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HomeLifestyleFood & RecipesTraybake sausage and sauerkraut: A hearty and filling wintertime dish

Traybake sausage and sauerkraut: A hearty and filling wintertime dish

It can take a cabbage anywhere from 40 to 150 days to grow to full size. Smaller cabbages, like pak choi, mature rather quickly. But larger ones, such as quintal d’alsace, the massive green and white cabbages that thrive in Alsace in northeastern France, spend many months in the ground. They grow so large that a human baby can nestle comfortably in their sturdy, blossomed leaves.

No matter what Xavier Roberts’ Cabbage Patch Kids suggests, babies are not born from cabbages. But these massive plants can become a hearty meal: choucroute garnie is a traditional spread from the region, a feast of sauerkraut – sûrkrût in Alsatian, which means sour herb – potatoes, mustard and a frankly unholy pile of pork: knuckles, jowls, shoulders, bellies and feet, pickled or cured or turned into sausages.

But choucroute garnie isn’t really from France, according to Françoise Branget, author of French Country Cooking: Authentic Recipes from Every Region, and a former politician. “It arrived in France before the revolution with the Swiss Guard of the ancien regime,” Branget writes. “At that time the dish merely consisted of cabbage. By the 19th century, potatoes were added. When various meats and charcuterie appeared with it, it became choucroute garnie.”

Subgenres of the dish exist in pockets throughout the region: choucroute strasbourgeoise features Strasbourg sausages, which have a characteristic snap. Choucroute paysanne is a more casual, country-style version with bacon. Traditional recipes are scented with juniper berries, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves and wine, generally riesling from the region. When made with champagne, it’s called choucroute royale.

It’s a wintertime dish, hearty and filling. But it can be severely labour-intensive. This recipe, for sausages roasted atop shredded cabbage, onions and jarred sauerkraut, is inspired by the flavours of the Alsatian classic. Serve it with tiny boiled potatoes, crusty bread, a green salad, a glass of riesling and a lot of mustard.

Sheet-pan sausages with sauerkraut and mustard.

(Rey Lopez/The Washington Post)

Traybake sausages with sauerkraut and mustard

Active time: 10 minutes | Total time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4


To make this vegan, use large, cooked or tinned and drained, white beans or vegan sausages instead of the pork sausages.

To reduce the sodium content, use low-sodium sausage, rinse the sauerkraut, or omit the kraut and use 450g shredded cabbage instead.

If you prefer a less acidic dish, use more fresh cabbage than sauerkraut.

Dislike onion? Slice up a potato instead.

No apple cider? White wine, beer (alcoholic or not) or vegetable broth will work here, too.


Canola or olive oil, for greasing

570g sauerkraut with its liquid

170g shredded cabbage (any kind)

1 small red onion (about 140g), sliced

1 tbsp mustard, preferably whole grain, plus more for serving

500g pork sausage, such as Polish or sweet or hot Italian (about 5; may substitute veggie sausage)

240ml hard or fresh apple cider

Sprigs of fresh thyme, for garnish (optional)

Crusty bread, sandwich rolls, or roasted or mashed potatoes, for serving (optional)


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 200C.

Grease a large, rimmed baking tray with oil and add the sauerkraut, cabbage, onion and mustard. Using tongs or your hands, mix until the mustard is evenly distributed and then flatten into an even layer.

Nestle the sausages atop the vegetables and pour the cider over everything. Roast for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan front to back and roast for another 15 minutes, or until the sausages are cooked through and the cabbage and onions are tender. Add the thyme sprigs, if using, before serving family-style with additional crusty bread, sandwich rolls or potatoes and mustard, if using.

How to store: Leftovers can be refrigerated in a covered container for up to 4 days.

Nutrition information per serving | calories: 292; total fat: 19g; saturated fat: 6g; cholesterol: 81mg; sodium:1,612mg; carbohydrates: 9g; dietary fibre: 5g; sugars: 3g; protein: 21g.

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

© The Washington Post

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