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Posts Tagged ‘German’

postheadericon Sauerkraut Salad

As we start in to cook-out season here in the Coal Region, the requisite potato and macaroni salads show up. As much as I am  fan of both of those, I like to “shake things up a bit” and add something to the mix that is a bit unexpected. My favorite for warm weather gatherings is Sauerkraut Salad. Embracing the Anthracite Coal Region blending of cultures — the Pa. Dutch, German, and Eastern European cuisines love to make dishes from sauerkraut and cabbage — this fits in perfectly!

Even people who normally do not like sauerkraut (GASP!!!) often like this salad. It’s delicious as a side dish, but also good on burgers, sausages, brats, and sandwiches. Make sure to make it a day ahead so the flavors can blend. I make it the night before serving. As with so many recipes, this lends itself well to adapting to your tastes;  adjust the sugar and vinegar as you prefer. If in doubt about amounts, always start with less — you can always add, but you cannot take it out once mixed in!

Sauerkraut Salad

Sauerkraut Salad

Pa. Dutch Sauerkraut Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 quart of sauerkraut
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 small jar pimentos, drained
  • OPTIONAL 1 apple, chopped (Use something sweet/tart and crisp; Braeburn, Jonagold, Pink Lady, Fuji, Gala))
  • 1 cup white sugar (or to your taste)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup vinegar (cider or white)
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain sauerkraut.
  2. In large bowl, mix sugar, oil, vinegar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add chopped vegetables, sauerkraut and pimentos. Add black pepper to taste. Stir to mix well.
  4. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/05/19/sauerkraut-salad/

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postheadericon Zweibelkuchen ( Pa. Dutch Onion Pie)

Zweibelkuchen translates to “onion cake”/”tart” in German, but it’s also known in Pa. Dutch kitchens as “Onion Pie”.  Zwiebelkuchen is related to the Black Forest region of Germany. It is tradition that it is prepared at the beginning of fall, after the bountiful summer crop of onions come in and is usually served as a lunch dish.  This traditional German dish ranges in size and shape depending on the cook (and, in Germany, the area in which it is served); some are flat and cut into squares with a thinner layer of the topping (like this version), others are thicker and deeper and often made in a spring-form pan. No matter the size, shape, or depth,  the rich and buttery caramelized onions and savory bacon filling is consistent.  The German immigrants who became known as “Pennsylvania Dutch (“Deutsch” in German) enjoyed this dish in the motherland and re-created it in their new homes in America.  Zweibelkuchen is at its best when served lukewarm. Use good quality bacon if you can get it to make zweibelkuchen.

Zwiebelkuchen (Pa. Dutch Onion Pie)

Zwiebelkuchen (Pa. Dutch Onion Pie)

Zweibelkuchen (Pa Dutch /German Onion Pie)

Ingredients

    DOUGH:
  • 1 cup milk, lukewarm (110F degrees)
  • 1 package instant dry yeast (2 and 1/4 tsp)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, (375g)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
    ONION TOPPING:
  • 2 1/4 lbs yellow onions, finely diced
  • 5 slices good quality thick cut bacon, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup full fat sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds

Instructions

  1. Pour the lukewarm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand 5 to 10 minutes until foamy.
  3. Turn mixer on low and add the flour, sugar, vegetable oil, and salt and knead until a soft dough forms (about 5 minutes).
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead with your hands for one more minute adding as little flour as necessary to keep it from being too sticky to work.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let the dough rest in a warm place 45 minutes or until approximately doubled in size.
  6. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, fry the diced bacon until crispy.
  7. Add the diced onions to it, reduce heat to medium-low and allow the the onions to slowly cook to golden brown and carmelized, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
  8. In a mixing bowl, combine sour cream, eggs, salt and caraway seeds. Add the cooled onion mixture to it and combine well.
  9. Grease a 18 x 13-inch (known as a "half-sheet") baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
  10. Flour hands lightly and spread the dough evenly pinching up a slight rim at the edges of the dough to hold the topping.
  11. Spread the onion mixture on top of it and sprinkle lightly with some additional caraway seeds is desired.
  12. Preheat the oven to 390F (200C) and allow the pie to rise a second time while the oven is heating.
  13. Bake on middle rack of oven 25-30 minutes until top is light brown.
  14. Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Best served lukewarm.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/05/12/zweibelkuchen/

