This month, the head chef of the Black Bull Inn in Sedbergh, Nina Matsunaga, introduces us to one of her favourite childhood dishes, the knödel
“It's a southern-German dish which has been around since the 1200s but it's also pretty popular in Austria. The name stems from the Roman / Latin word for “knot”. In Dusseldorf, where I’m from, it is eaten frequently but more often than not it's made with day-old bread rather than potato and it's always served with meat and creamy gravy.
It’s popular as a “fancier” way of enjoying carbs alongside meals. Quite often as kids we'd end up eating one giant one per person. Handily you can now buy them in perforated bags dried, ready to cook fresh. In this recipe, we serve it simply with sauerkraut and sausages.”
Nina at work
800g potato, peeled and cut into quarters
100g gluten free self-raising flour or potato starch
1. Bring a pan of unsalted water to the boil, cook potatoes until soft and put them through a ricer. Let the potatoes steam for a few hours, or even overnight.
2. After they’ve dried, add flour, egg, a pinch of salt and mix well.
3. We use 3 small Knödel per person but in Germany they are often served as 1 large one per person.
4. Weigh them at 50g, roll them and steam them for 25-30 minutes.
5. Serve straight away or you can rewarm them again by steaming or heating in a pan of lightly simmering stock/water.
1 Mason jar
1 head of white cabbage
1. Very thinly slice the cabbage, best on a mandolin and sprinkle with salt. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
2. Massage the cabbage and salt very vigorously to release some liquid.
3. Stuff all the cabbage, salt and liquid into the Mason jar and place some canning weights or sandwich bags filled with water and place on top, making sure the liquid from the cabbage covers the cabbage fully.
4. Burp the jar every day by opening and closing the lid and leave it at room temperature or in a cellar, if you have one. It will take roughly 4-6 weeks until it’s ready. Once ready, keep in the fridge.
To learn more about Nina’s work, visit The Black Bull
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