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Upstate Shoo-Kroot

In this playful twist on the classic Alsatian dish choucroute, Chef Jose Alvarado, who owns a restaurant in Carthage, NY, dubs his version “Upstate Shoo-Kroot.” The recipe incorporates his homemade sauerkraut (see related recipe at left), along with hearty baby back pork ribs, kielbasa, potatoes and carrots—all slow cooked with ale-style beer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 rack baby back pork ribs, about 1 1/2 lb.
  • Coarsely ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 meaty ham hock
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
  • 1 lb. small red or Yukon Gold potatoes, each about 1 1/2 inches in diameter
  • 1 lb. kielbasa, cut into 8 equal pieces
  • 1 1/2 lb. sauerkraut, drained (rinse if using packaged sauerkraut)
  • 1 bottle ale-style beer
  • Spicy mustard for serving
  • Buttered rye bread for serving

Directions:

In the stovetop-safe insert of a slow cooker over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Season the pork ribs with pepper. Add the ribs and sear, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.

Transfer the insert to the slow-cooker base and scatter the onion and garlic over the ribs, followed by the juniper berries, bay leaves and caraway seeds. Nestle the ham hock on one side of the ribs. Scatter the carrots and potatoes on top. Add the kielbasa and layer the sauerkraut over all. Pour in the beer. Cover and cook on low according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the meat is tender, about 6 hours.

Ladle the meat and vegetables into soup bowls. Serve immediately with spicy mustard and buttered rye bread on the side. Serves 4 to 6.

Recipe Courtesy of Jose Alvarado, Chef/Owner, Jose O’Connor’s, Carthage, NY.