Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Reisling-Braised Sauerkraut and Apples

  • 4 cups drained sauerkraut from 2 lb. packaged sauerkraut (not canned)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 McIntosh apple
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped shallot (3 large)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1 (1/2-oz) piece slab bacon, rind discarded
  • 1 cup dry Riesling
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 1/2 Turkish or 1/4 California bay leaf
  • 2 cups heavy cream (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons apple schnapps
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cover sauerkraut with cold water by 1 inch in a large bowl and soak 5 minutes, then drain in a colander. Repeat soaking and draining once more, pressing on sauerkraut.

Preheat oven to 325F.

Peel and core apples and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Cook shallot and onion in butter in a 4- to 5-quart pot over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add apples, bacon, wine, broth, thyme, juniper berries, and bay leaf and bring to a simmer, then stir in sauerkraut. Cover pot with foil, then lid, and braise in middle of oven until tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Discard bay leaf.

Meanwhile, simmer cream and schnapps in a 2-quart saucepan until reduced to about 1 cup, about 40 minutes.

Add cream mixture, salt, and pepper to sauerkraut and stir well.

Makes 6 side-dish servings servings

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