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Choucroute

Time 3 hours
Yields Serves 10 to 12
Choucroute
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Sauerkraut

1

Tie the bay leaves, juniper berries, caraway seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cloves and thyme into a square of cheesecloth to make a sachet.

2

Heat a large skillet and add the onion slices. Cook on low heat until the onions are translucent but not caramelized, about 6 minutes.

3

Press out the water from the sauerkraut and add the sauerkraut to the onions. Add the wine and the sachet. Cover with parchment paper or a lid and simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Discard the sachet. Makes 12 cups.

Mustard

1

Whisk together the dry mustard and water. Let stand for 15 minutes.

2

Place the mixture over a pot of simmering water and gently warm for about 1 minute (do not boil). Remove from heat and add the vinegar and honey to taste.

Stock, sausages and assembly

1

Secure the bay leaf on the onion with the 2 cloves. Put the stock and bacon in a very large stockpot, add the onion and bring to a boil. Reduce the temperature and simmer, skimming occasionally, until the bacon is very tender, about 2 hours.

2

Add the potatoes during the last part of the cooking and cook until tender. Remove the potatoes from the pot using a slotted spoon.

3

Add the heaviest sausages to the pot, then return the potatoes to the pot and add the remaining sausages. Bring the stock to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat to a low simmer and simmer the sausages for about 15 minutes.

4

To serve, remove the sausages, potatoes and bacon from the stock. Reserve the stock for another use. Place the hot sauerkraut and potatoes in the center of a serving plate. Lay the sausages over the top. Thinly slice the bacon and add to the platter. Serve with mustard.

Simmer the sauerkraut and the bacon stock at the same time, then heat the sausages and assemble the presentation.

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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