An Alsatian Meal à la Maison

I HAD to try to cook a dish that’s native to the area, Alsace. This comprises predominantly of foods cooked with “choucroute” (sauerkraut) and a variety of preserved meats such as smoked ham, bacon and “knack” (sausage).

I popped out to the little “magasin” (shop) in the “Grand-Rue” (main road)…

… and this is what I found:

(Chicken Supreme On Sauerkraut)

Now I don’t allow my children to use the word disgusting when associated with food but I must confess that when I opened the bottle and smelled the contents, that’s exactly the word I was expecting to use. I was pleasantly surprised! It just smelled of vinegar and mild spices. Whew!!

I spent the best part of the morning making the dish with the knowledge that it could possibly be a complete disaster.

We returned home from a four-hour ebike ride and I served up my offering through gritted teeth. To my absolute delight, everybody enjoyed it! There wasn’t a word of complaint; which is completely unheard of in our family (unless we’re talking pizzas and burgers).

Perhaps it was the 40km ride that made them all sufficiently hungry to consume almost anything or the spirit of Alsace rubbing off or maybe it was the name I came up with, hotdog soup, that drew them in…? When I later told them it was an Alsatian meal, I was expecting some jokes about a dog’s breakfast or the like but no one made the connection.

Here’s the recipe. I recommend you try it!

  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 large leek (sliced finely)
  • 1 small cabbage (sliced)
  • half a turnip (diced)
  • half a celeriac (diced)
  • 3 carrots (diced)
  • small bunch of parsley (chopped)
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 1 bay leaf
  • About a litre of water
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 500g – 1kg sauerkraut (rinsed)
  • 1 pack smoked bacon (whole pieces)
  • 6 German sausages (cut into chunks)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 2T oil on medium heat. Fry the onion, garlic & leeks until soft. Add the cabbage, turnip, celeriac and carrots and stir-fry for 5 – 10 minutes. Add the juniper berries and bay leaf. Add water to cover the vegetables and leave to simmer for 20 – 30 minutes. Add the bacon. Add the white wine & simmer until all the liquid is reduced by half. Pop in the sausages and allow them to heat up for 5 minutes.

Serve over boiled potatoes or with a crusty bread. We did the latter.

Let me know how it turns out if you decide to make it 🌸

4 thoughts on “An Alsatian Meal à la Maison

  1. This is very similar to my Opi’s (grandfathers) dish which we call sauerkrautsuppe (saurerkraut soup) except he adds pig skin (with the hair still intact 😑) for more flavour! Thank goodness he used to take it out just before!
    Well done Joni!


    1. Wow, that’s so interesting! Yes, you grew up in Namibia which has a lot of German influence so there are probably a lot of similarities between here and there. It sounds a little gross but I’m sure the dish was tasty!
      My granny (who was Dutch/Afrikaans) apparently used to make “kop en pote”. When my mom was little, she said she would “grill” looking at the sheep’s eyeballs staring out at her 🙈


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