A pretty glorious meal.
I’m probably most comfortable with Italian-oriented cookery, and its modern emanations, but when I return to one of my earliest enthusiasms, German cooking (which began in the early-60s in Germany and was later encouraged by Mimi Sheraton and her 1965, ‘German Cookery’), both the ingredients and the process seem totally familiar, and the results are usually very good.
Last night we enjoyed one of the very, very good results.
While I took many liberties with some classics, the meal remained basically pretty German, including that its culture was the specific source for both the pork and the beets (Pennsylvania German), and the wine and the music (Frankish German).
- three small leeks from Tamarack Hollow Farm, mostly only the white portions (the better green, upper sections reserved), sliced once lengthwise, rinsed (these needed very little) and swirled around for a minute in a small amount of butter (in the past I have also used bacon fat or duck fat, alone or in various proportions) which had been heated inside a round tin-lined copper pan before adding 2 smoked loin pork chops [‘Kassler‘], from an Amish family farm in Pennsylvania which sells its produce at the Union Square Greenmarket as ‘Millport Dairy‘, a Pyrex glass cover added immediately and the chops kept above a very low flame (just enough to warm them, since as smoked meat, they were already fully-cooked), turning the chops once, and, near the end of the cooking time, the green parts of the leeks set aside earlier added and stirred about, the pork removed, plated, brushed with a horseradish jelly from Berkshire Berries, the pork then drizzled with the juices, including the the leek segments
- fourteen ounces of some quite small purple-top turnips tiny white purple-top turnips from Gorzynski Ornery Farm, scrubbed, but not peeled, cooked briefly (4 minutes, or until lightly browned in spots) over moderately high heat inside a large enameled cast iron pan in a little butter before a fourth of a cup of good chicken stock was added, along with several sprigs of thyme and a small pinch of sugar, the pan covered, and the turnips cooked until they were tender (only about 15-20 minutes in this case, and the stock had already reduced by then to a slightly-thickened sauce), the thyme removed seasoned with salt and pepper and sprinkled with chopped parsley from Norwich Meadows Farm
- a rich, spicy quince chutney, remaining from this dinner
- small side dishes of pickled red beets from Millport Dairy Farm
- the wine was a German (Franken) white, Weingut Schmitt Kinder Gutswein Silvaner Trocken 2014, from Chelsea Wine Vault\
- the music was [most of] Glück’s Alceste’, John Eliot Gardner conducting the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir, with Yann Beuron, Dietrich Henschel, Anne Sofie von Otter, Joanne Lunn, et al., to be continued another evening