Glückliche Schildkröte! My dear friend and knower of big German words, Alvin Heitmann, gave me the title, explaining that it translates as lucky or happy turtles. Perfect. My husband and I put 5 miles on our sneakers every day, but we’re so slow that I call us the proud turtles. We just got back from the Oktoberfest 5K, so it’s time for a big German dinner of schnitzel and spätzle. Wursts are better than 5Ks!
Mimi Sheraton’s The German Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking was published in 1965, before I was born. It’s one of those classic, timeless books. Zero photos, just recipes. One that really stuck out for me was the Tyrolean Omelette. It’s hearty, uber rich, velvety, and just delicious! Brats, bacon, eggs, tomato, and parsley. I’d never seen brats in eggs before, and I was in love. I always serve potatoes and onions with brats, and was inspired to play with the idea of bringing those together. I didn’t want big pieces of potato taking over, making it more of a potato dish than an egg and brat dish, like a Spanish tortilla. Marcela Valladolid cuts potatoes into little 1/8” cubes that cook through and get nice and golden in just 6 minutes for her breakfast burritos in Casa Marcela: Recipes and Food Stories of My Life in the Californias. I thought that would be the perfect way to make my brat, potato, and onion omelet. I hope you enjoy it!
Jen’s Tyrolean Omelet – Serves 2 really hungry people or 4 modest eaters
3 slices bacon, cut into ¼” lardons (If you’re not familiar with the term, it just means little segments.)
Add bacon to a cold 12” skillet, then turn onto medium heat, stirring to separate, and fry until it’s beginning to crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.
2 bratwursts, cut into ¼” slices (I prefer the fully cooked here, but you can use either. If you use regular, after browning for about 7 minutes til it’s fully cooked, cut one through to make sure there’s no pink inside.)
Add the brats to the skillet, and fry until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes. Use the slotted spoon to add it to the bacon plate.
1 c russet potatoes, cut into 1/8” dice
Turn the heat up to medium high, and add potatoes to the skillet, and fry until golden brown and cooked through, about 6 minutes. They should be easily pricked with a fork. Use the slotted spoon to move them to the bacon plate. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt.
¼ c red onion, diced
Turn the heat back down to medium. Add the onion to the skillet and sauté, about 3 minutes. The pan should just look glisteny at the bottom. If there’s more fat than that, be sure to pour it off so that you don’t have a greasy omelet.
Put the bacon, brats, and potatoes back into the skillet and give it a stir.
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 T milk
1 handful fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, leaves only, minced (If you have any leftover chives in the fridge, mince those and toss in, too.)
Whisk for about a minute and pour into the skillet. Push the edges in so that the unset egg can hit the skillet, too, then cover and let it cook through, about 3 minutes. Or, if you’re rocking cast iron, as soon as you pour the eggs in, skip the cover and pop it under a hot broiler for about 2 minutes to set. Cut in half (or quarters!) and plate.
1 tomato, sliced
1 palmful fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, leaves only, roughly chopped
Garnish. Sprinkle salt on the tomatoes!
My review of the book:
The German Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking
by Mimi Sheraton
I adore this book! It’s got all of the traditional German dishes that you’re looking for. It also has entries that I’d never heard of.
1) Tyrolean Omelette – p92. It’s an omelette with bacon and brats in it, finished with tomato slices and parsley. It was so simple and quick to make, visually beautiful, and absolutely delicious!
2) I’m learning some techniques I’d never heard of, too. For her recipe for Rheinischer Sauerbraten – p147, she advises that the roast must be well larded with thin matchstick strips of bacon or salt pork. It should be what? Her other stuff is delicious, so I went ahead and ordered the larding needle to try this out. Oh my gosh! I’m so glad I did! It was amazing! In the photo below, you can see the polka dots where the bacon runs through the roast.
3) Bratwurst in Ale – p252, and Himmel und Erde (Heaven and Earth – mashed potatoes with applesauce, sugar, salt, and vinegar stirred in) – p313. She doesn’t give indredient measurements for Himmel und Erde. I went with 2 1/4 lbs russet potatoes, 3 Granny Smith apples, 4 T unsalted butter, 2 t kosher salt, 1 t sugar, and 1 T apple cider vinegar. Loved it! I doubled the butter and flour for the brick roux for the brats so I’d have a thicker gravy.
4) There’s so much fun information to be had between recipes. 🙂
5) Cheese Schnitzel – p 165 and Spätzle – p 60. Easy peasy and delicious!I find it super handy that there are both English and German indexes in the back. The only disappointment with this book is that there are no pictures.