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postheadericon Liver Noodles or Leberknoedel

We Pa. Dutch and Coal Region folk are a frugal lot. Not only do we use just about every inch of a butchered animal for food and sustenance, but we get creative and come up with multiple dishes using ingredients some consider less than crave-worthy. Take liver for instance; just about everyone has heard of liver and onions, but that can get a little boring. Plus, if you are like many a “Dutchie” you have some extra beef liver hanging out in your freezer just waiting to be put to good use. Enter the leberknoedel , or “liver noodles”, a traditional dish of German, Austrian and Czech cuisines (the word “Dutch” in “Pennsylvania Dutch” does not refer to the Dutch people or language, but to the German settlers to the region, known as Deutsch). Leberknoedel is usually composed of beef liver, though in the German Palatinate region pork is often used instead. .

Actually calling these “noodles” may be a bit of a misnomer to today’s cook — they are more like a “dumpling” than the flat, thin piece of pasta found in grocery stores in cellophane bags, dried and ready to be dumped into boiling water or stock which many people identify as “noodles”. Leberknoedel, rather, is like a dumpling. It is flavorful and can be eaten in soup or as the protein for a meal served with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. They pack a nutritional punch and are very budget friendly – liver is extremely inexpensive at your grocery store or butcher. Yes, they might appear a little plain (and gray), but if you like liver, you really should give these a try!

 

Liver Noodles (Leberknoedel)

Liver Noodles  (Leberknoedel)

Leberknoedel (liver dumplings)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound calves liver
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • Simmering soup or broth to cook leberknoedel in.

Instructions

  1. Clean liver by removing any veins or membrane.
  2. Using a food processor, combine the liver, butter, onion, parsley, and seasonings and process until smooth.
  3. Add the breadcrumbs and eggs and process until well mixed. Add a bit more bread crumbs (or flour) if needed, for dumplings to hold together.
  4. Using wet hands if needed, using about 2 tablespoons for each, form into balls.
  5. Bring broth (or soup) to boil. Add dumplings and reduce heat to a simmer. Dumplings will float to the top when they are done, about 20 minutes.
  6. Serve soup, garnished with parsley.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/05/06/liver-noodles-leberknoedel/

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postheadericon Pa Dutch Pretzel Soup (Shdreis’l Suppee)

This is a real Pa. Dutch comfort food that goes way back, is cheap and easy to make, warms you up and is often eaten before bed time.  I certainly have had too many bowls in my lifetime to keep count. Calling it a”soup” is actually over-kill. It is simply warmed milk with a lump of butter added to each bowl in which “Reading butter pretzels” are crushed and soak in the milk.

(Reading Pa, in Berks County, with a sizable population of Pa. Dutch folks, was home to numerous pretzel shops, earning it the nickname Pretzel City.  At one time, Reading produced one-third of all the pretzels baked in the U.S. While Berks County’s pretzel industry may not be as prominent as it once was, its legacy lives on.)

This “recipe” is from an old Pa Dutch cookbook and, naturally, specified “Reading” pretzels. Today, a good choice is a butter pretzel like Bachman Pretzels Butter Twists, Snyder’s Butter Snaps, etc. I have also used a hearty hard pretzel obtained from Amish farmers’ markets or bulk food stores in this soup.  Some people like their pretzels to retain some crunch, others prefer the pretzels soften before indulging.  There are some variations of this soup that start with a roux resulting in a thicker “milk broth”, but I like mine this way – plain and simple with just milk and butter.

