Thursday, November 11, 2004

Death By Choucroute

Quote from Le Chef: "You can't lie down after eating choucroute and go to sleep. You're going to die" You have to keep moving for a while...
November 6th 2004

Fred's ex roomate Presd and his girlfriend Del invited over a whole bunch of people to sample Choucroute last weekend. Choucroute, a dish from Alsace, is the French version of sauerkraut, cooked together with a whole bunch of different meats, and served with boiled potato. It's a hearty meal, for sure and not recommended for anyone on a diet.

choucroute plate

Presd sourced his ingredients from a German Butcher based in Mountain View called Dittmers.

To make Choucroute you need the following: Choucroute(sauerkraut), Stock, White Alsace Wine, a Bouquet of Juniper berries, Salted Pork, Smoked Pork Chop, Frankfurters, Country-Smoked Frankfurters,(You can also add a thick piece of ham if you like) Boiled Potatoes. And a lot of love !!
(Presd is omitting one secret ingredient from the list that makes it unique. Don't ask me. His lips are sealed.) The dish is traditionally served with lashings of spicy Mustard. Fred and I spared a jar of real French Amora Dijon from our secret stash which turned out to be the perfect accompaniment.

sausages choucroute plate
Raw sausages long to be simmering with their cousins in a large pot full of choucroute.

sausages choucroute plate
The bacon is ready to serve and the bouquet of juniper is removed.

choucroute plate
The petit sale/salted pork. Not the best looking piece of meat with its vivid pink shade and big slither of fat on top. But, oh my, it tasted amazing. It was just about everybody's favourite cut from the choucroute hotpot.

choucroute plate
One last look at what Presd can do with an enormous sausage.

sausages choucroute plate choucroute plate
Fred and I visited K&L to choose some Alsace wines to take to the dinner. In the Alsace region you'll find a wide variety of choices including pinot blanc, pinot gris, gewurtzstramminer and pinot noir. Yes, pinot noir. I had no idea there was an Alsace version. Our K&L guide explained it was very light and would be like no Pinot Noir we'd ever tasted. He was right. We served it chilled. It was indeed light, delicious and dangerously drinkable. I wouldn't hesitate to buy it again. The price? $12.99 a bottle.

After dinner treats

choucroute plate

sausages choucroute plate
Mr Pringle has his eye on the Pierre Herme Almond Tuiles from Paris. Tough luck, Mr Pringle, we got to them before you.
Death By Choucroute


  • At 11/11/04 08:32, Blogger claudine said…

    oh wow, sam, that looks positively yummy... (big sausage fan, here... :) ) i've heard good things about dittmer's, which is near my place of work as well. i'll have to drop by soon. you say your friend purchased all the choucroute foodstuffs there?

  • At 11/11/04 08:43, Blogger Sam said…

    yes - everything - even the sauerkraut - although i couldn't find mention of that on the website.

  • At 11/11/04 11:49, Blogger Estelle Tracy said…

    Thanks for sharing this low-carb low-fat meal with us :-) I am not big into choucroute though, but I would have gone wild for the "tuiles aux amandes". My favorite dish from Alsace is probably "tarte aux quetsches" and "tarte aux mirabelles". Yummmy...

  • At 11/11/04 13:10, Blogger Delphine said…

    your wonderful moutarde was the final touch wich made the choucroute perfect... :)

    But now, ouch, I dn't want to see a choucroute for a year, at least. I'm dead!

  • At 11/11/04 16:20, Blogger Sam said…

    Maga - where do you live to find choucroute in a restaurant.
    are you in the US. there was beer available too:)

    Estelle - I think I will have to ask Del to explain the "tarte aux quetsches" and "tarte aux mirabelles" to me.
    I didn't think i would like the choucroute but that petit sale was something else

    Del - another year? Well that's ok. We can make it an annual event to coincide with parapluie season!

  • At 11/11/04 17:27, Blogger Delphine said…

    Well I think Magabe is in the bay area...Don't you Magabe?

    If I could find quetches and mirabelles plums, I would explain you with some pure samples of Alsacian cuisine. Tarte aux Quetches and Tarte aux Mirabelles are delicate plum pies *sigh*

  • At 11/11/04 19:32, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank you,Thank You, Thank You, Thank you,Thank You, Thank You, Thank you...I love this time of year at Chaucroute is the reason. I shall be slavishly reproducing this over the weekend. Did I say, Thank you?


  • At 10/2/06 13:11, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm very curious about how the sauerkraut was prepared. I have my own homemade version. Do you soak it first to mellow it? If so, how long? overnight? An hour or two? Do you cook it or just warm it? How long?

    I read that choucroute is something beyond "raw" sauerkraut.

    Please tell me more.

  • At 10/2/06 13:55, Blogger Sam said…

    Micky - I wish I knew - but this wasnt a meal i actually cooked and our host bought the prepared sauerkraut from a german specialist shop.

    I will ask the host if he has any idea next time i see him.



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