Choucroute garnie, the dish described as "the symbol of Alsace" by Larousse Gastronomique, is one of our favorite dishes for a cold winter night. A large platter of sauerkraut, seasoned with Juniper Berries, Peppercorns, Cloves, and in my case Caraway simmered with an Alsatian Riesling and topped with assorted sausages and other meats. Aromatic and quite special. I started out with a trip to one of Buffalo's hidden gems - Spar's European Sausage on Amherst Street The photo of the meats shows across the back a pair each of their Knockwurst, Nurnberger Bratwurst, Spicy Smoked Bavarian and Bockwurst sausages. Next to that is a Ham Hock from Tops and some diced Canadian Bacon of my own creation. I rounded it out with some Hartmann's sausage from Wegmans - a pair of Weisswurst and a pair of Smoked Nuclear sausage. Oh, and two Sahlen's hot dogs. This is Buffalo after all.
The wines were an Alsatian Riesling and a Gewürztraminer - ostensibly to find which worked better. In practice we saved the Gewürz for another time.
David Rosengarten had a great commentary about choucroute which gets to the heart of the matter - "Remember: choucroute is about sauerkraut, not the meats that top it". For this batch I bought Rosoff, which many had suggested was most like the stuff they used to get from the barrel at the deli. I found it salty and lacking in tang. Next time I go back to Strub's from Canada.
Still the finished dish came out well, if not perfect, served with whole grain mustard and a glass of good wine!