Belly-Busting German Food: Easy and Authentic German Recipes

German Food: Easy and Authentic German Recipes
German food is much more than sauerkraut and sausages. Read why that is so, and also enjoy some delicious and easy German recipes in this Buzzle post.
German food is often caricatured as just being made up of sauerkraut, sausages, and schnitzel. While it's true that many Germans do like their pickled cabbage and bratwurst, but their cuisine is much more than just that.

Germany was split into many different states until the revolution in the mid 19th Century. This resulted in a variety of cooking styles developing in various regions of the country.

The cuisine in the north of the country is generally thought to be healthier with the emphasis being on fish from the North Sea and the Baltic, which includes pickled roll mop herrings as well as fresh herrings, cooked whole, served with potatoes and bacon dip. The other specialties of the northern region are, Leipziger allerlei, a stewed vegetable dish with crayfish served with cabbage rolls that are filled with minced meat, and Hamburg labskaus, or sailor's hash, which is made with corned beef, gherkins, and potatoes.

The food in the southern region has a tendency of being higher in carbohydrates, with dumplings, spatzle―which is a thick German noodle, potatoes, creamy sauces, and meat featuring heavily, including the nation's favorite meat - pork. In Germany, they like their pfalzer saumagen, or stuffed pig's stomach, succulent roast pork, roast knuckle of veal, and saddle of venison.

Street Treats

If you visit Germany, you will soon come across street vendors baking fresh pretzels or frying sausages. Street food has always been popular with the Germans and you will often find nattily attired businessmen happily tucking into large sized frankfurters wrapped in bread rolls, perched outside wooden cabins, the air redolent with the rich smells of sausages roasting or the sweet aroma of aniseed, liquorice, or fried donuts.

The regional influences exist even in the street food of Germany. While in some areas sauerkraut is served with sausages, in others they come with onions or sweet and grainy mustard.

Throngs of people head for German Christmas markets just for the scrumptious street food. Market squares are lined by rows of stalls where fresh produce is sold. One of Germany's oldest and best known Christmas markets, the Gendarmenmarket, is especially stunning, where you get traditional foods like potato cakes with apple sauce, salmon, quark, or onion.

You also get huge varieties of succulent fried sausages served up with bread rolls, and curry sauce or mustard. You can bite into the giant pretzels that you'll find hanging from hooks, covered with salt - they go very well with a glass of gluwein or beer.

The huge selections of chocolates and sweets, wrapped in foil and shaped like Father Christmas or any other seasonal shapes, will tempt your taste buds. You can marvel at the painted marzipan figurines that line confectionery stands, and watch almonds and chestnuts being roasted.

Delicious Delicatessens

German cuisine includes numerous varieties of cheese, which include tangy and hard cow's milk cheeses like emmentaler and tilsiter, which are especially good for melting and grilling. Brie with added green peppercorns or mushrooms or velvet-textured Bavarian Blue Brie are some of the softer German cheeses.

Pickles are either mixed into a dish or accompany sandwiches and sausages. The Germans love pickling carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, pepper, and of course cabbage, for their famous sauerkraut. Black Forest ham, schnicken, chicken in aspic, tongue and liver pate are just a few of the large variety of cold meats that are popular in Germany.

Easy German recipes

Sauerbraten

4 lb lean beef roast, preferably eye of round rump
To be mixed together in a saucepan:
2 C. red wine
2 C. red wine vinegar
2 C. water
1 large sized onion, sliced
3 cloves, 2 bay leaves, 10 peppercorns

You will require:
A large sized bowl or crock to marinate the roast
A Dutch Oven or a large-sized, tightly covered kettle for cooking

Heat the marinating mixture until it begins simmering, then turn off the heat. Pour this mixture over the meat, placed in a large bowl, and let it cool. Cover this and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days. Next, remove the meat from the marinade, draining it out completely. Strain the marinade and keep it aside. Put enough oil to cover the bottom of the Dutch Oven and brown the roast in it. Add 2 cups of the marinade into it slowly. Reduce the heat and cover the cooking pot and let it simmer until the roast is tender, which will take about 21/2 hours. Remove it on to a large platter and keep it warm. In order to make the gravy, thicken the liquid with crushed gingersnaps, cornstarch, or flour. If you want a stronger flavor add bouillon cubes or some beef base. Slice the sauerbraten and serve with potato dumplings, spatzle, or mashed potatoes.

Spatzle

Pronounced 'shpet sla', this is an irregularly shaped noodle, formed by passing the batter through a colander or a spatzle grater.

4-5 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup of water, 250 ml
4 large sized eggs
1 tsp salt

In a bowl, mix the water, flour, salt and eggs, stirring until the batter becomes elastic and thick; add more flour if required. Place the colander or spatzle maker over a bowl of gently boiling water. Put some of the batter into the holding cup and grate it slowly. When the spatzle begins floating up to the surface, use a slotted spoon to remove them. Repeat this process until you use up all the batter. The spatzle can tossed with butter and cheese and topped with caramelized onions.

Zwiebelkuchen

1/4 lb smoked bacon, diced
1 medium-sized onion, chopped into small pieces
2 eggs
1 cup of sour cream
1 tbs flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
9-inch pie crust

Saute the bacon until they become crisp. Drain out most of the fat, keeping just enough for the onions. Now, sauté the onions until they become clear. Keep aside and allow them to cool. In a bowl, whip the sour cream, eggs, flour, salt, and pepper until well blended. Prick the bottom of the pie crust with a fork. Put the bacon and onions on the piecrust and then pour the whipped mixture on top of them. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes, until the egg mixture is set and the pie is browned.

Black Forest Gateau

150 g plain flour, sifted
4 eggs, separated
50 g cocoa powder, unsweetened
200 g sugar
50 ml kirsch
250 ml whipping cream
100 g raspberry jam
100 g canned or bottled cherries in syrup, drained
Chocolate shavings, to decorate
Cocoa powder, for dusting

For the kirsch syrup:
100 g water
100 g caster sugar
50 g kirsch

Begin by preheating the oven to 180 degrees C. Use an electric mixer to whip the egg whites and a pinch of the sugar until peaks begin to form. In another bowl, beat the egg yolks and 100 g of sugar together, then mix the cocoa powder into the egg yolk mixture, and next mix in the flour. Then blend in half of the beaten egg white into the cocoa mixture, and then fold the rest of the egg white in. Put this mixture into a greased 6-inch round cake tin. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the cake is firm to the touch and is well risen. Remove the cake from the oven, and after about five minutes, turn it out, leaving it to cool on a wire rack. Put the remaining caster sugar and the kirsch into the cream and whip them up together.

To make the kirsch syrup, put a saucepan on heat and put the water, kirsch and caster sugar into it, heating until the sugar dissolves. Turning up the heat, allow it to boil for about 3-4 minutes, until it thickens a little.

Use a sharp, large knife to trim off the top of the chocolate cake. Then slice it into three horizontal layers. Placing a 6-inch cake ring on a plate put the bottom portion of the cake layer inside it. Spoon some of the kirsch syrup over the layer, and then spread some raspberry jam over it. Cover that with a layer of whipped cream and a layer of cherries. Place another layer of cake on that. And repeat the process. Then put the third layer of cake, making certain to finish with a layer of cream.

Cover the Black Forest Gateau and chill it for about 4 hours, or, overnight. Put the gateau on a serving plate and remove the cake ring. Decorate it with sifted cocoa powder and chocolate shavings.