Pa Dutch Pretzel Soup

Pa Dutch Pretzel Soup

Ingredients

  • Milk
  • Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Pretzels (butter pretzels are best, but plain hard pretzels will also work), broken into pieces

Instructions

  1. Heat a bowl of milk for each person to be served.
  2. To each bowl of milk add a small piece of butter.
  3. At the table each person should add enough pretzels to fill their bowl.
  4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/04/10/pa-dutch-pretzel-soup-shdreisl-suppee/

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postheadericon Fasnachts

Known as “Fat Tuesday” (March 5th in 2019) in many places, in Pa Dutch country and the Coal Region it is know as “Fasnacht Day” or “Donut Day” — it occurs on Shrove Tuesday, which begins the traditional 40-day period of fasting and prayer practiced by Christians prior to Easter (famously celebrated as Mardi Gras, the term for Fat Tuesday in French, in New Orleans. In Dutch country, we celebrate by indulging in eating this deep-fried fasnacht (donut) for good luck and,  traditionally, to clear the animal fat out of the pantry before Lent begins. Fasnachts are made using all remaining supplies of lard, sugar, fat or butter, which were not to be eaten during Lent. Although every cook has their favorite — and often generations-old — recipe, fasnachts are often made using mashed potatoes. Some are round. Some are square. Some have holes in the middle. Some are yeast raised, others use baking powder as the leavening in the recipe. They can be plain, glazed, or covered in powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar. Throughout our region churches, fire companies, schools, scout troops and other organizations sell dozens of fasnachts as a fund-raising opportunity. Many organizations gather volunteers who make their own, often turning out hundreds or thousands of dozen which then get picked up or delivered to those who have placed advanced orders. Many times, these tasty treats will be sold out quickly, so if you have a favorite fasnacht source, always place a timely order! Many local coal region bakeries sell tremendous numbers of donuts on Fasnacht Day directly to customers through their shops in addition to being the source for many groups who sell the donuts to raise funds but who do not make their own. The word Fastnacht originates from the German words “fast”, which is the shortened version of the verb “fasten”, which means “to fast”, and “Nacht”, meaning night, indicating the eve of the traditional Lenten fasting. This version uses both mashed potatoes and yeast so it will require some rise and wait time when prepping. If you would like a version made with baking soda which works up faster, I suggest using my Crullers recipe from this site.

Fasnachts

Fasnachts

Fasnachts (donuts)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups white sugar, plus more for coating
  • 2 quarter ounce envelopes active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar for dusting, if desired

Instructions

  1. Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water by 2 inches and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until very tender.
  2. Drain potatoes RESERVING 1 and 1/2 cups of the potato cooking water. Drain and mash the potatoes until smooth (do not use milk, butter or other seasoning - just mash the cooked potato) . Set the mashed potatoes aside and cool slightly.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the mashed potatoes, reserved potato cooking water, sugar and yeast. Cover with a towel and let the mixture rise for 20 minutes; it will look foamy.
  4. Using a sieve, strain the mixture into a large bowl, smoothing out any lumps. Stir in the eggs and melted butter.
  5. Stir 5 cups of the flour, one cup at a time, until a dough starts to form.
  6. Gently knead the remaining 1 cup of flour in until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a large ball. Cover with a towel and put in a warm place to rise for 3 hours.
  7. Dust some flour onto a baking sheet.
  8. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/2-inch thick.
  9. Using a 3-inch cutter (or cut into 3 inch squares) cut out the donuts and set on the prepared baking sheet. Cover lightly with a towel, and let rise for 30 minutes.
  10. Line a baking sheet with a split brown paper bag or absorbent paper.
  11. In a deep fryer or Dutch oven, pour enough oil to fill no more than halfway up the side.
  12. Heat the oil to 365 degrees F.
  13. Place the donuts into the heated oil, two at a time. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
  14. Transfer the donuts to the lined baking sheet to absorb some of the oil.
  15. While warm, place the cooked donuts into a paper bag with a spoonful of powdered or cinnamon sugar and shake gently until the donuts are well coated.
  16. Coating is optional, you may ;eave some or all plain.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/02/06/fasnachts/

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postheadericon Raisin Filled Cookies

