Sauerkraut has been widely adopted in France following the French annexation of Alsace and Lorraine, following the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Choucroute is similar to the various sauerkraut dishes in Germany. One key difference is that, after fermentation and before cooking, choucroute is cooked in white wine.
In this recipe, found at Bei Otto Schwarzwaldstube in Bangkok, sauerkraut is combined with smoked pork shoulder, some spices and sausages of the Strasbourg, Frankfurt and Montbéliard variety. If unavailable, substitute knackwurst, bratwurst and kielbasa. There is no cast-in-stone standard. Some recipes have potatoes; we have even seen one that had apples. In Louisiana, an interesting substitution for the Montbéliard sausages could be Andouille sausage.
Final word on sauerkraut. Decent sauerkraut can certainly be bought. There are several brands (Gündelsheim, Kühne etc.) available in the United States either in a good grocery store or at Germangrocery.com. There are also several organic farms that sell excellent homemade sauerkraut online i.e. Willsvalley.com in Pennsylvania.
But - it is much more fun to make sauerkraut yourself! When working in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, we developed a hobby of making home-made sauerkraut, in order to find something else to do during those long weekends in the Intels Camp compound, besides going hashing and sitting in Bush Bar.
Last updated: October 12, 2010