Tag Archives: recipe

Beyond Brats: Krakauer Wurst, Versatile German Sausage

Krakauer Sausage

Krakauer / Krakow Sausage wrapping

The name gives away that fact that although Krakauer is classified as a German sausage, its roots are in Krakow, Poland. Krakauer can also be called Kawassy. As with the other sausages we have looked at (Weisswurst, Gelbwurst) the ingredients and look of the sausage may vary according to its origin. I have found pictures of long skinny sausages, and fatter rolls meant to slice for lunch meat or thickly sliced, fry quickly.  I had that second kind.

Krakauer sausage ingredients

Krakauer sausage ingredients–pork, beef, salt and garlic. “Spices” probably include pepper and nutmeg.

The sausage is traditionally 80% pork and 20% beef, and is smoked, boiled and smoked again before going to the market. One site described it as “bolder than bologna.”  I definitely liked this one–either as a cold cut or fried and found various uses for it.

Krakauer cold cuts

Krakauer sliced for cold cuts

[A site in German says that if sausage contains nitrite it is actually dangerous to grill it, as the high heat turns the nitrite salts into a carcinogenic. I had never seen that before, and interesting thing to learn.]

First, we had it for dinner.  After I browned the sausage in some vegetable oil, I stirred cubed beets into the grease and sprinkled it with nutmeg.  I also fried some potatoes.

Krakauer Wurst dinner

Krakauer Wurst dinner with sauteed beets and fried potatoes.

The next morning, I diced some of the sausage and stirred it into pieces of the left over fried potatoes–sautéed it and mixed in an egg. Yummy.

A couple days later, I boiled some greens (I had kale and beet greens on hand). I browned cubes of the sausage in a little vegetable oil. when the greens were tender (less than 10 minutes), I stirred them in with the sausage cubes and we had another twist on Krakauer sausage.

Krakauer/Krakow/Kawassy–whatever you want to call it–this sausage has climbed to the top of my favorites.

Zingy Krautsuppe: German Cabbage Soup

I love making soup, and this adaptable variation on a traditional German cabbage soup manages to pay tribute to the German ancestors while cleaning out my refrigerator at the same time.

Cabbage soup

Cabbage soup cooking

I will give you a recipe, but please don’t feel bound by anything you see.  Well, except the cabbage and the vinegar and caraway, because that puts the ZING in this Zingy soup.

I used pieces of bacon and some leftover cooked ham.  Browning the vegetables in the bacon grease adds depth to their flavor.

cabbage soup in bowl closeup

A bit of vinegar makes your vegetables zippier.

And caraway gives this soup a unique flavor.

Zingy German Cabbage Soup

Serves 6-8
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 35 minutes
Meal type Soup
Misc Serve Hot
Region German

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cabbage (chopped)
  • 2 large carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 Bell pepper (red or green, chopped)
  • 1 large potato (cubed)
  • 3 rashers of bacon (cut in 1)
  • 2 cups cooked ham (cubed)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 6-8 cups broth (chicken, beef or vegetable)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Directions

1. Brown the bacon pieces in soup pot . Add ham cubes and stir to brown slightly. Take meat out of pan, but leave bacon grease.
2. Add chopped carrots and celery and pepper and potato and stir to brown and slightly soft. Add cabbage and continue to stir until cabbage gets a bit soft.
3. Add broth and meat, vinegar and caraway, and stir to combine.
4. Simmer for an hour or more.
5. Serve with dark or rye bread. Store leftovers in glass jars in refrigerator for up to a week. (One quart makes two large servings.)

Note

I did not add salt because the ham and bacon added enough salt.  You might make it with ground beef, in which case you probably would want to add salt.

The soup can be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth and no meat.

I used a sweet potato instead of a regular white potato.

If your potatoes are thin-skinned and organic, don't bother to peel.

I did not add onions, but leeks or onions can also be added. In fact feel free to use whatever vegetables you want.  The recipe is very adaptable.

 

Hannah Glasse and Seed Cake or Nun’s Cake

On page 164 of the 1805 edition of The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse, I discover this simple(?) recipe for Seed Cake.

Nun's Cake

Nun’s Cake in a 1920’s version, once baking powder had been invented.

To make a rich Seed Cake called the Nun’s Cake

You must take four pounds of the finest flour, and three pounds of double refined sugar beaten and sifted; mix them together, and dry them by the fire till you prepare the other materials.

Take four pounds of butter, beat it with your hand till it is soft like cream; then beat thirty-five eggs, leave out sixteen whites, strain off your eggs from the threads, and beat them and the butter together till all appears like butter.  Put in four or five spoonfuls of rose or orange flower water, and beat again; then take your flour and sugar with six ounces of caraway seeds, and strew them in by degres, beating it up all the time for two hours together.  You may put in as much tincture of cinnamon or ambergrease as you please; butter your hopp, and let it stand three hours in a moderate oven.

You must observe always in beating of butter, to do it with a cool hand, and beat always one way in a deep earthen dish.

My Notes

Why so many eggs?  Because that is the only leavening available, except for cakes that called for using the yeast from making ale.

Four pounds of the finest flour: 4 1/2 cups of cake flour.

Beat the butter with your hand:  Obviously since electric mixers had not been invented, this is not the same as our instructions today to “beat by hand”, meaning use a spoon.  Would somebody tell me if this really means just using your bare hands?? I have to believe that is what it means, since she warns that you must have cool hands.

“Strain off the threads” of eggs: I learned something here.  If you Google Strained eggs, you will learn that after beating eggs, if you strain them, you will get airier omelets and smoother puddings!

Ambergris/ambergreese/ambergrease:  I linked an article above that gives a short information. For more than you might possibly want to know, go here.

Your “hoop”: You can still buy a hoop. And you can buy it here and also learn the way to use it.

Unfortunately, Hannah does not tell us how large a hoop to use for the seed cake, but it should not be more than 3/4 full, so use that as a guide.

And after beating the butter, then beating the 35 eggs, then beating everything for two hours, you may skip your visited to the gym today.

Try a Smaller Seed Cake

If you are intimidated by the size of this recipe, consider cutting it down to size as I have done with my Emily Dickinson Black Cake Recipe. I have not had time to try this recipe for Seed Cake yet, but I might try a 1/4 size recipe which would call for

  • One pound flour
  • 1 1/3 pounds sugar
  • 1 pound of butter
  • 5 whole eggs plus 4 egg yolks
  • one spooful of rose or orange flower water (or orange zest, orange flavoring or orange liqueur)
  • 1 1/2 oz caraway seeds
  • Cinnamon to taste

Combine these ingredients with an electric mixer, bake at 350 for an hour and a half–or until a toothpick/broomstraw inserted in the center comes out clean. Adjusting the ingredients makes the whole things sounds doable and delicious.

Let me know if you try it before I do.  (Or try the Williamsburg version of seed cake, here.)