Goulash & Gluhwein. Kartoffelbrot, Kaffee & Kuchen.

Sunday 2 December 2012
Have I mentioned that I'm going to Munich for the German Christmas Markets?! A planning night was in order for BFF and me to work out our shopping strategy and most importantly what clothes to pack and who was taking the hairdryer. I decided that it would be nice to cook something German to get us in the mood so consulted my German friend C and she suggested Gulaschsuppe mit Sauerkraut
Thankfully Google translate came to the rescue and I was able to get the jist of the recipe but still required some additional help from C with translation. I opted to make it in the slow cooker and juggled the quantities a bit. Here's my version. It smelt absolutely amazing throughout the day whilst cooking.
Gulaschsuppe mit Sauerkraut
500g beef cubed
500g pork cubed
2 onions chopped
1 pack streaky bacon chopped
800g Sauerkraut (only becuase thats how much was in the jar I bought!)
4 tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tin tomato puree
4 cloves garlic crushed
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper
small carton single cream

I browned my meat and onions before putting them into the slow cooker but if I was to make it again I'd just bung in everything from the offset and leave it on low all day. The cream is added at the end just before serving where if you remember you can fish out the bay leaves. It was a fantastically hearty and favoursome stew. Despite C's warnings I didn't find it too sour at all. The beef was melt in the mouth but the pork was a bit dry. I'd go for just beef next time. Boy loved it. Girl had a sausage roll.
To accompany I decided to give Kartoffelbrot a go. German Potato Bread. I used a recipe from my chums The Hairy Bikers. It was my fist foray into bread making since I did the guinea pig bread course at Nick Nairn Cookshool. What I learned there definitely gave me more confidence to tackle the recipe. Not sure if it turned out looking as it was supposed to as I had no photo to guide me. Pet hate when it comes to recipes. Unfortunately all the black onion seeds fell off. It didn't say to in the instructions but perhaps I should have stuck them on with an egg wash or something. Can any proficient bread makers advise?
The resulting loaf was a bit flatter than I anticipated but it didn't seem too dense. Not sure if I could have told from the taste that it contained potatoes.  It all got eaten. Even by girl. For desert I totally cheated with a frozen Black Forrest Gateaux from Asda. For £2 it was surprisingly good. I made up for that lapse with Zimsterne to accompany our coffee. German Cinnamon Biscuits. I'd tasted and loved these at Festive Pinnies and Petticoats. Its a bit of a strange recipe as you keep back 1/3 of the meringue mix to use as the topping.  
The meringue gets spread out on top of the rolled out dough and you then leave it at least an hour to form a skin before you can cut out the stars. There's quite a bit of wastage with the dough as you can't re-roll. It might be possible to spread on the topping after you've cut the stars but its already quite fiddly without adding that to the equation. They look cute and taste fantastic. Chewy and spicy. I think my oven was a little hot as some went rather brown at the edges which isn't supposed to happen.
To wash it all down beer and wine was of course required. I've certainly drank the stereotypical German wines of Hock, Leibfraumilch and Piesporter Michelsberg in my youth but wasn't quite sure I could face them again. However they seemed to pretty much encompass the choice available on supermarket shelves. Perhaps I would have fared better at a specialist wine shop. However in keeping with the theme I oped for a bottle of Fruity White Black Tower. Primarily because of its snowflake label. Yes I do regularly make wine choices based on the labels. Doesn't everyone? Pretty label or not it wasn't great. Very sweet.
The day after my own attempt at German food we were invited for "Kaffee und Kuchen" at C's house.  I managed to translate the invite without the help of Google. (Coffee and Cake if you are struggling) There was also the added incentive of a bit of Gluhwein.
The table was beautifully set with advent candles as the centerpiece. Mini Stollen, Gebrannte Mandeln (Burnt Sugar Almonds) and Kekse (cookies) accompanied a large Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cake. All delicious. Coffee drunk and it was time for the Gluhwein. Red wine was warmed and vanilla sugar, spices and fresh orange juice added. Then a Zuckerhut (sugar cone) was placed on a rack above the pan, doused in brandy and set alight. The flaming sugar caramelises and drips into the wine below. Looks impressive and tastes amazing. 
A fabulous weekend of German influenced food and drink. I'm now even more excited about my upcoming trip and already have a few specific sights I want to see and items on my shopping list. Zuckerhut and Gebrannte Mandeln are must haves and it would be rude not to visit the worlds largest Burnt Punch. www.muenchner-feuerzangenbowle.de The wrought iron kettle is almost 10 foot high and 8 foot wide and holds 9000 litres of Gluhwein. I have a feeling we're going to have an amazing time and will be spoilt for choice with wonderful food and drink. Expect a plethora of bloggage upon my return. But for now, Auf Wiedersehen Pet.


  1. Thanks for your entry, my you have been busy, what a delicious looking feast

  2. Goodness you hardly need to go to Germany after that!

  3. So jealous you are actually doing THE German Christmas Market! We usually do Bath, but are sampling the market at Cirencester this year. As for all that yummy food... we got hooked when my other half had stints working in Germany around xmas time and would bring treats home. Not being very kitchen endowed :-( I now buy those yummy xmas german treats from the likes of John Lewis and Burford Garden Company. Yum!!


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