Yield
Makes 4 servings
Time
20 minutes prep, 45 minutes cooking
In this brasserie's simple and fabulous choucroute, the slab bacon gives some of the smokiness and fattiness of a classic choucroute garnie to a salmon version.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds unsweetened sauerkraut
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 slices slab bacon, each 1/4 to 1/3 inch thick
  • 8 small to medium red bliss potatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 4 fresh salmon fillets, 5 to 6 ounces each
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Coarse sea salt


Instructions

1. Rinse the sauerkraut thoroughly in cold water and squeeze out all the water you can with your hands.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent but not colored, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the sauerkraut, cover with the wine and 1 cup water and heat just to a boil.

3. Wrap the juniper berries, coriander seeds, and bay leaves in a cheesecloth, add this sack to the sauerkraut, lower the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Bury the slab bacon under the sauerkraut, cover, and simmer for an additional 45 minutes.

4. Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until soft, about 20 minutes, and then drain.

5. Fill the bottom of a steamer about halfway with water, add the vinegar, and heat to a boil. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper, place in the steamer basket, top with the fresh thyme, cover, and steam until just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes.

6. To serve, spoon a mound of sauerkraut in the center of four plates, top each with a salmon fillet and a slice of slab bacon, surround with potatoes, and serve with coarse sea salt alongside.

From Brasserie Wepler. Excerpted from The Bistros, Brasseries, and Wine Bars of Paris by Daniel Young. Published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. © 2006 by Daniel Young.