German Comfort Food Recipes by Peter Gau - HTML preview

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Chapter 2

Side Dishes

Bread Dumplings (Semmelknoedel)

Potato Dumplings


Leipziger Allerlei


Red Cabbage

Sour Cabbage

Bread Dumplings (Semmelknödel)


10 stale bread rolls (best 2 days old)

2 cups milk

1 onion

3 eggs

3 tablespoons parsley (fresh, chopped)

1 oz. butter



Cut the bread rolls into slices. Try and slice as thinly as you can. Place them in a mixing bowl and bring two cups of milk to the boil. Now pour the hot milk over the bread slices, mix a little and let soak for at least 1 hour.

Peel and chop the onion and sauté in the butter until glassy, add the parsley, stir one more time and then add to the soaking bread in the mixing bowl.

Add the eggs, season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly until you have a soft dough like texture. Let stand for another 30 minutes and mix again.

Fill a large saucepan with plenty of salted water and bring to the boil.

When the water is boiling, wet your hands with tap water, take some of the bread dough and form a dumpling of appr. 2 inches in diameter and carefully place into the boiling water.

Leave this dumpling for a couple of minutes. If it comes up and swims on top without falling apart, the consistence and texture of the dough is just right and you can continue forming dumplings and place them in the water.

If your 'test dumpling' falls apart in the water you will have to add some flour to the bread dough and mix again. Continue doing this until the texture is right.

Let me give you some reassurance here. Hardly anyone gets this right first time but the more you practice the better it will work out and once you made bread dumplings several times you will just know. A lot depends on how old the bread rolls are and what texture they have in the first place.

I have never met anyone that doesn't love bread dumplings, so its well worth the effort.

Let the dumplings simmer in the salted water for appr. 20 - 30 minutes.

Remove the dumplings with a spoon and let them drain for a while.

Delicious as a side dish with roast pork, roast chicken or just on their own with mushroom-cream sauce.

Potato Dumplings


3 lbs. potatoes rich in starch (should be weighed after washing and peeling) 2 cups milk

5 oz. semolina (coarse)

2 bread rolls (stale)

3 tablespoons of vegetable oil or butter




First of all cut the bread rolls into small dices (1/4 inch) and sauté them in some vegetable oil or butter to a light brown colour. If you like you can add some garlic or herbs to your taste. Put them aside for later use.

Next wash and peel the potatoes and weigh them.

Bring a large saucepan with salted water to the boil.

In the meantime, prepare a bowl with water and add a little bit of vinegar.

Now boil 1 cup of the milk in one saucepan and do the same with the other cup in another saucepan but add the semolina and some salt. Let it boil for a minute and leave at low heat but make sure it doesn't cool down to much. It has to be piping hot when you are using it.

The next step is to grate the potatoes into the prepared bowl with some water and vinegar.

Fill the grated potatoes into a potato sack or something similar and press firmly to extract the juice. Make sure you catch all the juice in a bowl.

Put the pressed-out potatoes gratings into another bowl.

Now add the starch from the potato juice into the bowl with potato gratings.

Quickly pour the hot milk over the potato gratings, mix a little and immediately after, pour the milk with semolina over the potato gratings as well. Mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper while mixing.

Now shape the potato dough into dumplings (appr. 1.5 - 2 inches in diameter) take the bread dices and push one of them into the middle of each dumpling.

Reshape the dumplings and place them into the prepared, large saucepan with salted water.

Let simmer for appr. 30 minutes and serve.

Potato dumplings are delicious with roast duck or goose or any beef, especially in red wine sauce.




This is a dish that needs some explaining. It originates in the German region of Swabia, where 'spaetzle' is a slang word for a little sparrow. If you use all the imagination that you have in you, you may agree that the shape reminds you of a sparrow. I however would say it looks more like a little worm. In any case, don't waste your time trying to somehow shape them into sparrows. A little worm will do.


1 lbs. flour

4 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 cup water

1 1/2 oz butter or margarine



Sift the flour into a bowl. add the milk and water and mix a little. Now add the eggs and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly until you see bubbles. Let the dough rest for 1 hour.

In a large saucepan bring plenty of salted water to the boil.

Place some of the dough into a spätzle maker and slice into the simmering water. Don't slice to many spätzle or they will stick together. Do it in batches.

