Not only are the Tiroleans a jolly bunch, they know their way around the kitchen too. I’ve chosen a couple of typical dishes from our region and describe them below. You’ll find delicacies such as
“Germkiache”, doughnuts like Grandma used to make, in many a restaurant or mountain hut.
Ingredients, serves 4: 450 g flour, 20 g fresh yeast, 35 g softened butter, 35 g sugar, 3 egg yolks, 250 ml lukewarm milk, 1 tbsp fruit schnapps or fruit brandy, pinch of salt, oil for frying.
Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Mix together the sugar, yeast and a little warm milk. Leave the yeast mixture to work until it has increased in volume and there are lots of bubbles on the surface. Pour the yeast into the well in the flour, add the softened butter, egg yolks, schnapps, a pinch of salt and the remaining milk, (the schnapps is supposed to prevent the dough soaking up oil during frying) and mix to form a dough.
Knead the dough until it is elastic and bubbles form, leave it to rise in a warm place for approx. 30 minutes, then knead again. Take a dessert spoon and scoop off pieces of dough. Shape these into balls about 5-6 cm in diameter. There should be enough dough to make 9-10 balls. Put the dough balls on a floured surface, dust with a little more flour, cover with a clean cloth and leave to prove for 30 minutes. Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
Use your hands to pull the dough away from the centre of each ball to the sides. The dough should be very thin in the middle, the edge should be thick. Fry the doughnut on both sides until golden brown. Take care that the oil is not too hot, otherwise the centre of the doughnuts will burn, but the edges will still be raw. Serve the doughnuts with sauerkraut, or with cranberry jam and dusted generously with icing sugar.
When we were children we always had a glass of milk to drink with our doughnuts. Every Saturday Kitzbühel’s Farmers’ Market has a stall that sells fabulous Germkiache.
“Tirolean Gröstl” (pan-fried beef strips, onion and potato) to start the week
Ingredients, serves 4: 600 g potatoes, 2 tbsp oil, 1 onion, 250 g roast beef, chopped parsley, marjoram, caraway seeds, butter, 4 eggs, salt and pepper.
Boil the potatoes in their skins, leave them to cool, peel and slice them. Roughly chop the boiled beef (in the past left-over Sunday roast was used to make a meal for the start of the week) and finely chop the onion. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion.
Add the sliced potatoes, season to taste with salt, pepper, caraway and marjoram and brown the potatoes until crisp and golden. Add the beef. Fry the eggs in a separate pan. Tirolean Gröstl is served in the frying pan, with fried eggs and chopped parsley on top. It goes verywell with coleslaw or a green salad. Huberbräu Stüberl in Kitzbühel town centre serves a great Tirolean Gröstl, straight from the pan.
Cheese dumplings – always on the menu
Ingredients, serves 4: 4 stale bread rolls, or large slices of stale baguette; 2 eggs; 250 ml milk; 200 g mature, semi-hard cheese (Cheddar, Jarlsberg); 2 potatoes, boiled; 1 onion, sliced; salt, pepper, nutmeg, oil and parsley.
To make the cheese dumplings, tear the stale bread into small pieces. Beat together the eggs and milk, pour the mixture over the bread and leave to soak. Finely slice the onion and sauté in the frying pan (adds flavour). Grate the boiled potatoes or push them through a potato ricer, finely dice the cheese.
Mix together the bread, fried onions, potatoes and cheese. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Wet your hands a little and form the mixture into flat dumplings. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the dumplings all over until golden brown. Remove the dumplings, drain them, then serve with a beef broth, or green salad. The cheese dumplings and salad we had on the Seidlalm were particularly delicious and perfect after a hike on the Streif.
Have fun in any case when cooking or enjoying in the restaurant – I look forward to your comments. 🙂