Sometimes, there is a food we see, taste, or smell that evokes vivid memories of times past, and if we are lucky, of someone very special.  Raisin-filled cookies immediately bring to mind my Nana (my Mom’s mother) both because she absolutely loved these cookies and she made them all the time for us. My Nana had some real specialties in her repertoire; her chow chow, her fudge, her homemade bread, and these soft, luscious cookies with sweet cooked raisin filling sandwiched between two disks of sugar cookie dough baked to golden perfection. As a child, I always knew something special was coming out of the kitchen when Nana opened the closet door, took her over-the-head, full-bib, cotton print trimmed with ric-rac apron from the hook inside the door, pulled it over her head, patted down any loose bangs she might have displaced and started to gather ingredients needed for her current project. Now, in the 60s when I was a child, my Nana did what a lot of women in the Coal Region did – she worked Monday through Friday in a local garment factory. I remember her being dropped off by a co-worker after work (Nana never learned to drive), walking in the door wearing a cotton dress, penny loafers, and white ankle socks that were completely caked with gray and black fibers when she would take them off at night; a result of the garment factory conditions and fiber dusts the workers were exposed to. My Nana was a somewhat tall woman, opposite of my short, bow-legged Pappy (her husband), and she wore her very dark hair cut short in the back with pin curls in her bangs. She cut a commanding figure in the kitchen when she set about to create something and I can close my eyes and see every detail about Nana and the family kitchen yet today. And though it may not seem to some people that this woman who still lived in the home she was born into in 1901 and grew up in, married to a coal miner who was the love of her life for nearly 60 years, factory worker by day, would ever be described as “regal”, but that is exactly what she was to me. Regal. Gone from my life since 1975, I wish we had had more time together.  Miss you, Nana. Thanks for the memories (and the cookies!)

NOTES:

  • Use margarine as called for in this old recipe. Butter and margarine have different characteristics; butter will alter the spread and texture of these cookies.
  • There is no need to manually seal the two disks of dough over the filling. The soft dough will seal itself as it bakes and the process will allow steam to escape.
  • Do not over-fill the cookies. Make sure to keep clean edges around the sides of the disks of dough to aid in the cookies self-sealing when baking.

Raisin Filled Cookies

Yield: 2-1/2 dozen approximately depending on size

Raisin Filled Cookies

Raisin-filled Cookies

Ingredients

    Dough
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine (no substitutes)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup whole milk with 1 teaspoon white vinegar added, stirred and left to rest for 5 minutes
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
    Filling
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 8 oz of dark, seedless raisins (about 1-1/2 cups)

Instructions

    Dough
  1. In a stand mixer, or by hand cream the sugar and butter. Add the salt, egg, milk, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla; mix until combined.
  2. Turn off the mixer (if using) and add all 3 cups of flour. Turn mixer on low (or stir by hand) and mix until a soft, sticky dough ball is formed.
  3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for several hours.
    Filling
  1. In a small saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch well to blend and smooth any lumps.
  2. Add water and whisk until smooth.
  3. Add the lemon juice and raisins and bring to a boil on medium heat.
  4. Reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Filling will be thick.
    Assembly
  1. Divide dough into 3 parts, refrigerate remaining dough while working.
  2. Dust work surface with flour and roll out dough to 1/8 inch to just under 1/4 inch thickness.
  3. Cut into 2-1/2 to 3 inch rounds with cutter. Make sure to cut even numbers of rounds.
  4. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Top each bottom cookie round with a teaspoon or so filling. Do not allow filling to go all the way to the edge of the round and do not over-fill. Press the mound of filling down lightly with dampened finger if necessary to flatten somewhat.
  6. Top the cookie and filling with another cookie round. There is no need to seal the edges, the soft dough seals and bakes together.
  7. Bake 375 F for 10 to 12 minutes rotating the sheet pan half way through. Cookies should only start to be a bit golden brown on the bottom and should stay soft.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2019/01/07/raisin-filled-cookies/

Assembly of Cookies

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postheadericon Crullers

I never met a lump of dough I didn’t like…it is the “Dutchie” in me, I suppose.  But, why fight it?!?  So doughnuts are right up  my alley. Yeast raised or not yeast raised — they’re all good in my book.  But some recipes can be time consuming; this recipe provides a fast way to satisfy my urge for fried dough! This cruller recipe is for a version often made by Pa Dutch cooks; a denser dough somewhat like that of a cake doughnut in a stick shape (sometimes even twisted). not for a French cruller – a fluted, ring-shaped doughnut made from choux pastry with a light airy texture. Although some crullers are yeast raised, this one is not making them quicker to put together and cook up. They are best eaten the same day they are made, but left-overs can be stored n a plastic bag and make for great “dunking” the next day in milk, coffee or hot cocoa.  Adjust your heat for your cooking oil to make sure the dough is fully cooked inside and nicely browned on the outside. Once cooked, leave them plain, dust with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or even top with glaze. (If glazing, make sure doughnut is completely cool before glazing.)

