Choucroute garnie!

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So the first step was to cut up 5 lbs of cabbage and let it ferment for 8 weeks on my countertops to turn it into sauerkraut. 

Then I built the choucroute garnie in layers:

1) Sweat onions in butter with whole cumin seeds. 

2) Choucroute. 

3) Juniper berries, coriander seeds, white peppercorns, black peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, minced garlic.

4) Cured pork belly, smoked baby back ribs. 

5) Choucroute.

6) Potatoes and knackwursts. 

7) Wet with Riseling and water and cook for 2 hours. 

8) Serve with assorted mustards. 



 
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Sounds absolutely delicious!

I need to start making some sauerkraut again, Then again,  maybe I should wait for the temperatures to drop a wee bit first
 

pete

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Sounds great.  Choucroute is a staple in our house, especially when the weather starts turning colder.  One question though; cumin seeds?  I've never used them in my Choucroute.  I use carraway.
 
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Sounds great.  Choucroute is a staple in our house, especially when the weather starts turning colder.  One question though; cumin seeds?  I've never used them in my Choucroute.  I use carraway.
WOW!!! 

Ok Pete, your post prompted my neurons to fire up and I did some searching. 

First, cumin in choucroute was a first for me too. I normally limit my use of spices in choucroute to juniper berries and black peppercorn. This time I wanted to experiment so I looked for "authentic recipes from Alsace" and many of them had cumin. I thought that was a bit odd but I saw it in so many recipes that I decided that must be a classic pairing, choucroute with cumin. So I tried it and it tasted quite good. 

Now I looked it up again. It seems like what they call "cumin" in Alsace is actually carvi!!! So when they say they use cumin, they mean carvi! (carvi is French for caraway)

Incredible. That also explains what you're really eating (or what you really should be eating) when you eat cumin-gouda or cumin-munster: cheese studed with carvi seeds!

Thanks for pointing that out Pete. 
 
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pete

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It sounded odd I don't see much, if any, cumin use in the traditional cuisines of that region, but hey, I've never been there so I thought that maybe I was missing something.  I think that cumin would give it an interesting taste and my just have to try it sometime, although I don't think that I'd combine cumin with juniper.

Still looks great though, and one of my favorite dishes.  When I do mine I always caramelize my onions and I add apples to it.  As for the liquid I either use beer or white wine, whatever I have available or whatever I feel like at the time.
 
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It was a third generation Pole who told me, "If you don't put caraway in your cabbage you don't know what you're doing."

Rick
 
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You didn't tell us but I assume it tasted just fine with the cumin.

I wouldn't mind trying that with a 2:1 corriander/cumin mix, like used in some middleastern marrinades, and I'm sure elsewhere.

Rick
 
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You didn't tell us but I assume it tasted just fine with the cumin.

I wouldn't mind trying that with a 2:1 corriander/cumin mix, like used in some middleastern marrinades, and I'm sure elsewhere.
I thought it worked just fine, and my wife liked it too. I don't think the kids noticed. I used whole seeds, which have a more subtle aroma/flavor than the powdered cumin, and I toasted them slightly with the onions before adding the choucroute. It added a slight hint of warmth to the final dish. We could taste the cumin because we knew it was there, I'm not sure someone unaware would have been able to detect it. 

Anyway with all those recipes including cumin on French websites... I'm wondering how many French people actually add cumin to their choucroute. My guess would be.. a fair amount!

I also love coriander/cumin mixes. One of my go to marinade for lamb chops is toaste coriander/cumin seeds, pounded, mixed with olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic. 
 
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