Inspired by my grandmother's spirit as she passed away just over a week ago, I decided to turn Oma Sieghilde's cooking into a series that will go on for at least a month... or until I run out of her recipes.
When my twin sister and I were in grade school, we spent our afternoons at my grandparents' house. After completing the long walk up the hill and to her house in Kasel, Germany, we were finally rewarded with her homemade specialty meals, such as Klößchen (homemade potato dumplings - see last blog post), Erbsbrei (pea purée - coming soon!), Linsen und Spätzle (lentils and homemade egg noodles - coming next week!), and one of my favorites: Kasslersuppe. This is a soup made from brined and smoked pork and it is as simple as it is extremely delicious..!
And every now and then you could see my dear Oma Sieghilde run after us with a wooden spoon when our eyes were bigger than our stomachs... oh, how I miss those times! By the way, she never caught me. 😉
Kassler pork is not easy to find in the States. In Germany, it is usually made from pork neck or pork loin, and sometimes from other cuts of pork. But generally speaking, the Kassler is brined, which is a tenderizing and flavoring process that takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and then smoked.
If you are as lucky as I am, your local butcher (aka The Local Pig for us Kansas Citians) will have brined and smoked meat available to sell to you and you won't have to worry about brining and smoking your own pork. For this post, I did not take on the task of making Kassler, but please expect a recipe for this to come in the future..!
For my Kassler soup recipe, please plan a little bit ahead as it takes about 6 to 8 hours to cook the meat in the Crock Pot, which at the same time flavors the water it cooks in (this will eventually be your soup!). So don't rush it..!
What Is Needed:
- Kassler (brined and smoked pork, I used 2 of The Local Pig's brined & smoked Pork Chops)
- Bay Leaf (2)
- Cream (1 cup)
- Flour to thicken
- Pasta (I used Colavita Ditali)
And that's it!
- Trim any excess fat from the edges of your pork.
- In a larger size Crock Pot, add the pork, 2 bay leafs and fill about ¾ full with water.
- Cook for 6 hours on high.
- Remove the pork, let cool, and pull the pork into small pieces and shreds.
- Strain the liquid and pour into a pot, transfer to the stove top.
- Double the contents by adding water and 1 cup of cream.
- Bring to a boil.
- Remove some of the liquid, mix with flour, and gradually add back to the soup until it thickens to become the texture you desire.
- Boil pasta until al dente.
- Now arrange the soup as follows: Boiled pasta, Soup and top off with shredded pork.
- Serve with nice rustic bread and real butter (if you're in KC, Farm to Market baguette and Shatto Butter)
- Enjoy and guten Appetit! 🙂
Until next week, when I will uncover my grandma's amazing homemade Spätzle and Lentils served with Wiener or Frankfurter Sausages..! So very excited!
Hugs & bis bald (see you soon!)