Crullers

Crullers

Crullers

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3½ to 4 cups all purpose flour
    Optional Orange Glaze
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Instructions

  1. In mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add cream and milk.
  2. In another bowl, sift 3 cups flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir in sugar.
  3. Add the dry mixture to the liquid adding just enough additional flour to make dough that can be rolled but still remains soft.
  4. Mix well and let stand for 2 hours.
  5. Turn out on floured board and roll to 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Cut into strips approximately 6 inches by 1 inch.
  7. Fry in deep fat at 360F until browned on both sides.
  8. Drain on absorbent paper and dust with powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, or serve plain as desired.
    Glaze
  1. In small bowl, mix all ingredients together until smooth and blended.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/12/20/crullers/

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postheadericon Pickled Beef Tongue

Beef tongue has been prepared and eaten in different regions of the world since ancient times. Beef tongue is found in many cuisines that make up the Coal Region including Eastern European, German and Pennsylvania Dutch, English, Italian, and Mexican to name a few.  In Russian cuisine the cooked beef tongue is sliced and served cold for “zakuska” (a starter) by itself or as a part of assorted cold meats platter. Tongue can be roasted, boiled, barbecued, smoked, or pickled. Although it might seem intimidating, cooking beef tongue is quite simple to do. It is tender and delicious and can be served on a sandwich, with mustard and/or horseradish sauce. Some pickled beef tongue recipes call for “pink salt” aka potassium nitrate in the brine which helps the meat retain its pink color (think corned beef or salamis), but this one does  not.  Some cooks prepare it by doing nothing more than cooking the tongue in salted water, cleaning it, slicing it, pouring pure vinegar over it in a jar and allowing it to marinate.

Pickled Beef Tongue

Pickled Beef Tongue

Pickled Beef Tongue

Ingredients

  • 1 - 3 to 4 pound beef tongue
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon pickling spice
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1 small peeled onion

Instructions

  1. In large pot, cover tongue with cold water, add salt, carrot, onion, celery; cover and simmer until tender (a couple of hours).
  2. Drain and reserve 2 cups broth.
  3. Cool tongue until able to handle, then peel off thick covering.
  4. Combine reserved broth with the vinegar, sugar, and pickling spices. Add salt to taste.
  5. Place tongue in non-reactive bowl or jar. Cover with vinegar mixture.
  6. Cover, chill for 48 hours. Remove from vinegar mixture, slice across the grain and serve.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/12/17/pickled-beef-tongue/

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postheadericon Pickled Pig’s Feet

I have had several requests for “Pickled Pig’s Feet” which is actually different than the Souse recipe  on this site, even though some people refer to Souse as “pickled pig’s feet”. This is an old recipe and I make no guarantee to it’s success – it is not something in my regular repertoire. Pickled Pig’s Feet are available commercially prepared with Hormel being a recognized brand, but many Coal Region and Pa Dutch country folks have access to great markets and butchers who can supply fresh pigs’ feet and prefer to make their own. This recipe is from Oxmoor House Homestyle Recipes

Pickled Pig’s Feet

Pickled Pig’s Feet

Pickled Pigs' Feet

Ingredients

  • 4 pig's feet, cleaned and scraped
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 bay leaves (1 leaf used in 2 different places)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 12 whole cloves

