Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Cuisine of the Alsace Region

I have had quite a response to my series "Two Old Broads Abroad" and to my recipes from Germany and France. I have been asked to blog more recipes, so here goes. Hope you enjoy them.

The first three recipes are very traditional and typical Alsatian recipes.


2 1/2 lb fresh and raw sauerkraut(I buy refrigerated in plastic bags)

1/2 lb bacon

1 smoked pork shoulder (I use small picnic ham, have butcher cut in half)

1 lb sausage (I use kielbasa)

1 pork knuckle (if available)

1 onion, peeled and sliced

2.5 oz goose fat (I use pork fat)

6 peppercorns

1 bay leaf

1 sprig thyme

12 juniper berries (absolutely necessary)

1 cup white wine such as Somerset Ridge Oktoberfest Wine

1 cup chicken broth


Step 1: Drain the sauerkraut. Soak in cold water for 20 minutes. Change the water a couple of time. Drain thoroughly, as much water as possible.
Step 2: Put the pork meat (bacon, knuckle, shoulder) in a large pot that can be used in oven also. Cover with water. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Skim the foam from time to time.
Step 3: Preheat oven to 325 F.
Step 4: Tie in a cheesecloth the herbs, peppercorns and juniper berries. Put it in the casserole.
Step 5: Heat the fat in an oven-proof large casserole. Add the onion slices and sauté. Add the sauerkraut. Pour in the wine, the stock. Stir, cover and cook in the oven for 45 minutes.
Step 6: Add the pork meat. Return to the oven. Cook for 40 minutes.
Step 7: Add the sausages. Cook for 40 minutes.
Serves 6 Usually served with boiled potatoes.

Onion Soup

1 1/2 lbs onions thinly sliced

2 oz butter

10 oz (2 cans) beef stock

1 tb Cognac or Brandy

2 tbs flour

1/2 tsp. salt

French bread or hard toast

1 cup of grated swiss or gruyère cheese

Step 1: Slice onions very thinly
Step 2: Melt butter in a pan and cook onions until lightly browned over medium-low heat for 30 minutes
Step 3: Stir the flour gently into the onions
Step 4: Add beef stock and Brandy. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes
Step 5: Toast the bread at 325 degrees for 10 minutes
Serving: Pour soup into bowls, float bread and add cheese. If the bowls are ovenproof bowls, you can place the filled bowls under the broiler to brown the cheese.

One of my all time favorite soups!

Now here is an unusual soup....

Cherry Soup

1 3/4 lb black cherries (I use frozen)

3 tb sugar

2 tb butter

1 tb cornstarch

1 tb Water

6 slices bread

2 tsp kirsch (cherry brandy)

Step 1: Thaw the cherries. Check for stems.
Step 2: Place cherries in a sauce pan with sugar and kirsch. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 15 minutes.
Step 3: Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. Add bread slices and sauté until browned on both sides. Drain with paper towel. Add more butter if needed to brown all the slices.
Step 4: In a bowl, blend 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water.
Step 5: Remove the cherries from the pan, using a slotted spoon then add to the pan . Stir well over low heat for a few minutes.
Step 6: Return the cherries to the pan for a few seconds.
Serving: Put the bread slice in a bowl. Pour the soup over the bread.

Now for the German recipes:

Schwarzwald Soup

(Black Forest Soup)

4oz Streaky Bacon, chopped
2oz Butter
1lb Potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Onions, finely chopped
1 Carrot, finely chopped
1 Stick Celery, finely chopped
2 1/2 pts Chicken stock
Salt and Pepper
2 tbsp Cornstarch
8 Frankfurters, thinly sliced diagonally

1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan add the bacon and fry over a high heat till golden. Add the potato, onion, carrots and celery fry for 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the stock, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

3. Purée in a food processor and return to the saucepan.

4. Blend the cornstarch with 4 tbsp of cold water and stir into the hot soup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly then add the frankfurters and heat gently for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve hot.


This recipe is popular in both Germany and Alsace

8oz Boned Shoulder Lamb
8oz Boned Shoulder Lamb
1lb Chuck beef Steak
10fl.oz. Somerset Ridge Chardonnay or Traminette Wine
1 Bay Leaf
1 teasp Dried Thyme
Salt and Black Pepper
4 Large Onions, thinly sliced
4 large Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 oz Butter

1. Cut the meat into 2inch cubes and place in a large bowl with the wine, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover and leave to marinate overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a casserole. Remove the meat from the bowl, reserving the marinade.

3. Put a layer of potatoes in the bottom of the casserole, followed by a layer of onions then a layer of meat. Repeat the layers ending with a layer of potatoes.

4. Pour over the marinade, cover and bake in the oven for 1-1/2 hours. Remove the lid, dot with butter and bake, uncovered for an additional 30 minutes. Serve hot.
Here is a recipe I have made since the 60s, loved it then, still love it today!
Goulash Soup
1 pound Beef Chuck, diced 1/2"
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons paprika
(yes, 2 tablespoonfuls, and possibly more!)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup Somerset Ridge Ruby Red Wine
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon marjaram
1 clove garlic, minced
2 quarts water
3 medium potatoes, diced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1. Heat the oil in dutch oven or soup pot. Saute the beef and onions.
2. Add the paprika, salt and pepper, red wine and vinegar. Add the tomato paste. Simmer 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Add caraway, marjaram, garlic and water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce temperature to a simmer, simmer for 45 minutes.
4. Add diced potatoes and sliced mushrooms, simmer very low for 2 hours.
Serve with lots of crusty bread and sweet butter. OMG! Delicious!
Sometimes I add extra paprika, depending on the type and strength of the paprika you have. It provides a definite flavor, absolutely necessary for authentic taste.
Alsace and the Black Forest are beautiful. The people don't necessarily like each other, after all they fought over the land for centuries, but I was treated very well. If you have a chance to visit, go, you will love it. Forget what you've heard about the French hating Americans, that's Paris...give the people of Alsace a chance. And while you are in the Black Forest, have
ein Dunkles Bier for me!

No comments:

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
oil painting by Kay Tucker

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek

Somerset Autumn on Wea Creek
Oil Painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection


oil painting by Kay Tucker

Kansas Storm

Kansas Storm
oil painting by Kay Tucker, Private Collection

Watercolor Collage

Watercolor Collage

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time

Tempo al Tempo....All in Good Time
48"x36" sculptural painting by Kay Tucker