The Grill-Meister’s cousin, her husband and their daughter came to visit from Germany, staying near our home with the Grill-Meister’s parents. We shared many meals with “the German Cousins” (as we call them) while they were here, and this post is about the lovely one they made for us.
First of all, it was a lotta food! Check out the size of that pork chop in the picture above, and below, you can see dish before it was served. My mother-in-law’s Farberware pan is about 4 inches deep and 14 inches across. It was a huge sea of pork and sauce!
The Grill-Meister’s cousin is a good cook, and she wanted to make spaetzle, because it’s the perfect complement for the pork dish. She needed the right tool, though, the one she uses at home, so we ordered it from Amazon.
And now, we have a spaetzle tool! The Grill-Meister is our pasta maker, so he’s going to learn how to use it. (That’s my plan, at least.) Check out her spaetzle – doesn’t it look perfect? The Grill-Meister’s cousin is a champion spaetzle-maker.
If you’ve never had it, spaetzle is a little egg noodle/dumpling that is very filling. The literal translation is “little sparrow,” which it is supposed to resemble in its irregular shape.
Look at that giant pork chop! It needed the spaetzle to soak up all of the sauce. And doesn’t it just look so apropos on my mother-in-law’s vintage Corelle Spring Blossom Green plates from the 1970s? She still has the whole set, and it is still her everyday dinnerware.
Friends, this was stick-to-your-ribs food, the kind of food your grandmother used to make, especially if your grandmother was German. It was rich and meaty, extremely hearty, and reminded you that yes, Food IS Love. My mother-in-law was so happy to have homemade German food, and to have at least some of her German relatives with her for a while. She came to America in her 20s and at 88, has only been back to Germany a few times, so this was really special to her.
What was in it, this Giant Pork Dish? Well, here are the ingredients and the amounts they used, to feed 9 of us:
- 5 lbs. of pork rib chops, cut from one rack
- 2 lbs. of sliced cheese, muenster and fontina (gouda is also a favorite for this dish, I hear)
- 1 quart of half ‘n’ half
- 3 bottles of Heinz Chili Sauce (the “secret ingredient”)
- Salt and pepper
The meat and cheese were cooked at 400° for about an hour, then the half ‘n’ half and chili sauce were added with salt and pepper, and the dish was cooked for another hour, covered. It was served hot over the spaetzle, and we added lots of pepper.
I’m not sure I could reproduce this dish, but that’s no matter – I will always have the memory of the Giant Pork Dish Made with Love by the German Cousins, the great time we had with them, and how proud my 88-year-old mother-in-law was of her niece for making the traditional German spaetzle.
Life is good.