Monday, October 26, 2009


I don't know about you, but when I think of Austria, I automatically think of Julie Andrews spinning on mountain tops and the Von Trapps running away from the Anschluss to Switzerland. Admittedly, I've never watched this movie the entire way through. For those who have never seen "The Sound of Music" (or just bits of it), Austria may conjure up visions of the Viennese Waltz, skiing down the Alps and eating tiny sausages.

Now, given that last sentence, I know what you are thinking now.."Did they actually make little Viennese sausages?". We did not, however, we DID make large sausages. As this is the first country that has a deep appreciation for sausage, I feel the need to share our history with sausage making. Tom and I actually started our relationship over a plate of sausage that he ground up and stuffed himself. Tom explained to me how he used pig intestines for casings and what was in each sausage to make them different. I was a little grossed out, but more intrigued. A month later, it was my birthday and we made sausage together for the first time. If you ever get the chance to do it, and think you can stomach it, I highly recommend it. This meal provided us with the perfect excuse for busting out the meat grinder.

Farmer's Cheese Spread

1/2 lb farmers cheese (unsweetened!)
1 tbsp capers chopped
2 tbsps chopped anchovie fillets (packed in oil)
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp caraway
1/2 red onion roughly chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
Dark rye or pumpernickel bread for serving.

1. Combine everything except for the olive oil in a food processor.
2. Slowly pour in the olive oil with the blade running to form a rich paste
3. Toast bread and cut into thirds for serving.
4. Spread paste on bread and eat. I'd recommend drinking beer between bites!

Cauliflower and Green Pea Salad

1 head cauliflower
1 lb shelled peas (frozen are fine)
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup stock beef or mushroom
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tbsp chopped dill
4 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Rosemary Mayonnaise for Garnish
(recipe follows)

1. Cut the cauliflower into small florets and blanch in boiling salted water for ten minutes. Drain cauliflower in a colander under cold running water. Then place the drained cauliflower in a large mixing bowl.
2. Blanch the peas in boiling salted water for five minutes. Drain under cold water and add to the bowl.
3. In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients except the mayo and whisk together.
4. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and and allow 30 minutes to marinate or overnight in the fridge.
5. Portion out the vegetables for serving and add a dallop of rosemary mayonnaise to each portion.

Rosemary Mayonnaise

Seriously, it takes about five minutes to put together a good mayonnaise in a blender or food processor. And it tastes so much better than the strange substance sold in jars containing radiated eggs. I prefer to make mine in a processor because its much easier to scoop out.

1 egg plus one egg yolk (Be sure the eggs are cold when you start blending.)
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsps chopped rosemary
3/4 corn oil

1. Combine all the ingredients except the oil in the processor.
2. With the blade running add the oil in a thin stream very slowly until a thick and fluffy paste is formed.
3. Pour the mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
**** Unlike store bought mayo, this stuff will only last about a week in the fridge. But that's ok because you can actually pronounce the names of the ingredients in this mayo and it tastes so much better. If you're feeding this to children or the elderly, try to use organic eggs. Our government's poultry standards allow for some pretty scary stuff to get into the mass produced eggs that can affect weaker immune systems. Last I checked Britain had the same problem.

Cabbage and Noodles: Krautfleckerl

1 head green cabbage cored and thinly sliced (about 2 lbs)
1 red onion thinly sliced
4 tbsp butter (about half a stick)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp carraway
1/2 cup beer
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb wide egg noodles cooked and drained
sour cream and dill for garnish

1. Melt butter over medium heat in a large pot or dutch oven and add the red onion.
2. Cook until the onion begins to brown. Add the sugar and carraway and stir to carmelize the mixture for about five minutes.
3. Add the cabbage and mix the contents of the pot well. Pour on the beer, lower the heat, and cover with a lid.
4. Cook the cabbage down for 45 minutes stirring occassionally. Now would be a good time to cook the noodles.
5. After 45 minutes uncover. The cabbage should be slightly browned. If not turn up the heat and stir it until it browns. Add the cooked noodles. Toss everything togeter. Add the salt and pepper.
6. Apply a tablespoon or so of sour cream and a sprig of dill to each portion. Serve.


