Legendary Dishes | Bratwürst mit Zwiebelsauce und Rösti (sausages with onion sauce and grated potatoes)

GERMANY SWITZERLAND
  • 1 kg Potatoes
  • 4 St Galler sausages / pork-veal sausages
  • 500 g Onion sauce

Zwiebelsauce GERMANY SWITZERLAND onion sauce

There is no agreed method for making onion sauce in Europe. Some cooks insist it should be aromatic and saucy, rich and strong, and have a smooth consistency, other cooks believe it can be lumpy and gooey, thick or thin, flour-based or tomato-based.

Cream Version
  • 350 ml bouillon
  • 200 g onions, sliced into rings
  • 100 g shallots, sliced
  • 100 ml red / white wine
  • 45 ml sour cream 
  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g white wheat flour
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Sugar, large pinch
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Lemon thyme leaves, for garnish

Pour the hot water into a bowl, add the bouillon powder and leave to soak. Combine flour and onions in a large bowl. Heat butter in a large frying pan, add the flour and onion mixture, and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. De-glaze the pan with the wine, add the bouillon and choice of herb, simmer for 15 minutes. Add cream, simmer for five minutes, season. Serve hot with grilled sausages and fried grated potatoes, garnished with lemon thyme.

Tomato Version
  • 350 ml bouillon / broth
  • 200 g onions, sliced into rings
  • 120 g tomato passata / sauce
  • 100 g shallots, sliced
  • 100 ml red / white wine 
  • 30 g butter
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Sugar, large pinch
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Lemon thyme leaves, for garnish

Pour the hot water into a bowl, add the bouillon powder and leave to soak. Heat butter in a large frying pan, add onions, sauté for five minutes until the onions start to brown. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes. De-glaze the pan with the wine, add the broth and choice of herb, simmer for 15 minutes. Add tomato sauce, simmer for 15 minutes, season. Serve hot with grilled sausages and fried grated potatoes, garnished with lemon thyme.

St. Galler Bratwürst SWITZERLAND pork-veal milk sausages

St-Galler-Bratwurst

The butchers‘ guild of St. Gallen in 1438 noted that the country bratwürst was made with veal, belly pork, spices and fresh milk, and had a distinctive white colour. Today the St. Galler bratwürst is a white unsmoked sausage made with veal, pork, spices and milk. Why change a good thing? This unique sausage is produced in the cantons of Appenzell, St. Gallen and Thurgau with meat and milk from Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Throughout its history it has been made with and without veal, an unthinkable thought today to those who cherish a bratwürst that is now an integral aspect of Swiss festival culture. The year 2013 was the 70th anniversary of the St. Galler bratwürst at the Olma agricultural fair. More than half a million bratwürst went on the grill. Many were eaten on their own, some with the brown rolls called bürli and not a spoonful of mustard in sight. They are difficult to make in the home because the technique requires equipment that will produce a fine emulsion of the meat, milk and spices. But not impossible. St Galler sausages are sold in Switzerland in 160 g x 2 packets.

  • 370 g veal, minced
  • 260 g bacon, minced
  • 150 ml milk 
  • 100 g pork, minced
  • 25 g pork belly rind, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 15 g salt
  • 1 tsp coriander, ground
  • 1 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1 tsp white pepper, ground
  • Mace, large pinch
  • Pork casings
  • Ice, crushed

Blend the celery, onions and rinds in milk until smooth, add minced meat and blend again. Adjust liquid content with some ice, add seasonings and blend again. This should produce a thick smooth paste. Pack into casings, 25mm long, and place in a large pot of boiling water. Cook for 30 minutes. The desired internal temperature of the bratwürst should be 72°C. Prepare a pot of ice cold water. Plunge bratwürst into water to cool down. Hang until dry. The St. Galler bratwürst should contain 37% veal, 26% bacon, 10% pork and 27% bulk, of which 25% must be milk, wet or dry. Mace and pepper are mandatory, but other spices can include a combination of cardamom, celery, coriander, ginger, leek, lemon, nutmeg and onion.

Zürcher Rösti SWITZERLAND Zurich pan-fried potatoes

Johann Jakob Strub brought the potato to Switzerland. A native of the canton Glarus, he was a lieutenant in the English army and according to legend returned home with a bag of seed potatoes from Ireland. Potatoes were cultivated in Glarus in 1697. They spread to the neighbouring cantons and by the middle of the 19th century prötlete herdöpfel, fried potatoes, replaced barley porridge as the preferred breakfast among farming families around the growing city of Zurich. The recipe travelled south-west into the Bernese countryside and over the mountains into the Roman canton of the Valais / Wallis, where it was called pommes de terre roties. It became the morning meal among the French-speaking farmers, who shortened the name to roties – rösti in Swiss-German. By the mid-20th century variations of the original recipe began to appear. The Roman west preferred boiled potatoes, the Germanic east used raw.

  • 1 kg urgenta potatoes, grated, squeezed, dried
  • 4 onions, sliced
  • 30 g oil
  • 15 g caraway seeds, soaked
  • Salt, large pinch

Mix onions and potatoes, and sauté in a frying pan over a medium heat for ten minutes. Place a plate on top of the frying pan, invert onto the plate. Oil pan and slide rösti back. Cook for 20 minutes.

The rösti story is told in The Great European Food Adventure.

Varieties and uses of European potatoes are discussed in the Fricot Edition pocket book Cooked, Cured and Curdled: The modern story of traditional food in Europe.

INDIGENOUS INGREDIENTS = St Galler Sausages

Text & Pix © Fricot Project 1998-2020

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