Friday, January 30, 2009

Cooking with big meat

Everyone's been passing around the Bacon Explosion link (sure, I'll pass it on: what's one more server melted down?), and it got me looking at my fridge. I had a chunk of ham I was waiting to use, some Canadian bacon, half a pound of double-smoked bacon ends (I picked them up at the Amish butcher at the farmer's market, figured I could add some flavor to something -- "everything tastes better with a little speck"), some bockwurst, and four German frankfurters I got at Rieker's. I also had 4 lbs. of kraut I'd bought to do a second New Year's dinner, and never got to. What's got a ton of meat and kraut? Choucroute garni!

Turns out I had everything I needed, even the juniper berries. I fried up the bacon ends with onions and carrots and two Granny Smith apples. I diced the Canadian bacon and ham, sliced the bockwurst, and left the frankfurters. Rinsed the kraut, and made up a cheesecloth bag of juniper berries, peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaves. It's all bubbling away in my Dutch oven with a bottle of Riesling/Gewürztraminer blend and some broth; after it's simmered for a couple hours, I'm going to chill it, then re-heat it for dinner tonight with parsleyed potatoes.

Beer? Oh...something dark and lagery, maybe some of that Shiner Commemorator. Hey, Alsatian's practically German, right? Ah... Eat a big dish, have a couple beers, and fast tomorrow...

10 comments:

sam k said...

NICE! I'll be over for dinner!

One thing I've found is that when left whole, you can't add too many peppercorns to anything. I laugh heartily when a recipe calls for "six peppercorns," and I throw in 40.

Enjoy!

Lew Bryson said...

Yeah, I kinda went overboard on the peppercorns too. I figure since they're in a cloth bag, I don't have to worry about biting into four of 'em (or a juniper berry...yeesh).

Bill said...

I _love_ choucroute garni! Always had it with Alsace wine (Alsatian? Alsacian??). I don't think I've ever had an Alsa--- wine in any context that _didn't_ involve coucroute garni.

Enjoy!

Lew Bryson said...

Alsatian, like the Germans call German Shepherds. I like the Alsatian wines with pork...though I like Alsatian beer, too. If you ever see Meteor Pils, don't hesitate: git some!

Troy Burtch said...

Sounds delicious.. I can eat Peameal Bacon (Canadian Bacon) morning, noon, and night.

Rich said...

Damn, Lewski.

Bill said...

Serendipity!

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfgate/detail?blogid=26&entry_id=35269

Maybe at the SF WhiskyFest, you should host a choucroute garni dinner!

Lew Bryson said...

Wow. Mine was not that pretty. It was pretty damned good, though!

Matthew D Dunn said...

More serendipity:

http://fishbeer.com/post/pork-shoulders-are-half-off-at-the-nice-kroger/

Lew Bryson said...

Heh. I'd actually already seen your post...and drooled over it.