Good sausage needs at least three things: meat, fat, and salt. This recipe has all of it! Before starting, make sure you have a clean work surface, because this gets messy. You'll need a meat grinder with a sausage stuffing funnel. Or you'll need a food processor, a large funnel, and a lot of patience. Tom wounded himself while making these sausages, but fortunately our good friend Carl was there to help with the meat chopping. His hands are pictured below.

2.5 lbs of pork belly (skin removed) cubed
2.5 lbs pork shoulder cubed
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp mace
3/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 red onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1.5 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons salt
Pig Casings for stuffing soaked in warm water for at least 30 minutes.

1. Run the meat through the grinding disc with the largest hole once.

2. Combine the remaining ingredients with the meat and mix well with your hands.

3. Run everything back through the grinder once more again on the largest setting.
4. Heat a skillet and fry up a small amount of the mix to taste for seasoning. Adjust to your preference.
5. Chill the sausage mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
6. Wash the casings in the sink making sure to run water through them. This can be disturbing, but with time you'll get used to it.
7. Load the stuffing attachment onto the meat grinder. Tie off a large length of casing and load the other end onto the stuffing funnel.
8. Run the mixture through the grinder into the casings. Be careful to move the casings as the meat comes out and don't let them get overloaded or they'll explode. If the casing does rupture, just cut what you've made, tie it off, and resume.

9. When all of your casing is stuffed, twist the sausage into links. Tie a small piece of twine between each link.
10. Gently poach the sausage for 15 minutes in water heated to about 180 degrees.
11. Remove the links, cut the twine, and gently grill, fry, or roast in the oven at 350 to brown the sausage.
12. Serve.


2 pound of apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Filo dough
1/2 cup melted butter
2/3 cup raisins
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1 tsp. cinnamon

1. In a greased baking pan, start layering filo dough and brushing in between each layer with the melted butter. Use about 7-10 sheets of filo, depending on how flaky you would like the strudel.
2. Combine the walnuts and breadcrumbs together and sprinkle on the dough.
3. Place the apples on top of that.
4. Brush the apples with some butter.
5. Sprinkle the raisins on top of the apples.
6.Combine the cinnamon and sugar together and dust that on top of the apples and raisins.
7. Place another 7-10 layers of filo dough, with melted butter in between like before. Also, brush the top layer lightly with butter
8. Bake at 350 for 45-1 hour.
9. Enjoy by itself or with ice cream or whipped cream.

The Meal: Commentary

Austria was a little time consuming, but we have learned to make things in advance now. Believe it or not, in some of the earlier countries, we prepared all of the dishes from scratch after 6 o'clock on weekdays. This got to be way too much, as did making two meals a week. We realized that we could not make each meal as great as it could be because of time constraints and that simply would not do justice to an entire country's cuisine. We still may do two in a week when we are feeling ambitious, but for now, one a week will have to do.

Now on to the meal critique.

I made a mistake this meal by not using enough filo dough for the strudel. I had never used filo before and grossly underestimated the amount that needed to be used. Don't worry though, the recipe provided is definitely the way to go. The filling still was tasty and very apropos for the fall.

Our love for cabbage was once again proven when added to egg noodles. Everyone seemed to enjoy the sausage, however, I prefer sausages without cream.

All in all, I think we overindulged a tad. The food of Austria is not light fare. Everything is quite rich and filling. The meal paired well though with all the fine Austrian wine and cheap American beer we consumed. In fact, it may have paired too well, because I noticed my photography skills absolutely fall off the face of the earth, as you can see in the picture below.

We also had a visiting diner with us from Ball State. Thanks, Jess for joining us in our culinary endeavor, as well as reminiscing with me about good ole Muncie.

Only one more "A" country left. We are finally feeling like we hit a milestone! Until then, prost!!

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I think y'all are going to have to get away from European food for a while if you're going to have functioning hearts by the time you get to "G."