A bit of a fusion of Frano/Italian flavours here. Vince Castellano (http://www.castellanos.co.uk) is Bristol's award winning Godfather of charcuterie and all things pig. He will probably kill me for calling him a godfather as he is not much older than me!! I picked up one of his Italian cotechino boiling sausages from his market stall at a knock down price as it had split......splitters are bad for business Vince (said in mock Italian Maffioso accent).
I had been scratching my head for a nice way to cook it and I remembered the classic French dish Choucroute Garni. A dish of boiled sausage, salted pork and semi-pickled cabbage. The German sauerkraut is pretty much the same thing and as with many classic dishes, ownership is hotly contested. I made a recipe up from several I read, but on tasting the finished dish I couldn't help feeling it needed some mustard. So here you have it folks - a World first.....Mustard Choucroute.....with Italian Sausage.....made in Bristol. For two:
Cotechino sausage - a whole one weighing approx 400g
White cabbage - 1/2
Black peppercorns - 6
Dijon mustard - 1 tbsp
Bay leaf - 1
Thyme - 3 sprigs
Garlic - 1 peeled clove
Onion - 1 medium onion, peeled
Butter - 25g
White wine vinegar - 50ml
White wine - a glass full
Chicken stock - 250ml
Pancetta - 1 small piece, maybe 50g
Sugar - to taste
Shred the onion and cabbage as finely as possible. Gently fry the onion in the butter until softened and starting to brown. Add the wine and turn up the heat to bubble away the alcohol. When the wine has all but gone, add the vinegar, stock, herbs, peppercorns, pancetta, 2 tsp sugar and cabbage. Season lightly as the pancetta, sausage and mustard will also carry seasoning. Transfer the lot to a slow cooker or ovenproof dish. Tuck the sausage in with the cabbage and set the slow cooker to low, or cover and cook in the oven set to 140c for 2 hours.
Remove the sausage and drain the cabbage. Remove and discard the black peppercorns, herbs and garlic clove. Reduce the liquor on the stove with the dijon until just a few tablespoons worth remains. Have a quick taste of the sauce and add a little more sugar if it tastes too sharp. The sauce is quite powerful - how powerful depends on the ingredients used - so add half the sauce to the cabbage and taste......add more sauce if you think it needs it. Slice the sausage and serve with the warm cabbage & buttery mash.