Reitter Pork Chops
This recipe comes from my old college roommate Susanne. She used to make this for us for dinner and serve it with spaetzle (German noodles but egg noodles or any kind of rice or favourite pasta works too!) and was kind enough to share the recipe with me.
4 pork chops
2 beef bouillon cubes
1 T. tomato sauce (I use tomato paste sometimes because I don’t always have such a small quantity of tomato sauce on hand and don’t want to open a large can. Tomato paste I can buy in those tubes and just squeeze out what I need).
1/4 cup minced celery (again minced because of my own preference)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 bay leaf
1 T. parsley (I usually omit this – not a big fan of parsley and don’t always have it on hand because of that. But I always liked the way Susanne made this dish so the parsley must have been fine then!)
1 T. coarse black pepper
1/2 T. garlic salt (I use garlic powder because I don’t like the added salt.)
1/2 T. basil
1/2 cup chopped green pepper (I omit this. My daughter is not a fan of green pepper and now that I have Crohns disease my body isn’t a fan either.)
1 cup wine, red or white, whatever you have on hand (I ran out of wine once when making this and used beer instead. It was delicious too. You can certainly use non-alcoholic wine or beer in this dish as well.)
Instructions: Brown the chops in a deep skillet for about 15-20 minutes. If you have room in the skillet, add the onions and peppers (I also add the celery because I prefer it kind of caramelized along with the onions but you can add it later with the carrots if you prefer) to the chops – if not, put the chops aside while you saute the onions and peppers and then place them back in the skillet. Add enough water to cover the chops. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for an hour to an hour and a half. To thicken this up into more of a gravy, stir 2-3 T. flour into a cup of hot water. Stir well to dissolve and then stir this into the mixture in the skillet (remove pork chops before doing this to make it easier!). Turn the heat up a bit to get this mixture bubbling a bit and stir frequently to thicken.
This is Susanne’s Spaetzle recipe handed down through her German family. Spaetzle is like a cross between egg noodles and thin dumplings. Note: Where I live you can find pre-made Spaetzle sold in bags at the grocery store or like I said previously, any kind of egg noodles, pasta, or rice that you prefer is also good with the above dish. Spaetzle is made by pressing the dough through a device called a Spaetzle maker. There used to be a local German shop here in town that sold them but I will warn you, they were pretty pricey (back in the 80’s they sold for nearly $100 each here). I couldn’t justify spending that kind of money on something that would be used for only one dish so I improvised. I saw a recipe once that called for using a colander instead – pressing the dough through the colander’s holes into the boiling water but in all honesty, I couldn’t get that to work at all for me. I found the dough too sticky to go through it properly and ended up instead with a big gooey mess but apparently this method works for some people. Until I found another solution, I would just mix up the dough and then take little pieces of it, kind of in a dumpling like fashion, and drop them in. It was good but wasn’t perfect tasting Spaetzle. I have heard that the traditional way of making them, prior to the invention of the Spaetzle maker, was to place the dough on a wooden board and hold it over the pot of boiling water, slicing thin strips of dough into the water. One day in a kitchen shop I was browsing through the gadgets and it hit me. A Spaetzle maker looks a lot like a potato ricer. That’s what I have been using ever since and it works just fine for me! I believe (going from memory here) that the holes of the potato ricer are a bit smaller than that of a Spaetzle maker but it’s the best effect I could get and they taste pretty close to perfection to me!
1 T. pepper
1/2 cup water, cold (important!)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 T. water, cold
Instructions: Beat the eggs. Stir in the pepper. Add the 1/2 cup water and then the flour. Beat this mixture until smooth. Add the 1 T. water and stir. If using a Spaetzle maker or potato ricer, fill it about 3/4 full and press the dough into boiling water. It only takes a couple minutes for them to cook – when they float to the top of the water, they are ready. Drain and serve!
Here are some links to some Spaetzle makers I found online:
This first one is a different style than I have ever seen before but at under $12 it’s certainly economical. It looks more like a cheese grater than the typical style maker I am used to and I cannot vouch for its ease of use but there are positive reviews of it there. At the bottom of the page, Amazon recommended similar items for sale and they had a variety of Spaetzle makers including ones that were called ricer/Spaetzle presses for prices from about $8 to $30:
This place has a rotary Spaetzle maker for $40. You wind a handle around and around to push the dough out. Again, I know nothing of this style:
This one is more like the traditional one that Susanne had. It is about $60 US.