salt fermentation. This is how Choucroute spread in Alsace, a region which gave its letters of nobility to our traditional Choucroute and which baptized it, since in Alsatian “Sürkrüt”: literally “sür” (sour) and “Krüt” (herb) = Sauerkraut!
Alsace is today the leading region for the production of Choucroute* cabbage. The most common variety is the julienne or quintal (a white cabbage). Cabbages are grown in the north of the region and harvested from July to November!
Not to take anything away from its charm, Sauerkraut is very good for your health because it is rich in vitamin C! Unlike Alsace White Wines and different kinds of beers, rest assured: Sauerkraut* is consumed without moderation! So … Have a good tasting with the Chefs D’Alsace!
The benefits of Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is excellent for your health.
Low in calories; Sauerkraut provides less than 50 calories for a regular serving. Rich in water (over 90%) contains few proteins and lipids, only a few carbohydrates.
Rich in minerals; It is particularly rich in potassium (approximately 300 mg / 100 g), calcium (approximately 50 mg / 100 g) and magnesium (approximately 15 mg / 100 g).
Easy to digest; Our intestines much better tolerate the fibers of sauerkraut than those of unfermented cabbage. The vegetable facilitates good intestinal transit and rebalances a diet often too rich in meat.
Packed with vitamins; Sauerkraut has an excellent vitamin reputation thanks to its content of 20 mg of vitamin C per 100 g. It also contains a lot of vitamins B and K, essential for blood clotting.
Cure for infectious diseases; As early as the first century BC, Greek medicine already recommended fermented cabbage against infectious diseases.
Sauerkraut would, therefore, have beneficial properties for health.
Moreover, according to some scientists, it could have a protective effect against digestive cancers thanks to the indols it contains, substances capable of opposing the effects of carcinogenic bodies.
Partner of the intestinal flora
Sauerkraut acts as a natural “disinfectant” for the intestine by promoting a useful bacterial flora. It would be ideal for detox diets.
How to Cook a Choucroute?
This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you choose to click through, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.
Quick-cooking of raw sauerkraut: instructions for use
To prepare your raw sauerkraut, wash it thoroughly, and drain it.
It must then cook it long enough to obtain good cooking. So plan to cook it for at least 1 hour 30 minutes in a large casserole dish with water to cover the raw sauerkraut completely.
In another casserole dish, brown the shallots, but without adding butter or olive oil. Once the shallots are a little translucent, add the sauerkraut, accompanied by an onion studded with cloves and a pretty bouquet garni. Add some juniper berries, which will flavor the sauerkraut and the juice of a lemon. Then sprinkle with a vegetable broth.
With the Cookeo, start your appliance on the “fast cooking” or “pressure cooking” program. With a Thermomix, set to 60 min / Varoma / Speed 1.
The traditional method for cooking raw sauerkraut
Traditionally, in Alsatian cuisine, raw sauerkraut cook with fat! Let’s save this recipe for those winter days when we burn more calories. Sauerkraut is just as easy to prepare. It is necessary :
Rinse the sauerkraut under cool water.
Then squeeze it with your hands to remove the water.
In a nice casserole dish, place the lard and diced smoked bacon. Sauté so that the bacon will color a little.
Then add the sauerkraut that you will wet with an Alsace wine if you can opt for a glass of Gewurztraminer or riesling that you combine with water to reach halfway.
Beer lovers will replace white wine with a glass of lager.
Place the casserole dish on deficient heat. Cover the casserole dish and remember to stir every hour. Sauerkraut should cook for at least 3 hours.
Note that cabbage that is reheated is even tastier. It will also become more tender. So you can prepare it without any problem a few days before the meal with friends.
How to Store Sauerkraut?
If you have raw sauerkraut in the refrigerator, know that it can store for 10 days without any problem. Sauerkraut is nothing but fermented cabbage and can therefore be easily kept cold. If you have already cooked sauerkraut, it should be placed in a jar or an airtight container to alter the taste. Cooked, it will keep for about 4 days. It is also possible to freeze it. When you buy a large quantity, feel free to freeze them in small portions so that you can cook them later or reheat them. But do not keep it for more than a month in the freezer because it remains fragile.
French Choucroute Alsatian recipe
French Choucroute AlsatianCourse: French Recipes, Healthy, Winter recipesCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: medium, difficult
The French Choucroute Alsatian is an emblematic dish of Alsace. (French Region). Discover the traditional recipe.
1.2 kg of plain (raw) sauerkraut to weigh
2 pork ribs, 1 cm thick (also called “spiringues”)
2 slices of smoked pork (small salted)
200 g smoked bacon; slice of bacon (1 cm thick) or 1 smoked stick (to be brushed under water beforehand)
3 Polish sausages (or others)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 bay leaves
2 good spoons of cumin
1 bottle of Riesling (dry white wine)
1 defatted chicken cube diluted in 300 ml of water
Grated raw potato
1 clove of garlic
- Rinse the sauerkraut and let it drain.
- Brown the onion in a large pot and add 100 g of smoked bacon.
The ingredients are to be added to the pan by layer.
- Add 1/3 of the sauerkraut to the pot.
- Cut the porc and the Polish sausages into cubes of more or less 1 cm square and add half to the pot.
Pour in a little wine.
- Add the juniper berries, cloves, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, cumin, smoked pork, and peppercorns.
Do not salt.
We dig a well and plant the pig’s butt in it.
- Pour the broth over it.
Cover with another third of the cabbage, then the rest of the smoked bacon, then the last third of the cabbage, the rest of the porc, the Polish sausage, and the rest of the wine.
- Simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
Mix and simmer for another 45 min.
- Add the drained grated potato. Mix and simmer for another 45 min. Frankfurt sausages should be reheated separately and added to the dish just before serving
- A good Choucroute is formed of long strips, has a distinct odor, and is white in color (if it is gray, it is oxidized). Healthy, it can keep it for a week. Once cooked, it can keep it for four days. Both freeze very well. Also, it heats up easily, then takes on a beautiful caramel color.
What to drink with a Choucroute?
Between cabbage, sour, very aromatic, and sausages with a smoky and sweet taste, it is very difficult to find a wine that can accompany these two flavors. We can’t talk about Sauerkraut without mentioning beer. It remains a very popular traditional accompaniment, for a good reason, the experts recommend the Germans and Belgians because they are strong in taste.
If you are a wine enthusiast, you will choose between red and white! The white wine will go wonderfully with the cabbage, it should be chosen dry, with mineral notes, refreshing, to reduce the acidity of the cabbage. The second part of the dish, sausages, bacon, and other delicacies, calls for red wine, and we can serve with Choucroute a red with very light tannins to not add harshness to the dish, and smoky notes, joining so the bacon.
Are you a Wine enthusiast or Beer person?
GET YOUR COOKING CLASS: Learn how to cook French and or Creole Cuisine. Get fully interactive with Mayelice. Ask questions and get feedback and help in real-time.
You may also like: