Fauxcroute

025Fauxcroute is our version of choucroute. We first had choucroute when in Alsace last January, and it’s probably not my most favorite food. Choucroute is french for sauerkraut (chou means cabbage, choufleur is cauliflower and S’s friend Marc’s favorite French word, and chou is also a term of endearment for a loved one, kind of like our honey– so many fun chou word facts!). The idea is a big plate of its namesake piled high with lots of sausages and fatty meats and boiled potatoes. It has a certain charme as a regional dish, but we didn’t exactly run back to the States to recreate it.

But that’s what kind of happened. Back when S and I met, I started making a red cabbage and sausage dish that my dad made growing up. Basically, it was a big pan of canned red cabbage with a Hillshire Farms sausage nestled in the middle. It was a good day when the sausage was cheese filled. My first change was to use fresh cabbage, and eventually we subbed more high brow sausages. After our trip to Alsace, we adapted it further. S had the brilliant idea – use green cabbage, add bacon and white wine.

Unlike choucroute, we cooked the cabbage less and less, until our most recent version had the crispness of a coleslaw rather than the sogginess of sauerkraut. Although our fauxcroute is a pretty far cry from both its sources, it brings up fond memories whenever we make it.

Fauxcroute
6 links sausage (we usually use Cibola Farms French tarragon)
1/2 package bacon (the thicker cut, the better)
1 onion; cut in half, and sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic; sliced thinly
1 c white wine (we use whatever’s open, but an Alsace varietal, gewurtz or riesling, would be best)
1 small green cabbage; cut in half, cored, and then very thinly sliced (as thin as possible)
2 small apples; in small chunks
Ground black pepper (no salt, though!)

Cook the bacon in a very big skillet (14″) until cooked but not crisp. Remove bacon and drain on a paper towel lined plate, but keep most of the bacon fat in the pan. Meanwhile, cook the sausage in another pan. To keep the sausage from sticking, slowly add a little bit of water to the pan. Cook until browned and cooked through, then remove to a plate. Deglaze the pan with half of the white wine, and scrape up the sausage bits. When everything’s scraped up, turn off heat and set aside.

In the bacon skillet, cook onions and garlic on medium to low heat until the onions are lightly browned. Add cabbage and apples and saute until the fat and onions are evenly distributed. Nestle in the sausage links and bacon slices. Grind a healthy amount of pepper over top. Pour over the rest of the wine and the deglazing wine from the sausage pan, mix, and then cover. Reduce heat to low, and let simmer for maybe 10 minutes or so.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Fauxcroute

  1. Craig

    I sooooo want to make this hot meat slaw, but the bacon and sausage will not fly in my house and I can’t imagine that veggie bacon and sausage would be as good. God, that looks good.

    • I was thinking about how to make this vegetarian… the bacon was a recent addition, so I know this can be good without it. And I get your hesitation about a fauxmeat fauxcroute.

      The idea is to have something rich and fatty in the fresh cabbage… so maybe a deep fried something… and it should be pretty heavy… so not tofu or batter, maybe something beany, like a falafel ball or kideny bean croquettes (aka kiev)?

  2. Craig

    How about tatter-tots and onion rings?

  3. Inge

    Veggie brats are tasty, I think that would be a fine substitute.

  4. Tots & rings or veggie brats… someone needs to try this stuff out and report back!

    Inge & Ellen – do you remember having sausage & cabbage growing up? or am I the only one?

  5. Craig

    veggie brats, and veggie bacon for that matter, aren’t terrible, but i find that they can fall apart when being used in this fashion. i’ll probably give it a shot anyway.

  6. Eleni

    This recipe reminded me of your post. Although very different, I guess kind of similar in that they’re both warm cabbage salads… Thought some of you would enjoy!

    http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/tassajara-warm-red-cabbage-salad-recipe.html

  7. Inge

    Yeah, I remember red cabbage and sausage meals that Dad made – always in the cast iron skillet, right? You should do a week of childhood meals on Les Ardoises…I’m thinking: taco night, broc w/ cheese sauce or that pasta with broc and garlic (remember that?), chicken fried steak. I think there was some kind of chicken casserole too, with campbell’s cream of mushroom soup. You could even just do Dad’s fave meal: pinto beans & raw onions & cornbread. And then dare Sunil to take a bite of a raw jalapeno. That’s something Dad would do.

    • Chicken broccoli divan!

      Then we can do a week of S childhood meals – I wonder what those would be… pot au feu and chicken tikka? Ratatouille and bartha?

  8. S

    This is traditionally made (and eaten) with Riesling. Though any dry white can work for cooking the dish, I would suggest staying away from Gewurz, as it is too marked/perfumed. Great for drinking, but use something else for cooking the dish! Cheers.

  9. Craig

    OK. I made this tonight in faux-fauxcroute fashion. First, I used Tofurkey bratwursts and Morningstar Farms breakfast sausage patties instead of real pork flesh. Second, I used a cheap Pino Grigio from Giant for my white wine. It was delicious. The prep and cook time was pretty long and I managed to work a pretty good sweat and buzz while cooking it. I also boiled some small red potatoes to go along with it in keeping with traditional standards. And we used horseradish sauce and mustard as accoutrement for the dish. Delicious. So simple, but crazy good. Thanks for the tip!

  10. Awesome! I’m so glad that worked. Horseradish is a great condiment idea. Did you manage to take a picture? Send it along, if you did, and I’ll post it!

  11. Mom

    I’m real curious to hear about your memory of childhood meals Anya!

    • They’re similar to Inge’s… I remember requesting chicken fried steak for birthday meals. I remember big pans of things, like lasagna and chicken divan. And I remember big pots of things (that big pressure cooker bottom), like pasta sauce. Inge has a better memory for these kinds of things. What I remember most is going grocery shopping with you at the Thruway… the overflowing cart, and sometimes even the second cart.

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