The regular season of the National Football League has come to an end, and teams are lined up for the playoffs that lead up to the Super Bowl. That means the plans for parties on the big game day already are circulating. And at the top of most is the menu.
Here is an interesting recipe for the chefs at The Culinary Institute of America. It’s called Choucroute Garni. It might sound complicated, but don’t let the fancy French name scare you away from trying something deliciously different on Super Bowl Sunday.
This German-inspired dish was born along the country’s border with France. Garni refers to the variety of garnishes that are served alongside the dish. Consisting of any combination of pickled cabbage and meat, the feast typically features a variety of sausages, including Frankfurt sausage, which served as the predecessor to the modern-day frankfurter. Boiled potatoes are the starch of choice, and the dish is seasoned with black pepper, cloves, and juniper berries, along with onions and white wine to sweeten the deal and brighten the flavors.
To watch CIA’s Chef-Instructor Cynthia Keller ’83 demonstrate how to prepare Choucroute Garni, go to www.ciachef.edu/ChoucrouteGarni.
5 pounds sauerkraut
1 clove garlic
8 juniper berries
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
8 to 12 black peppercorns
2 branches of celery
4 ounces vegetable oil
2 medium-sliced onions (approximately 2 cups)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken stock
1 smoked ham hock
2 pounds smoked pork loin
1-pound, 4-ounce- slab of bacon, cut into thick slices
4 pounds waxy potatoes, peeled
1-pound, 4-ounce garlic sausage
10 beef frankfurters
10 weisswurst (veal and pork sausage)
Drain the sauerkraut and rinse well in several changes of cold water. Drain and squeeze out water.
Place the garlic clove and spices in a small square of cheesecloth and tie with butcher’s twine to create a spice sachet bag. Tie the carrot, leek, celery, and parsnip with butcher’s twine to create a bouquet garni.
Heat half the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and sweat until tender without browning. Add the garlic and sweat briefly to release aroma. Add the sauerkraut to the onion mixture.
Add the wine and chicken stock. Bury the spice sachet, vegetable bouquet, and ham hock under the sauerkraut. Bring the liquid to a simmer.
Place the pork and the bacon on top of the sauerkraut. Cover tightly and braise in a 325-degree oven for approximately 45 minutes. Add the potatoes, garlic sausage and frankfurters to the pan, return the cover and continue to cook approximately 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the frankfurters are heated through. Add more liquid if needed.
While the potatoes and frankfurters are cooking, place a saute pan on medium heat. Add the remaining oil. Place the weisswurst in the pan and gently brown on all sides while heating the sausage through.
Remove the meats from the sauerkraut and keep warm. Slice the pork loin and garlic sausage.
Spoon the sauerkraut onto a warm platter and garnish with sliced pork loin, garlic sausage, sliced bacon, frankfurters, weisswurst, and potatoes.
Serve with mustard and a loaf of crusty French bread. Accompany with a dry Riesling wine from Alsace or your favorite artisan-brewed beer.
Yield: Serves 10.
Approximate nutritional analysis per 6-ounce serving: 270 calories, 12 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 21grams fat, 1,050 milligrams sodium, 50 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams fiber.