Instructions

  1. Place pig's feet in a large container with cold water to cover. Soak 3 hours; scrub with a stiff brush. Rinse thoroughly.
  2. Combine pig's feet, onion, celery, 1 bay leaf, salt, and pepper in a large Dutch oven with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 3 hours or until meat is tender and separates from bones.
  3. Remove feet from cooking liquid with a slotted spoon. Place in a plastic, glass, or stainless steel container with a tight-fitting lid; set aside.
  4. Strain cooking liquid through a sieve; discard vegetables and bay leaf. Set cooking liquid aside to allow fat to rise to surface. Remove fat, and discard. Set cooking liquid aside.
  5. Combine vinegar, cloves, and remaining bay leaf in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 1 minute. Add reserved cooking liquid, and bring to a boil.
  6. Pour vinegar mixture over pig's feet to completely cover. (Additional water may be added to cover pig's feet, if necessary. ) Set aside to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours.
  7. Remove pig's feet from vinegar mixture; serve cold.
http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/12/10/pickled-pigs-feet/

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postheadericon Souse

Souse is a variety of head cheese found in Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine. Head cheese is not a dairy product but rather a product made from (tah dah…) the head of an animal (usually pig or calf) along with some other left-over “scraps” that remain after butchering and often include the feet, tongue, and heart.  In a frugal household or in peasant cultures, no part of an animal that can be used is left go to waste. Pa Dutch and Coal Region favorites such as scrapple make use of “everything but the oink”.  Head cheese itself, however, is not specific to the Pa Dutch culture, but rather can be found in various cuisines across the US and globe including Caribbean and Eastern European.

The word SOUSE itself probably comes from the Germanic souce, or pickling juice, which is related to sulza, or brine. Think of souse as head cheese with vinegar added.  The traditional way to make head cheese is to simmer an animal’s head, which is very bone dense, for several hours which will then yield the bounty of rich gelatin needed to produce headcheese/souse. This gelatinous broth binds the meat together to form a terrine-like product usually in the shape of a loaf.  These days, if you find yourself without the source of a pig’s head because, well, say you gave up butchering your own animals when you took that IT job and moved to the heart of San Francisco, there’s good news. You can use some other parts to make this version of souse; pigs’ feet! In fact, some people refer to this dish as “pickled pigs’ feet”. A good butcher shop – or if you are blessed to live in Pa Dutch country, the area farmers’ markets – will often provide you with a source for the un-smoked pig’s feet. Some grocery stores with their own butcher on staff may also be able to get them for you. This may not be a recipe you can make from items you normally find at the corner store in many places, but this page is dedicated to presenting authentic recipes for the foods we know and eat in the Coal Region and in Pa Dutch households, so I present it to you from my Coalcracker Kitchen. (Many deli meat producers in the Pa region make Souse or Head Cheese commercially and you can try it that way from the supermarket deli. Distribution may vary widely, so calling your local market first is always a good idea.) Head cheese and souse are typically served cold or at room temperature. If in loaf form, they are sliced and served, as with cold cuts, on a sandwich or as an appetizer along with cheese and crackers. NOTE: This recipe is taken directly as published in “200 Healthy Amish Food Recipes” by Lev Well

 

Souse or Pickled Pig's Feet

Souse or Pickled Pig's Feet

Pa Dutch Souse

Ingredients

  • 4 pigs' feet
  • 1 cup chopped pickles
  • 2 cups vinegar
  • 2 cups stock
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon broken cinnamon stick

Instructions

  1. Scrape and clean feet well and put on to boil in enough salt water to cover. Simmer for approximately four hours or until meat separates from the bones.
  2. Mix stock in which meat was cooked with vinegar, salt, pepper, and spices. Bring to the boiling point and hold for 30 minutes.
  3. Strain liquid to remove spices.
  4. Place pieces of meat and chopped pickle in a flat dish or stone jar and pour the sour liquid over it. (Coalcracker kitchen note: A loaf pan works well, too.)
  5. Chill in refrigerator until perfectly cold.
  6. Slice and serve.

Notes

From a Coalcracker in the Kitchen: You can also form this by pouring it into a loaf pan. Excess fat can be skimmed off the top surface once completely cold. You can also add one or two mild red cherry peppers, de-seeded and cut up along with the pickles (often found in the pickle section of your grocery store).

http://www.acoalcrackerinthekitchen.com/2018/12/09/souse/

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