Cut the Carbs!

An Alsatian speciality involving the tang of sauerkraut and the smokey intensity of pork, choucroute is often served with potatoes. I first realised that they were extraneous to the experience beneath the vaulted ceiling of London’s The Delaunay. I was more than happy to leave my perfectly turned tubers to the side to save room for a slice of torte. Since that day, I’ve never missed them. At the outset, choucroute may seem involved, but it’s really more of an assembly job, since the sauerkraut and sausages come ready formed. Be sure not to omit the apples and juniper berries – they provide the necessary floral notes to balance the acidity of the cabbage. Beyond that, a variety of mustards on the table to share will help pull the fattiness of the pork into line. Add a lager or two, or a nice bottle of Riesling, and you’ve got the makings of a proper celebration. (And if you’re looking for a fitting treat with which to finish the meal, try the Salzburger Nockerl or the Black Forest notes of the Chocolate, Black Bean and Cherry Cake).


Quantity Ingredient
700g sauerkraut in brine
1 tablespoon olive oil
800g good-quality pork sausages
3 onions, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
2 green apples, peeled, cored and grated
375ml chicken stock
500ml dry white wine
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
6 cloves
8 juniper berries
200g thick-cut ham steaks, cut into pieces the size of a matchbook
400g smoked sausage, (try kielbasa, cabanossi, bratwurst)

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
dijon mustard
wholegrain mustard
german mustard


  1. Rinse the sauerkraut from its brine and set it aside to drain.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160˚C.
  3. Put the olive oil in a large, flameproof and heatproof casserole dish over medium heat and add the pork sausages. Stir them until they are evenly browned, then remove them from the dish and set them aside.
  4. In the same dish, sauté the onions and carrots for 5–7 minutes until they have softened. Add the garlic and apples and stir for 2 minutes. Add the sauerkraut, stock, wine, bay leaf, peppercorns, cloves and juniper berries and bring to a simmer.
  5. Return the browned sausages to the dish, place the lid on, and bake in the preheated oven for 1½ hours.
  6. Tuck the cut ham and smoked sausage into the casserole dish and replace the lid. Return to the oven and bake for another 30 minutes, or until the meats have heated through. Pluck out the bay leaf, warn your guests about the juniper berries and peppercorns, and serve the choucroute with the mustards.
low carb
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