Swiss Bread: Chapter 1 “Götzenbrot”

Götzenbrot

from the bakery Beck-Brunner

Fresh baked bread

Bread.  This would be the first thing I’d say I would miss if I were to move away from Switzerland.  Undoubtedly, bread puts a huge smile on my face.  Factually, I think the bread in Europe is a much healthier option than that from the U.S.  Tradition stands in front of everything here.  Bakers have learned the trade from masters, who have learned the trade from their masters and they study for years to achieve perfection.  The line is long here, and the learning is deep, but the results will stay in your memory forever.  You can find a baker in almost every town.  Some bake with wood ovens, others with gas or electric.  In every region of Switzerland, there is a bread that represents it.  It reflects the region, and the tradition.  Sometimes the flour mixture is different, and more likely than not, the shape is different all around.  For example, St. Gallen has the St. Galler Brot.  Luzern has the ‘Weggen’,  Tessin has the “Tessiner Brot”, Geneva has the “Genfer Brot”,  and so forth.  Over 22 different blends and shapes are traditionally upheld in each Kanton; yet daily, over 200 assortments are made throughout  Switzerland.

Bread in our household is also that of a tradition.  It’s holy.  It’s our number one staple, and personally, I think I’d die with out it.

If the U.S. had this outlook on bread, I think half of our problems  would be solved.  The world smiles when they have a great piece of bread.  Little would we know that what we hold in our hands every morning comes from over 600+ years of thought.  I mean, what if we could eat bread that was traditional from our American Indians-from the grains that they cultivated, gathered and milled, thus passing a major life source to our culture, still being enjoyed in the America’s today.  But, sadly it’s not.  Our bread is white, gooey, pasty, and rather dull and flavorless.  I lived for over 40 years in my country, having yet to find a quality of bread which I found on the first day in Switzerland-in the airport, fresh off the plane!

So many of us have grown an intolerance to bread and we’ve made it the enemy.  In the U.S., the production of  wheat starts with a seed soaked in Roundup, then the seed endures a ‘rushed’ and altered growth season, and is in the end, robbed of all the good it was supposed to deliver to us.  Yes, the end result of this hideous process is making us sick.   Lactose intolerance, celiac’s disease, diabetes, and sooo many more sicknesses have plagued us, all due to the intolerant process  wheat manufacturing and processing has affected us.  Mono-cropping, mono-production isn’t done for the good of the people, but rather for the good of the profit.

As of now, I’m going to stick to this thousand year old tradition of making bread.  I’m going to savor every bite, and I’m aiming to try the nearly 200 varieties this tiny land has to offer.  I will keep you posted!

Wild Deer (Venison) Meatball Stew

Source:  Me; cir. 2017

Meatballs over rice, served with corn muffin

Wild (Venison) Meatball Stew

I'm venturing out of my little box and trying to find nice versions of cooking venison.  As I mentioned in my previous wild post, this meat is extremely lean and is from the Fall, 2017.  Meatball stew over rice is a very satisfying dish.  The meatballs are seasoned well with the herbs from the garden (rosemary, sage and oregano), garlic, mushrooms, onions and salt and pepper.  Be sure you  brown your balls before you put them into the stew, as it helps to keep them in tact and prevent them from falling apart.  I serve this over a parboiled medium grain rice, or if you prefer, you could serve it along side with a risotto. 

Enjoy!

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Course 2 Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 5 people

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs ground venison
  • 5-6 mushrooms crimini for this recipe
  • 2-3 TBS herbs rosemary, oregano, sage-dry or fresh
  • 2 cloves garlic minsed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup bread crumbs or more if needed
  • 1 onions size large, diced for meatball mix
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4-5 carrots medium size, peeled and cut
  • 2-3 stocks celery diced
  • 1 large onion diced for stew base
  • 3 TBS olive oil to sautee
  • 1 can diced tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Get your meatball base all together in a large metal mixing bowl.

  2. Add mushrooms (I like adding the mushrooms to the wild meat-I think it compliments the taste nicely and adds additional texture to the final product)

  3. Add your spices and form the balls. 

     

  4. Cook the balls until browned, but not cooked through. Take them out,

  5. In the same pot that you browned the meatballs in, begin your stew sauté.  Sauté the onions, carrots and celery and garlic until they begin to soften.  Add your tomato can content and bring to a medium boil.  Put the cooked meatballs in the stew, put the lid on, and bring the temperature down to a nice simmer, stirring gently, and allowing to cook and flavor up for at least 30 minutes. 

    Prepare your side dish, either rice or pasta, or polenta. 

  6. Serve over the rice (or whichever side dish you've chosen)

  7.  and compliment with a nice cornbread muffin.

Recipe Notes

Find the cornbread recipe here.

After-Thanksgiving Turkey Pot Pie

Source:  Me; cir. 2000’s

Mini Pot Pie

After Thanksgiving Mini-Pot Pies

I was feeling rather ambitious after last year's thanksgiving clean up.  I had quite a bit of meat left over, so I decided to make the filling for a pot pie and freeze it.  Now, several months later, I took my frozen pie filling out, de-thawed it, and warmed it up on the stove for a bit of time.  I added a bit of flour to thicken it up, and filled up my muffin tins.  This was a great little surprise for the family when they were served this little bit of delight.  The crust was perfect, the filling warm and thick, and it was a well suited meal on a cold winter's day.  Sometimes planning ahead does pay off.  

Enjoy.

5 from 1 vote
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Course 2 Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 muffin tins

Instructions

  1. Warm up the thawed filling in a pot on the warm stove.  Let it cook up and re-mold the flavors together.  If needed, add spice and seasoning.  When it's all ready, add a pinch or two of flour to thicken up the sauce. 

  2. Get your dough made, rolled and cut. (see dough recipe)  Before you line the tins, be sure the tins are oiled and floured.  Then, cut rounds of dough and line each tin. 

  3. Now, you're ready to fill

  4. Fill the filling to the top of each lined tin.

  5. Top the filled tins with a layer of dough.

  6. finish off with an egg wash and bake for 25 min.

  7. Or until golden brown.  Take out, let cool and serve

  8. Serve with a small portion of vegetables

Recipe Notes

Re-heated pie filling

My inspiration for this quick recipe is to use what you already have.  Click for the original filling and dough recipe.

 

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