German food is more than Sausage, Rouladen, and big roasts. Home cooks in Germany are especially good at making something delicious out of what they have. The goal is to fill the tummy and satisfy the soul. Since I’m not a “fancy” person when it comes to food. Comfort foods done well will make me smile every time. This is why I was absolutely delighted when I stumbled across a dish called Würzfleisch while I eating at the Gaststätte Holzwürm in Seiffen. Thanks to my friend Katja and her extraordinarily helpful parents, who sent me a Würzfleisch recipe, I was able to recreate this dish at home. This DDR specialty is fairly easy to make, is fancy looking enough for company, and is yummy to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.
Würzfleisch shows up in some cookbooks as Ragout Fin, a more complex dish from France, that contains veal, sweetbreads, brain, marrow, and tongue. The recipe traveled to Berlin, where it became known as Würzfleisch (which means ‘Seasoned Meat’). And since I’m not much of an offal person, I’m happy that the people in East Germany shortened the steps, and changed up the ingredients. Today, Würzfleisch is made with Veal or Chicken (some still use tongue, but… I would be chasing my family around the table with it if they knew).
Cooked cubes of meat (in my case, chicken) are added to a sauce made from a light roux (butter and flour) with chicken broth. Season it up with pepper and Worcestershire sauce, and if you are feeling fancy, some white wine (wine goes in the sauce, as well as the chef). You can stretch it a bit more by adding some sauteed mushrooms. The meaty sauce goes into small baking dishes / ramekins… is topped with Gouda Cheese, and stuck under the broiler.
If you don’t have small ramekins, you can use a casserole dish, and serve family style.
Serve with bread for dunking. A salad on the side, and you have a meal fit for a king.
How to Make Würzfleisch
Melt Butter, Add Flour, stir until smooth and bubbly… add chicken Broth
Cube cooked Chicken
Add Chicken to the Sauce… add Mushrooms sauteed in a bit of butter if you like
Put the mixture into Small Broiler Proof Ramekins (or a larger broiler Proof pan)
TOP WITH CHEESE!!!
Put it under the broiler for a few minutes… WATCH IT…
the cheese will go brown and bubble.
Let it cool a few minutes before you try to eat it.
If you don’t have small Ramekins, a larger broiler-proof casserole will work.
Serve it family style
Serve with Bread for soaking up all of the sauce!
Looking for more Fantastic Recipes from the DDR?
This tiny book is packed with lots of interesting recipes from East Germany