Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Taste of Bavaria in Southern Indiana

A while back I wrote an Images of America book by Arcadia Publishing called Jasper and Huntingburg.  It’s about these two small towns that are only five miles apart located in Southern Indiana.                                                

They’re both very pretty towns and my book tells their story in old images.  While researching the book I spent a lot of time down there and I have recounted in previous columns about some of the foods I’ve run across including ribble (a form of spaetzle) soup, turtle soup and brain sandwiches (which they sell at a Jasper restaurant called The Headquarters).

Though there are great restaurants in the towns, my favorite is a German restaurant called The Schnitzelbank which first opened under this name in 1933.  But even before that, the site had housed eating and drinking establishments that stretched back to before 1908.

Jasper is a very German town, by some accounts almost 90% of the population is of German descent and several times when I was there I would over hear conversations being conducted in German.  Both Jasper and Huntingburg had breweries and after prohibition, the local farmers continued making their own moonshine called Dubois Dew (Dubois pronounced with the s sound on the end is the county name).  The Schnitzelbank Restaurant is much more sophisticated now then its early origins when it was dubbed The Last Chance Saloon or The First Chance Saloon depending on whether you were approaching it or leaving it.  The wait staff wear dirndls and lederhosen and all the food including the sauerkraut and mashed potatoes are made daily on site.

 I enjoy eating there so much that I was happy to see that they have recently published a cookbook called Ein Prosit: A Collection of Fine Family Recipes and Spirits.  And after looking through it and noting the various schnitzel recipes, I would like to do a story on schnitzels—so if anyone has any old family recipes, please let me know.  The book contains recipes for numerous schnitzels including Berner Schnitzel, Jager Schnitzel, Schwein Schnitzel and Weiner Schnitzel.  Having only heard of the later before, I was surprised that there were that many different types of schnitzel.  If there are even more types of schnitzel, please let me know.  In the meantime, here are some Schnitzelbank recipes.

Bavarian Meat Loaf

One and three quarters pounds ground beef, finely ground
Seven ounces ground pork, finely ground
Nine ounces bacon, ground
One pinch nutmeg ground
Four teaspoons black pepper
Water as need for mixing loaf
Two tablespoons butter
One medium onion, minced

Knead ground beef until smooth, add ground pork, bacon and spices and mix thoroughly.  While kneading, add enough water to keep mixture smooth but not too thin,  Spread butter evenly in roasting pan and evenly sprinkled minced onion inside of butter pan  Form meat into a loaf and place in open pan.  Brush top with water.  Bake meat loaf in preheated oven about one hour at 350.
Anyone interested in purchasing the book call go to the restaurant’s website or call 812-482-2640.

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