Choucroute Garnie

A Cold Weather Favorite

Choucroute Garnie

French name, German flavors: Translating as “garnished sauerkraut,” this hearty dish comes from Alsace, the northeastern French province with a strong cross-border culinary influence. It combines kraut with spareribs, several kinds of pork sausages, thick chunks of slab bacon, and potatoes, and makes the ideal one-pot meal to follow a day of playing in the snow – or shoveling it. The secret is long, slow cooking, for a perfect marriage of flavors (you might even want to try it in a crock pot, after browning the bacon and ribs). For accompaniment, there’s nothing like a good German Riesling … or a big mug of lager.


Four to Six


30 Minutes


1/2 lb. slab bacon, cut into 6 pieces
2 lbs. pork spareribs, cut into 3 or 4 racks
2 lbs. fresh sauerkraut from a deli, or canned imported German kraut
1 medium boiling potato, grated
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds
1 bauernwurst (German ring sausage), about 12 inches
6 to 8 bratwurst or weisswurst
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 to 10 medium boiling potatoes, halved


Place the bacon in a heavy Dutch oven large enough to hold all ingredients. Fry over medium heat until about 3 tbsp. of fat have been rendered. Remove bacon and set aside. Turn heat to medium high, and brown spareribs in fat. 

When ribs are browned, turn heat to medium low and add kraut, grated potato, caraway seeds, sausages, and wine. (You can brown sausages first if you prefer.) Add bacon, cover, and cook on low heat for 1-1/2 hours. 

While kraut and meats are cooking, parboil potatoes. Add them to the main pot half an hour before dish is finished. 

To serve, heap kraut in the center of a large platter and surround with meats and potatoes. Slabs of dark rye bread are great for soaking up juices!

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