DBGB's Super Secret Sauerkraut Recipe

We recently interviewed Eli Collins, executive chef at Daniel Boulud's sausage-centric restaurant DBGB, after a sausage and beer-pairing dinner that left us speechless. Turns out, a lot of the magic is in the sauerkraut. Luckily we nabbed this proprietary recipe and patiently waited 3 weeks to see how it turned out. Feel free to halve or quarter the recipe for a smaller batch, as it only keeps for a week in the fridge. Or, just serve extra sausage.

Most of these ingredients are easy to source. You can substitute extra butter for duck fat and if the "sachet" throws you, let us clarify: stuff spices in cheesecloth (or any clean cloth, really), tie up with string (doesn't have to be butcher's twine) and toss in the pot.

We're happy to report that any sausage regardless of composition or preparation would be only too lucky to arrive nestled anywhere near this stuff. Talk about bragging rights for your summer barbecue. Prost!

DBGB's Super Secret Sauerkraut Recipe
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  • 2 heads white cabbage
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt per pound of cabbage
  • 5 tablespoons duck fat
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 4 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 750 ml bottle dry white wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling)
  • 3 cups Pilsner beer
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 sachet
  • 1 stick butter
  1. Core, quarter, thinly slice and weigh the cabbage. Transfer to a large bowl and toss it with 2 1/2 teaspoons salt per pound. Squeeze the cabbage with your hands to bruise it and release some juices.
  2. Transfer to a large plastic container or non-reactive pot, and place a weight on top, such as a stack of dinner plates. Wrap tightly with plastic and leave to ferment in a cool place (at 60-70°F) for three weeks.
  3. Rinse the cabbage. In a large Dutch oven, or stockpot, melt the duck fat over medium heat. Add the bacon and onions, and cook, stirring until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the wine, beer, stock, carrots and sachet. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to a simmer until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook, stirring until tender, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir in the butter, remove from the heat and reserve, chilled for up to one week.
  5. To serve, reheat as desired in the cooking liquid.
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