January 20, 2011

Zwiebelstippe

by Anja

While many of you start the new year on a healthy and cleansing note, I am still craving comforting winter food. It's usually not before early Spring and the arrival of the first fresh produce of the year that I crave light and fresh.

January in Switzerland is one of my least favorite months - the holidays are over, new goals for the year are set (yes, I always try to find a few things I want to focus on), but somehow the weather doesn't really help to get all excited (yet). It's still dark and cold, and I often feel I just want to cuddle up at home.
So, this is the time I pull out a few of my heartier, heavier recipes.

One of my typical January recipes is Zwiebelstippe. I've been thinking for quite a while how I’d translate that into English, but I just don't know. It is such an old German specialty, you can’t find it in German restaurants anymore, and most people I know have never even heard about it. I got the recipe from my grandfather who inherited from his mother (and she probably got it from hers). That means my family has been eating this dish for more than a hundred years...

I’d best describe Zwiebelstippe as braised onions. It’s a "poor-people dish", mainly made from onions. It can be pimped by adding ground pork and/ or pork chops (which I always do). It is easy to make, doesn’t ask for any special spices, and yet, it has a great flavor that always makes me wonder, "What is the secret ingredient?" There is none.

It may sound a little strange to make a dish mainly of onions, but give it a try. Swiss, American, and even Argentinean friends of mine love this dish, so there is a good chance you might, too!





Ingredients (for 4 servings)

3 lb. onions
1 lb. ground pork
½ lb. lean pork chops
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-2 tablespoons butter
salt, pepper and a little mustard for seasoning
fresh, crusty bread to serve with


1. Peel and slice onions.

2. Add some salt, pepper and a little mustard to the ground pork, form little balls (about the size of a large cherry or small apricot)

3. Cut pork chops into bite-size pieces

4. Heat up the oil in a large pot, add the meatballs and sauté until slightly brown, add pork and sauté for another minute or two. Then add onions.



5. Reduce heat to low to medium and let simmer until onions are soft and tender (but not brown). You may have to add a little water if the mixture gets to dry. Season well with salt and pepper.

6. Serve with fresh bread!

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