Embrace the chilly evenings with all the savory flavor of autumn. Chef Brian Alberg layers up on meats—bacon, bratwurst, sausage, pork and ham—for a comforting, cozy sauerkraut stew. Start everything simmering on the stove in chicken stock and ale before oven-cooking to tender perfection. (You can sub out the Dutch oven for a Crock Pot, though Alberg prefers the stovetop method to caramelize the meat for added richness.) Toss in any root veggies you have on hand to make the most of the fleeting season.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
- 1/2 pound favorite cooked sausage (andouille, kielbasa, chorizo, etc.)
- 1/2 pound bratwurst
- 1 pound pork shoulder, butt or chops, in 1-2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
- 1/2 cup carrots, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 1 cup brown ale
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 pound fresh or jarred sauerkraut
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- crusty bread & Dijon mustard, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large nonreactive oven-proof skillet or Dutch Oven, melt the butter over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until most of the fat is rendered, about 4 minutes.
- Add the sausages and pork and sauté until brown. Remove from the pan and add in the onions, carrots and garlic and continue to cook until the onions are soft, but not browned.
- Add the meat back to the pot, with the ham hock, and cover with beer and stock. Let simmer on high for about 15 minutes. Add in the sauerkraut and herbs. Cover and place in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the meat is fork tender.