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Quick Choucroute

In its traditional form, Alsatian choucroute garnie calls for serving sauerkraut with a variety of fresh and cured meats. In this easy version, smoked pork chops and sausages top the sauerkraut. Round out the meal with a salad of sturdy greens with blue cheese, hearty pumpernickel bread and boiled potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3/4 lb. kielbasa, bratwurst or knockwurst, or a combination, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tart apple such as Granny Smith, peeled, halved, cored and sliced
  • 1 lb. sauerkraut, well drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp. juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 smoked pork chops, each 4 to 6 oz.
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Cook the sausages
In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the sausages, cut side down, and cook until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the sausages over, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the apple and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apple is softened and the onion is golden, about 3 minutes.

Simmer the sauerkraut and meat
Stir in the sauerkraut, bay leaf, caraway seeds, juniper berries and wine. Add the pork chops in a single layer. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season with pepper. Divide the choucroute among 4 plates and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Weeknight, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2006).