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German Cuisine -Food that Satisfies
Map of Germany
History of German Cooking
Germany is a country located in the middle of Western Europe and is a land full of culinary delights. German cuisine has evolved through the generations of political change, and it varies from one region to another. Meals and ingredients vary by province but many dishes are both regional and national at this time.
Bavaria and Seabia in the south of Germany share many dishes. The food of Germany had been labeled as stodgy and fatty, but this has changed over the past 200 years due to Germanys close association with France and Italy, thus adopting many of their spices and cooking methods.
Some of the German methods passed down through the generations are still used today, such as, preservation of food through salting, smoking, curing or pickling. This is still a common way of preparing fish, meats and vegetables
The main meats that are used in German cooking are beef, poultry and pork is the most consumed. They also eat duck, goose, turkey and many game meats, such as rabbit, boar and venison which is available year round. Trout is the most common fresh water fish, but the Germans also like pike, carp and European perch.
Vegetables are usually in stews or soups, but they are served as side dishes. The more commonly used vegetables are carrots, turnips, spinach, peas, beans, broccoli, asparagus (spargel –German name) and fried onions are very popular. Noodles are made from wheat flour and egg which makes them a lot thicker than the Italian flat pasta. Potatoes are also popular cooked in a variety of ways. In the south of Germany dumplings and potato noodles are also common
Roulades with Sauerkraut
Roulades with Sauerkraut (Vogelsberger Rolle)
1 large dill pickle
1 1/2 pounds pork loin
1/4 cup German stone ground mustard
1 (16 ounce) can sauerkraut, drained
Salt and black pepper to taste
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups dry bread crumbs
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
Slice the pickle lengthwise into six wedges.
Slice pork loin into six thin, wide pieces and lay onto a baking sheet.
Lay a slice of bacon and a slice of dill pickle on one side of each pork loin slice.
Divide the mustard and sauerkraut among the pork loin slices.
Season with salt and pepper; roll up each slice tightly and secure with toothpicks.
Dip each roulade in the beaten egg and then roll in bread crumbs.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat; drizzle in the olive oil.
Cook each roulade until they are golden brown, and a thermometer inserted into the center registers 160° F (71° C), 5 to 7 minutes per side.
Remove toothpicks before serving.
Yield: 6 servings
German Cooking for Beginners | Grilled sirloin steaks
German Potato Salad
German Potato Salad
- 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
- 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon
- 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons minced chives, for garnish
Place the potatoes in a medium-size pot and cover them with enough water to extend 2 inches above the surface of the potatoes.
Salt the water and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
Continue cooking until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Drain and slice into 1/4-inch rounds.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Once crisp, place on a paper towel-lined plate and crumble into small pieces.
Pour off the rendered fat, reserving 1/4 cup in the pan.
Turn the heat to medium and add the onion.
Cook until translucent and just beginning to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.Whisk in the vinegar, sugar, mustard, and salt and stir until thick and bubbly
Pork Roast with Sauerkraut and Potatoes
White potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 tbsp. minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste.
3 pounds boneless pork loin roast
1 (32 oz.) jar sauerkraut with liquid
2 tsp. caraway seeds
Place the potatoes, garlic, salt, and pepper in a slow cooker; stir to coat.
Season the pork roast with salt and pepper; lay atop the potatoes.
Pour the sauerkraut over the roast.
Sprinkle with caraway seeds.
Cook in slow cooker on low 8 to 10 hours
- 4 Pieces of Prepared Pork Cutlet
- 1 C Flour
- 1 C Bread Crumbs
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Eggs
Dredge the meat in both flour and bread crumbs prior to cooking.
The meat is wet enough for the first dredging to stick, but for the second dredging you need the egg to make it stick.
Set up your dredging stations. Use pie plates or something similar.
You need one with the flour-liberally seasoned with salt & pepper.
Then, one with the egg, lightly beaten, and finally one with the bread crumbs.
Finally have a plate, cookie sheet etc, prepared at the end to hold the completely dredged meat.
Each cutlet is dredged in the flour, then dipped in the egg wash, then dredged again in the bread crumbs.
Allow to set for a minute or so before you cook the cutlets.
Heat the oil in a fry pan to about medium/medium hot-this oil does not have to be deep, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan with about a 1/8 of an inch or so.
Fry each Schnitzel until it is a nice golden brown.
Remember, you want a nice crust and you shouldn’t move the meat around a lot.
Let it fry for a minute or so before turning the Schnitzel..
German Food: Schweinehaxe (Roasted Pork Shank)
Rhenish Plum Cake
Rhenish Plum Cake
- 2 c. flour
- 1 stick plus 1 tbsp. butter 1 c. sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 jigger rum or brandy
- 1 lb. or less of small fresh plums, seeded and halved
Knead all ingredients except plums together; store in refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Brown dough on cookie sheet or in 8 x 8-inch pan..
Heat plums with water; just enough to soften them.
Drain all liquid. Place plums on dough close together, without sugar.
Bake at 325° for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
Cut plum cake in rectangles or squares.
Yield: 6 servings.
Christmas Cookie Pfeffernusse
Christmas Cookie (German Pfeffernusse)
- 1 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sweet cream
- 1 cup honey
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. fresh ground cardamom seed
- 1 tsp. cloves
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. allspice
- 1 tsp. anise oil
- 1 cup ground nuts
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 8 to 10 c. flour
Cream sugars with butter; add cream and honey.
Add spices, nuts and eggs to creamed mixture.
Sift baking powder and flour together.
Add part of flour to egg mixture; mix together.
Add remaining flour; mix by hand. Dough will be stiff but sticky.
Store in the refrigerator overnight.
Slice off part of dough at a time; roll these marble-sized pieces around between hands to give round shape.
Place close together on a greased baking sheet.
Bake at 350° F until light, golden brown, about 12 minutes
There are many recipes for strudel using numerous fruits.
- 1/2 lb. butter
- 1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese
- 3 c. flour, sifted 3 times Apricot and pineapple preserves nuts
- Powdered sugar
Cream butter with cream cheese..
Knead dough; form into 6 balls.
Place in refrigerator overnight.
Wrap in moisture-proof wrapping.
Roll out 1 ball at a time; spread it with preserves, nuts, coconut and raisins.
Mixture should be spread to about 1/2 inch rim around the dough.
Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over all.
Roll dough up tight and brush rolls with cream.
Place on baking sheet. Make slits in top, 3/4 inch apart, for easier slicing after baking.
Bake strudel at 350° F until brown. Cut while warm; sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Yield: 25 servings.
German Mulled Wine
German Mulled Wine
- 1 bottle dry red wine
- 1 bottle water
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 11 cloves
- 1 slices lemon peel
- 3 sticks cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in heavy saucepan.
Heat until wine begins to simmer. Do not boil.
Yield: 4-6 servings.
Today Germans still fall back on their rich heritage, serving wild game, lamb, pork and beef with old and new ways of preparing them and their side dishes. Popular spices are mustard, horseradish and juniper berries. Still, modern German chefs have started to create newer, lighter fare, incorporating traditional foods into their menus.
I have tried to present a cross section of various German recipes from main dishes to desserts.
The copyright to this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
© 2010 Pamela Oglesby