It is winter still in the U.S. and Northern hemisphere and a simmering pot of stew or a roast braising in the oven brings warm thoughts as well as satisfied tummies.
Being born and raised in the U.S. in the 50’s and 60’s beef was by far the predominant choice in the market. Why eat chicken when you can have beef we thought. Ground beef was less than a buck a pound.
Europe's land for grazing is not as generous as the U.S.
Cows were used for milk, and young calves were slaughtered for veal because they were expensive to feed and take care of, unlike pigs. Germany also got beef from Hungarian Gulya’s (cowboys) who came up on cattle drives to Frankfurt.
Hungarian Gulyas (cowboys)
As early as the 1200’s cattle drives from Hungary’s Gulyas (cowboys) would stop in Frankfurt,
Germany, the regions largest trade center and sell cattle. The herdsman would pick up salt, spices and other goods and circle back
to their ranch's in Hungary.
For years a tradition in Germany is the "The Almabtrieb" (German language literally: drive from the mountain pasture).
It's an annual event in the alpine regions in Europe, referring to a cow train in autumn.
During the summer months the cattle in the Alpine regions of Germany and Austria, are herded up to the lush grasses in the summer for the cattle to graze. These grasses more of a pure grade, without the gas and other pollutants that may be at the lower levels. For about 100 days the cows live in this paradise till Fall comes and the grasses are starting to die. Then the cattle are herded back down to the valley and if they have survived the journey without an accident they are dressed up with wreaths and/or big cow bells, of course there is a celebration called the “Vierscheid” which means the sorting of the cows. The cows and cattle in all their décor are brought to the valley to be sorted back to their owners and a celebration occurs, with sausages and plenty of beer. It has even become an event that attracts tourists.
Tourists watch as they bring down the cows from the mountains.
I had heard that steaks were harder to find in Germany and I read as much from
U.S. traveler's blogs who miss their sizzling New York or T-Bone steaks and can't find them in Germany.
My friend from Rothenburg who is one of my "Go to German friends" says that he has no trouble getting
them he just tells the butcher (Metzger) what he wants and he gets any custom cut.
Here is a comparison to American and German Cuts. You can see they are a bit different .
Here are Some of my Favorite German
Rindfleisch (Beef) Dishes
In Germany, the Sauerbraten method was often used in cooking Venison or other game, as the spices and vinegar took away the “wild” taste of the meat. Most of us make it with beef, these days, and so did Grandma Block.
I am taking some cooking license here and using German ideas to create my own thing. The stew uses beer, paprika and caraway much like a Goulash and the Knoephla is a take on the German -Russian favorite Knoephla, and the Penn Dutch filling for Boova Schenkel.
This is a German- Turkish- Hungarian fusion dish that is very popular in German Roadside stands. It is unique to me in that it is the first Kebab style dish that is braised rather than BBQued. The sauce is absolutely delicious.
The popularity of Corned Beef and Cabbage in the United States is due most likely with the German Jews that migrated to the US. In Ireland you would generally make a Bacon joint and cabbage, which is a cut of pork, that was hard to find outside of Ireland. The corned beef brisket was a close second that they could find in New York, and the German Jewish owners made all the time, since they didn't use pork.
This is German for "The March of Gaisburg, which is a district of Stuttgart, Germany. There are varying stories of how this rich beef stew got it's name, one says that the soldiers loved the stew so much they marched all the way to a restaurant in Gaisburg named Bäckerschmide.
This dish originates from the city of Königsberg and is very popular there.
It is characterized by meatballs simmered in broth rather than fried.
The sauce is then flavored with cream or sour cream, lemon and capers.
This is a popular dish in Bremen, in Northern Germany. The word Labskaus may have it's roots in a slang term for a sailor. This dish was popular for the sailors and dock workers and remains to this day.
This is a German classic dish that is beef rolled up with a stuffing that consists of bacon, onions, mustard and believe it or not dill pickle. There are many recipes that do not have the dill pickle in them.
This is indigenous to the city of Idar-Oberstein and the area around there.
German Gem miners traveled to Argentina and learned to cook steaks from
the Gauchos. They brought it back and put their own German spin on it.
In the United States you often don't see "rump roast" in the meat counter.
If you can't find it then choose a roast from the leg. This is usually called
a Top Round, or Bottom Round or Eye of the Round roast.