During my trip through Germany I had the pleasure of eating all my favorite foods again. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I always have a field trip when I visit my homeland. I guess it’s with everyone else the same, too. Visiting my family made it even better, since everyone wanted to cook for me. (Lucky me) From vanilla rice pudding, Salmon baked in foil to Matjes with Bratkartoffeln (sautéed potatoes) and not to forget – plum cake with whipped cream – I was the lucky son. And my mother was the happiest of all of them. Since she get to see me only every 2 or 3 years it’s kind of tough for her and my dad. Nonetheless, in the first week we visited the Oktoberfest Kirmes. That fair was a lot of fun and you can see this post by following the link.
A New Culinary Trend
However what I really wanted to do in my hometown was to eat true German cuisine. Guess what, these type of restaurants are slowly dying out and being replaced by American or Italian themed chain restaurants. It’s kind of sad, but what can I do? So I cooked my own German food, as simple as this. The old rustic pub with well-known German cuisine is hard to find in its own country. Because young generations are being influenced by guess what? By American food culture. I’m not saying I don’t like American food culture, it’s just new to me to see that kind of change in Germany. To be quite honest I think American food trends are the most versatile and amazing ones in the world since we have the most cultures living and eating together. I guess that’s what happening in Germany, too.
Matjes or Herring?
In this post I featured matjes filets and I can truly say it’s one of my favorite German recipes. The difference between matjes and herring is; the first is the younger and more delicate fish that has not yet spammed. Herring is the older fish, but just as tasty. Both are very popular in Germany as they are here in the USA. Although they are fished mainly around May they are eaten all year round. Matjes or herring are preserved in a number of different ways, ranging from pickled, baked to smoked. Matjes is also called soused herring, which comes from the Netherlands and is brinned in a mild vinegar solution. The famous roll mops is a rolled up herring and pickled in an oil, vinegar, onion brine. It’s the right food before or after a beer (s).
How to make Bratkartoffeln (Sauteed Potatoes)
The matjes recipe below is featured with Bratkartoffeln, which are sautéed potatoes. Bratkartoffeln are very famous in Germany and very often served at any time of the day. If you don’t like your matjes with Bratkartoffeln (sautéed potatoes) it can be served with a variety of potato dishes. However, the most famous potato side dish is the boiled potato with parsley & butter. Matjes can also be served with bread.
Many cooks “dump” their potatoes in a fryer. That’s the easy way out. However, sautéed potatoes will always taste better. So take the time and saute them. See recipe for instructions
- 8 Matjes / herring filets, cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1 red onion, finely sliced in half rings
- 1 large Granny Smith Apple, chopped
- 1 cup chopped dill pickles
- 1 tbsp finely chopped dill
- 1 tbsp finely chopped chives
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 0.5 cup mayonnaise
- 2-3 tbsp brine from the dill pickles
- 1 tsp horseradish
- 8-10 potatoes, boiled with skin on
- 1 onion, chopped
- 0.5 cup vegetable oil (such as peanut oil for frying)
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- Mix yogurt, sour cream, mayonnaise, horseradish and the brine.
- Add all other ingredients and let marinate for an hour.
- Peel potatoes ones they are cooled out. Quarter each potato and cut into ½ inch pieces. If potatoes are small cut them in half.
- In a large frying pan heat oil on high heat.
- When oil is just before its smoke point add the potatoes.
- Do not overfill the pan or potatoes will not brown and stick to pan. Stir potatoes every once in a while.
- When potatoes begin to brown add onions. Do not burn onions.
- Potatoes are ready when all sides have a golden color.
- Potatoes need to be stirred frequently after they start to take on color. Avoid burning.
- Add chopped parsley at the end.
- Serve immediately with matjes salad.
What are your thoughts on this?
Have you had matjes yet?
Did you know Bratkartoffeln is an art in Germany? Let me know if you had your experience with them?
What’s your Favorite German dish?
What’s happening when you visit your homeland? Do you enjoy it?