Sauerkraut, meatballs & mash

Imagine my joy when Sauerkraut in a jar first appeared in UK supermarkets a few year’s ago. I believe Germans in general, and former East Germans in particular, have a thing for all things pickled. I was reminded of that during a recent trip back to the Fatherland, when during a quick run to the local supermarket I found myself in an aisle – approx. 15m long, with 2m high shelves either side – full of anything you could ever possibly want to pickle.

Sauerkraut with meatballs and mash is one of my favourite dishes featuring the finely cut and fermented white cabbage, and it is surprisingly easy to make. Continue reading

Kirschstreuselkuchen (cherry crumb cake)

This is one of my favourite childhood desserts. Traditionally made with sour cherries, which we picked from a tree in our garden (child labour anyone?) this cake brings back memories of summer holidays when I was a little boy.

It’s fairly easy to make, all you need is:

250g Flower
125g Butter
125g Sugar
1kg Cherries

Kirschstreuselkuchen

 

  1. Mix the butter, flower and sugar and knead by hand – at least according to my mum, but I’m sure using a Kitchen Aid will be alright – until you have a sticky yet crumbly dough. Leave dough in the fridge for 30-45min.
  2. In the meantime pit the cherries. I’ve used a manual pitter which took around 10-15min and gets a wee bit messy.
  3. Grease a 9″ baking tin and add some greaseproof paper to the bottom of the tin.
  4. Use 2/3 of the dough and line the bottom of the tin, creating the base of the cake.
  5. Generously layer the cherries, covering the base completely.
  6. Use the remaining 1/3 of the dough mix and crumble on top of the cherries.
  7. Bake in the pre-heated oven at 200ºC for 30-40min until the top crumbles are golden brown.

Needless to say it tastes best when still warm, accompanied by a healthy helping of vanilla ice cream.

Guten Appetit

Easter lunch: Wild rabbit, red cabbage and mash

Traditional German Easter Lunch

Clearly my aim of cooking German food and blogging about it has been off to a bumpy start. Although I’ve cooked a few German dishes since my last post, I’ve never got around to proper documenting the process – ones got a busy life you know. 😉

Ingredients (serves 6)

Wild rabbit Red cabbage Mash
1l buttermilk
1 cup white vinegar
4 bay leaves
3 wild rabbits
Butter
Oil
Salt & Pepper
1 large Onion
3-4 carrots
1l beef stock
Whole red cabbage
1 large onion
3 appels
10 cloves
Salt & sugar
Red wine vinegar
Red wine
5-6 large potatoes
1 cup of milk
50g butte

Wild rabbit

1. In order to tenderise the rather tough rabbit meat, mix 1l of buttermilk with a cup of white wine vinegar in a large casserole and place the portioned rabbits together with four bay leaves. Leave to rest in the fridge for 12h or more

Browned rabbit pieces2.  Pad dry the pieces of rabbit, season generously with salt & pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and 1 teaspoon of butter in a large frying pan (on maximum heat) and brown all pieces. Keep adding butter and oil to create the base for the gravy. Pre-heat the oven to 140ºC.

3. Set aside the browned pieces of rabbit and use the mix of oil, butter and rabbit juices to fry the carrots and onions. fried onions and carrots

4. Pour the fried vegetables and rabbit into a large casserole dish and top of with a healthy helping of red wine and place into the over for 1h.

5. Add 1l of beef stock, make sure all pieces of meat are covered and return to the over for another 45min to 1h.

Red cabbage

Cabbage, onion, apples, cloves1. Grate a whole red cabbage and fry in a large hot pan until soft.

2. Quarter a large onion and stick 4-5 cloves into each quarter. Peel 2-3 apples and quarter, removing the core.

3. Add the onion and apples into the pan, season with sugar and salt and let simmer for 30-45min. Top up with water if necessary.

4. Season to taste shortly before serving, by either using red wine and/or red wine vinegar

Mashed Poatoes

1. Peel and cube the potatoes and bring to boil in very salty water.

2. Once boiled soft, drain the water and mash the potatoes.

3. Add a cup of warm milk and a healthy helping of butter for a creamy consistency

Traditional German Easter Lunch

Traditional German Easter Lunch

What are typical German dishes?

Life is what happens while you plan something else, not sure who said it but it is true. No sooner had I dreamed up (and publicly committed) to the idea of reliving my childhood and teenage years by cooking traditional German food on a weekly basis, I was taken out of action. Cycling in London isn’t without risk but then again it doesn’t matter where you drive your car if you can’t be bothered to de-ice your windows before starting your morning. Said driver pulled out into the main road without looking, sending me somersaulting over his car and crashing down on my backside. Hence I didn’t do much cooking in the past 2 weeks, but rather have been cooked for.

Continue reading

Rediscovering ‘Hausmannskost’

Traditional German Christmas Food

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. That certainly seems to be true for my new-found interest in good old German food, often referred to as Hausmannskost.

For fans of German compound nouns the literal translation of ‘ Hausmannskost’ means ‘home cooked’ but that’s only half the story. It usually refers to substantial, nutritious and simple (easy to prepare) dishes, making the most of local and seasonal produce without breaking the bank. So you see, we are packing quite a lot of meaning into ‘one’ word – talk about German efficiency. Continue reading