Seafood Choucroute

Choucroute (French for sauerkraut) is synonymous with pork and sausages. Here, in this famous Alsatian (a Germanic region of France) dish, you will be pleasantly surprised to find it paired with seafood. The combination of soured cabbage and seafood is a great match and the end result is unique and very flavoursome. This is a celebration of seafood, so feel free to change it up with a variety of shellfish like scallops, scampi and clams – even calamari is wonderful.

A lot of the time we associate seafood with hot summer days but I find this is a great winter meal served with a nice dry Riesling or beer.

15 minute to prep
1 hour, 30 minutes to cook
Serves 4 of your best mates!

Ingredients

  • 8 kipfler potatoes, skin left on, washed well
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 750 g sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
  • 3 juniper berries, bruised
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 375 ml white wine (ideally a dry riesling)
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 200 g blue-eye trevalla fillet (or other firm white fish like snapper, mulloway, rockling), skin on, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 x 200 g salmon fillet, skin on, cut into 4 pieces
  • salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • 24 black mussels, debearded and scrubbed
  • 8 raw prawns, shelled and deveined with tails intact
  • 1 x 300–400 g smoked trout fillet, skin and bones removed (see note)
  • 2 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, very finely chopped

Sauce

  • 1 French shallot, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons white wine
  • 3 tablespoons cream
  • 150 g cold butter, cut into cubes

Method

  1. Place the potatoes in a saucepan of cold salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and then return the potatoes to the pan to keep warm.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and sweat off for 5 minutes, or until very soft. Stir in the sauerkraut, juniper berries and bay leaf. Now pour in the wine, bring to the boil for 2 minutes and then add the stock. Turn the heat down to low and simmer gently for 45 minutes.
  3. For the sauce, place the shallot, vinegar and wine in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer for 5–6 minutes, or until reduced by two-thirds. Add the cream and reduce for 2–3 minutes. Now turn the heat down to low and, little by little, start whisking in the cold butter, a few cubes at a time. Keep whisking until it is all incorporated and the sauce is thick and glossy. Keep warm.
  4. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Drizzle a little extra olive oil over the blue-eye and salmon and season with salt and pepper. Cook the fish, skin side down, for 2–3 minutes, or until the skin is crisp. Flip and cook for a further 2 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
  5. Add the mussels and prawns to the sauerkraut cover the pan with the lid and steam for 4–5 minutes, or until the mussels open and the prawns change colour. In the last 2 minutes, pull the smoked trout into four rough chunks and add to the sauerkraut along with the potatoes to warm through.
  6. To serve, place the sauerkraut, prawns and mussels, smoked trout and potatoes on a large platter. Arrange the blue-eye and salmon on top, drizzle generously with the sauce and serve with a sprinkle of parsley.