Honoring my recent homeland, let me provide you one of the top meals what local cuisine has to offer. A large speck bread dumpling, accompanied with my hero - sauerkraut, smoked meat, full-flavoured raclette cheese and cream. Austrian Dumpling Casserole - incredibly fulfilling winter meal.
I tell you a secret, my little one really loves this one. The combination of juicy sauerkraut and bread dumplings with a smell of smoky ham cannot be unhealthy. However, the dish is suitable for kids 3 plus. ½ dumpling is more than enough.
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
A knob of lard/olive oil
150g of good quality smoked meat, diced
800g of sauerkraut
1 teaspoon of caster sugar and cumin
Sea salt, black pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper
250ml double cream
6 slices of matured cheese (I use raclette cheese)
6 kaiser rolls, diced
½ litre of vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of olive oil
100g of bacon, finely chopped
2 whole eggs, separated
250ml of lukewarm milk
250g of universal flour, sifted
1 handful of fresh parsley, washed and finely chopped
1 teaspoon of Vegeta Spice/sea salt
A pinch of nutmeg
First, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a wok or large frying pan and add bacon. Roast until it gets beautifully golden, for about 3 minutes. Take it out on a paper towel to absorb the extra fat. Set aside.
In the same pan, melt a knob of lard and braise the smoked ham.
Add sauerkraut and flavour up with sugar, cumin, salt and peppers. Taste and season accordingly.
Lower the heat to medium and let it simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes until you finish the dumplings.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Place all the kaiser rolls into a large mixing bowl. Pour the stock over and mix gently.
In a small mixing bowl add milk and egg yolks. Whisk on medium speed until running.
Next, stir in the flour, half at a time. Whisk until smooth, for about 1 minute.
Add bacon and parsley into the bread mix.
Slowly mold the dough in. Gently mix with a spatula.
Flavour up with Vegeta and nutmeg. Stir.
Start creating medium bowls. If the dough gets too sticky, dip your hands in flour and sprinkle your working board with it, too. In total, it makes around 12 large dumplings.
In a medium baking tray (I used 35x25cm) place The Sauerkraut.
Layer with dumplings.
Pour in the cream all over the top.
Bake in the oven for about 1 hour until the dumplings are baked through and the cream reduces.
Just before the end, take it out and place the raclette cheese on top of the dumplings. Put the Austrian Dumpling Casserole back in the oven until the cheese melts and serve. The cheese doesn’t give only the perfect taste, but also moistens the dumplings. Enjoy with a good lager!
Makes 4 serves.