Bring each batch briefly to the boil and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes. Lift out with a slotted spoon. Drain each batch well and place into a bowl.

Sauté each batch of spätzle in butter for another 2 - 3 minutes.

Spätzle go well as side dish for any beef or game. They can be used in stews and are very tasty on their own with cheese, roasted onions, garlic or herbs.

Leipziger Allerlei

Another dish that I couldn't find an appropriate translation for.

Leipzig is the city in Germany where this dish originates. 'Allerlei' is a slang word in the area and means something like 'all kinds of stuff'.


0.3 oz. peas

0.3 oz. green beans

0.3 oz. carrots

1/2 head cauliflower

0.15 oz. mushrooms

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of flour

1 cup milk

2 egg yolks



Wash, peel and slice the carrots. Wash the cauliflower and pluck into florets.

Slice the mushrooms.

Bring plenty of salted water to the boil in a saucepan and add the peas, green beans, sliced carrots and cauliflower. Let simmer for about 20 - 30 minutes.

Then drain and set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and sauté the mushrooms. Add the flour, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Bring milk to the boil and add to the mushrooms. Keep stirring vigorously until you have a smooth sauce.

Now whisk the egg yolks in a mixing bowl and add to the mushroom sauce in the saucepan. Keep stirring for another 2 minutes and let simmer for another 2 minutes. Now add the other vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve hot as side dish with any kind of meat or fish.



2 lbs. kale

3 medium sized onions

1 cup beef broth

2 tablespoons of lard

3 tablespoons of oats

2 tablespoons of mustard (medium hot)

1 teaspoon of allspice

6 cloves (whole)

10 peppercorns

2 bay leaves

ground pepper


Wash the kale and remove the stalks.

Using a large saucepan, bring plenty of salted water to the boil.

Place the kale as a whole into the boiling water and blanch for about 5

minutes. Drain and wait until the kale has cooled down a bit. Now chop the kale finely.

Peel and chop two onions and sauté them in the lard.

Peel the third onion, leave it whole and stud it with the cloves and the bay leaves.

Place the chopped kale into a saucepan with the onions stir vigorously and season with allspice, ground pepper and some salt.

Now add the beef broth, stir, add the mustard and stir vigorously again.

Add the with cloves and bay leaves studded onion, bury it in the kale and let simmer for appr. 20 minutes. Add the oats and let simmer for another 10


Very tasty with bacon or any kind of smoked meat, sausages or fish.

Red Cabbage


2 lbs. red cabbage

2 apples

2 onions

3 cloves

2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon of sugar

4 tablespoons of vinegar

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup red wine



some oil or butter

Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage and wash thoroughly. Cut into quarters and remove the stalk. Now grate or cut into slices and sprinkle with vinegar. Alternatively you can of course use red cabbage from a tin or glass.

Peel and wash the apples, remove the stones and cut into small slices. Peel and chop one of the onions.

Now heat the sugar in some oil or butter for 1 - 2 minutes and add the sliced apple and chopped onion. Sauté for 3 - 4 minutes.

Next add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper, stir for 1 minute or so and then pour the vegetable broth and red wine over the cabbage.

Peel the second onion, leave whole and stud with the cloves.

Place into the saucepan with the cabbage and the two bay leaves.

Simmer for appr. 45 - 60 minutes, stir slightly from time to time and add some more water or red wine as needed.

Very popular as a side dish for Christmas dinner or with roast duck, goose and beef.

Sour Cabbage


2 lbs. sour cabbage

1 1/2 oz. bacon

1 onion

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup white wine (dry)

1 teaspoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of caraway seeds

5 - 6 juniper berries

1 clove of garlic

2 bay leaves


oil or butter

Cut the bacon into small dices and slice the onion.

In a saucepan, heat the sugar in some oil or butter until slightly brown.

Add the diced bacon and the sliced onion and sauté for 3 - 4 minutes.

Squash the clove of garlic and add into the saucepan as it is.

Now add the sour cabbage and stir for a minute or so while seasoning with some pepper. Don't season with salt, as sour cabbage is already very salty.

Next pour the cup of vegetable broth and dry white wine over the cabbage, stir again and let simmer for appr. 10 minutes.

Add the juniper berries, caraway seeds and bay leaves and let simmer for appr.

45 - 60 minutes.

Stir from time to time and add some water or white wine as needed.

Serve with pork, pork sausages or potato dishes.