Saturday, December 24, 2011

It's a monochromatic German Christmas!

Inspired by a German Christmas Menu on Saveur's site, I had planned to make this meal for Christmas Eve dinner, but it turns out we'll be going to my mom's for dinner tonight. Instead, I made this for Christmas Eve Eve dinner. It also happens to be my fourth installment of the Dark Days Challenge, since it was made entirely of locally-sourced, organic, ethically-grown, and seasonal ingredients.

Saveur's Turkey with Sauerkraut, Riesling, and Pork Sausage became a one-pot dish of sauerkraut, bockwurst, and boiled potatoes. I started by slicing some onions from Borba Farms (40 mi) and sauteing them briefly before adding chopped pasture-raised bacon from Range Brothers Buckin' Pork (120 mi). After a quick stir, I added fermented, organic sauerkraut from Farmhouse Culture Kraut (30 mi) and diced Pink Lady apples from Prevedelli Farms (40 mi). I made a little cheesecloth bag and filled it with thyme from my garden, parsley from Happy Boy Farms (40 mi), and a bay leaf from a house in Portola Valley (26 mi), then added that to the pot. I poured over a little water and left the pot to cook for a while. After about five minutes, I added several small, unpeeled German Butterball potatoes from Happy Boy Farms, rotating them in the sauerkraut mixture occasionally until they were soft, which took about twenty minutes. Then I added two bockwurst sausages from Range Brothers, which were fully cooked and just needed to be reheated. The result was delicious, though lacking in color.

To remedy that, on the side I served a dandelion greens salad with hot bacon dressing. Saveur calls for a spinach salad, but they included a note that "[d]uring the 19th century (and perhaps before), German-Americans used the flavorful dressing to coat dandelion greens." So I picked up some dandelion from Tomatero Farms (40 mi) and coated them with a dressing made from crisped bacon from Range Brothers and sauteed shallots from Borba Farms, mixed with sherry vinegar, dijion mustard, and sugar (none of which were local — because, again, I wasn't thinking). The greens weren't as bitter as I was expecting them to be, which is good because bitter is not my favorite flavor, but the dressing was way too tart next too the tang of the sauerkraut. Next time I'll reduce the amount of vinegar.

Savuer's menu called for mulled wine to drink with the meal. Instead, we had a delicious Mourvedre from Bonny Doon Vineyards, made with grapes from Contra Costa County (60 mi). This was paired with Christmas cookies made by families in my classroom (which, while probably not made with local ingredients, were cooked locally and made with love).

Merry Christmas, everyone, and happy eating!

No comments: