Sunday, October 19, 2014

Beer Braised Sausage & Cabbage with Homemade Spaetzle

Most of the time when you read my blog, each post looks very put together and everything turns out so pretty in the end but I have a confession to make.  I have kitchen fails too.  

Take for instance the time I tried to make homemade falafel out of juice pulp.  They were sooooooo bad.  I had high hopes and took all of the pictures but after I had my first bite I thought "There is absolutely no way I can subject my readers into ever making this"!  Fail.

And then there was that time that I attempted to make a Chocolate Crack Pie (inspiration drawn from the famous Momofuku Crack Pie Recipe).  I think I ended up baking the thing for over an hour and it was still raw in the middle.  Riddle me that??  Fail.   

Which brings up to this dish.  Let me just tell you my spaetzle making story...

So Matt and I were out running errands and I abruptly told him to pull into Williams Sonoma because I needed a spaetzle screen (because who doesn't need a spaetzle screen??).  What is a spaetzle screen you may ask?  Well, this is a spaetzle screen.  The ladies were looking all over but unfortunately, WS does not carry spaetzle screens.  

My little heart was set on making some spaetzle so I decided that I was going to just use the steamer pan that I had at home. I thought "It has holes... it will be perfect"! 

So I make this beautiful batter and get the water and pan all ready. As soon as I spoon the mixture over the pan, I realized the holes were too small.  I am frantically trying to push the batter through these tiny holes but it just ends up cooking on the pan.  Fail. 

I start tearing open drawers and cabinets trying to find anything with bigger holes.  Enter the ricer.  Yes!  The ricer will be perfect! 

I spoon the batter into the ricer and when it comes out, It just ends up forming a huge ball of dough in the water.  Fail.  

Then I see this flat ladle with holes.  Yup... still too small.  Fail. 

Defeated and frazzled, I just ended up picking up handfuls of the batter with my fingers and dropping it in the water (my hands were clean... promise).  The end result was not the prettiest, but I somehow managed to make an entire bowl of spaetzle with uneven sizes and shapes.  

So, to illustrate that all is not perfect in my kitchen, I included all of my "fail" pictures of this exhausting process.  

Moral of the story; if you are going to make spaetzle from scratch, buy a spaetzle screen.  

Beer Braised Sausage & Cabbage
6 strips of bacon
6-10 raw sausage links of your choice
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 head of red cabbage
1 bottle of beer
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 chicken bullion cube, mashed into a powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 bay leaves

Chop bacon into thin strips.  Preheat large stock pot our Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add bacon and cook until crispy.  Remove bacon from pan and add sausage.  Brown on both sides then remove from pot.  To the pot, add sliced onions and cook in the bacon grease for 5-7 minutes until they start to caramelize.  

While onions are cooking, whisk together the beer, mustard, vinegar, chicken base, salt and pepper.  Once onions are browned, pour beer mixture over them and then stir in cabbage and bay leaves.  Return sausage and bacon to the cabbage and simmer covered over low heat for 30-40 minutes.  

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
pinch of pepper
fresh grated nutmeg (pinch)
1 tablespoon fresh grated parmesan cheese 
1/3-1/2 cup of milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructional video can be found here

Whisk together flour, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cheese in a large mixing bowl.  Create a well and crack eggs into it.  With a wooden spoon, gradually pour the milk into the eggs and begin to scramble the eggs.  Gradually bring the flour down from the sides and stir with the spoon until a wet and smooth batter forms.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for at least 2 hours (overnight works best).  

When time to cook, bring a pot of water to a boil and place spaetzle screen on top.  Using a flat scraper and working quickly, push the dough through the holes on the screen into the water.  When the spaetzle floats, it is done. 

Strain spaetzle out from water into a clean bowl and add the butter, parsley and cheese.  Stir to coat.  

1 comment:

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