]I cooked this dish with a large shank from a big Ohio whitetail buck that my friend Joe brought home. For whatever reason, his butcher sliced the shank bones -- maybe for ossobucco. I like the effect, because it looks cool on the platter and it opens up the bones to the marrow, which you can easily scoop out and add to the sauerkraut mixture (Yes, it's delicious. Trust me on this one). No venison shanks? Do this with pork shanks, even smoked pork shanks -- but if you do, skip the bacon and use lard or butter instead. Osso bucco cuts from beef or veal would work, too.
Serve this with good bread, like a German pumpernickel or a Jewish rye. And even though this is a red-meat dish, I like an Austrian white wine here. German beer is another good alternative, such as a weizenbock or if the weather's a little warmer, the same hefeweizen you used in the pot.