Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Classic Hits Choucroute

Choucroute has hit the menu. Robert Courtine in his superb book The Hundred Glories of French Cooking traces the origins of the Choucroute to central Europe where he observes in a very patronising but rather endearing Parisian way, that soured cabbage sometimes hangs a little heavily over that particular culinary landscape. In Hungarian and many other mittel European kitchens, soured cabbage finds itself wrapped around stuffings of pork, veal and aromatics but in the classic Choucroute Garnie, its a medley, with as many variety meats as the cook can muster. Sausages, smoked pork, blood sausage, white pudding all add a layer of fat to both your waistline and also to the flavour. Don't get me wrong I like fat as much as any European but we have to remember that this is Australia and while its cold outside there is not a metre of snow around the barrels of mythical sauerkraut over the cellar. At least not here in Birregurra [9 degrees C today] So to keep the complexity of flavour provided by the chorus of preserved meat without the need for a triple bypass, we merely cut the charcuterie into very small dice and feature but one meat cooked to order in our version.
The cabbage both preserved and fresh is cooked with a small dice of smoked sausage, white pudding, Toulouse sausage, air dried ham, juniper berries, peppercorns, apple, dried mountain berries, garlic, Riesling, stock and smoked turkey. Red cabbage with the red meats, white with the white. When cooked they can be combined without the red cabbage bleeding into a blurr. This is topped with a slice of pork neck [scotch fillet] that has been cured with juniper and smoked paprika and slowly baked in the wood oven with just a little smoke.

Whats next for the menu any suggestions?


Thermomixer said...

That sounds mighty good !! The pork neck especially good - unctuous.

Sounds like something that Stickyfingers would also enjoy.

Are you smoking your own turkeys?

Sunnybrae and all who sail in her said...

Yes but we dont grow our own.

stickyfingers said...

Sounds like a wonderfully composed Choucroute.

On our return from our recent Asian holiday, red cabbage was one of the first things I craved to eat...along with bacon having been in Muslim dominated countries that eschew swine products...