Shoulder of Pork with Potato Dumplings and Red Cabbage

  • Time: 2 hrs
  • Serves: 4
  • Level: medium
This is the dish you can find at Seins' Kingston branch called: Schweinebraten mit Kartoffelknödel und Rotkraut. I had if for my birthday meal with family and friends: it was a perfeect meal, in wonderful company.

What you need

1 packet of Hengein readymade klose potato pulp. (Thuringer style)

650g shoulder steaks

For the gravy (sauce)

1 large onion – diced

10g dried porcini mushrooms soaked in 125 ml boiling water

1 cloves of garlic – grated

2 tbs light olive oil

20g unsalted butter

1.5 tbs flour

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp red wine vinegar

o.5 tsp sugar

500ml chicken stock

Browning liquid


For the red cabbage

800g red cabbage

3 tbs caster sugar

2 tbs red wine vinegar

250ml red wine

100ml apple juice

100ml orange juce

half stick cinnamon

1 small bramly apple – peeled and chopped

25 g butter




Dad's Recipe Tales

Pass the hot brown thick sauce please…

A distinctive characteristic of the many meat dishes you will find in Germany, is the  glistening pools of thick brown gravy that covers the meat. When I see it illustrated on a German packet of gravy mix, I think: Ah, Bisto – a gravy mix that makes a reliably smooth and dark gravy in minutes. I mention this gravy not to scoff: but to wonder. I wonder at the consistency, thick and translucent; do they use cornflour as a thickener? I wonder at the taste, it has a certain ‘cup-a-soup’ taste about it; a taste that’s only possible with a touch of msg and other powders and chemicals only available from a food laboratory. I wonder about the colour – somewhere between a dark umber and a rich amber; do they use caramel, mushrooms, a dark roux or aged balsamic? In short, I wondered how I could make it.

I decided to have a go, using gravy from a packet as a reference point. I’m confident that most German restaurants make this brown gravy using commercial mixes. This is not to say that they could not make it from scratch, but it seems that Germans prefer to make their sauces and many other sweet or savoury emulsions from a packet. Pop into a German Deli and you will find shelves and shelves of neat little packets for gravy, sauces, creams, desserts and many other foods.

I visited my local German deli and was browsing through the gravy packs. I quickly became confused by the numerous options. My German ‘proprietor-cum-interpreter’ was none-the-wiser. I chose one that – as my interpreter offered helpfully: goes on ‘pig’.

I made the gravy at home. It tasted as I suspected; it had a ubiquitous, generic ‘brown’ flavour. I then made my version of the gravy, which was more of a French construction. I added extra flour for thickness, and browned the roux, I did use mushrooms and balsamic vinegar, but none of my browning techinques achieved the colour of the gravy on the illustrated packets. I finally decided to use a commercial browning liquid to give depth – and make it brown.

There are many firmly held views in the food world on the matter of gravy and its thickness. I like it thick, my wife likes it thin. Ask around and you will get a different response every time. Ask in Germany and I suspect most will include the words, ‘thick’, and ‘brown’. You may also hear the word ‘sauce’. And this is the word that helps me to understand the German gravy, because a German gravy is like a sauce, a quite thick sauce – as in the consistency of Hollandaise, or Crème Anglais. It wraps around their cutlets, roasts and dumplings like a comforting blanket. I believe this helped me to make a dish that felt quite authentic – instead of gravy, I smothered my dish with a hot, thick brown sauce.




How Dad Cooked It

1. Make the red cabbage first. Remove outer leaves, and inner core, cut in half and with a sharp knife cut very thinly. In a large heavy pan with lid, heat the sugar until it starts to caramalise, then (carefully) add the vinegar first and wine and letting each reduce a little, then the juices and bring to a boil. Boil to reduce a little further, then add the cabbage. Stir and bring the liquid back to a boil. Add the cinnamon, the apple and a good pinch of salt. Simmer on a very low heat – with the lid ajar – for an hour and a half, stirring often. At the end of cooking add the butter and season with salt, pepper and sugar.

2. Make the klose by forming balls in the hands. Set aside and plan your cooking so that the klose are boiled 25 minutes from the end cooking the cabbage and pork. When ready, bring a pan of water to a boil and add the klose, cook for 20 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and rest for 10 minutes.

3. Fry the shoulder steaks quickly on both sides in a hot pan with the olive oil – remove from the pan and rest.

4. In the same pan, fry the onions on a medium heat for at least 20 minutes – adding more oil if needed. Then add the grated garlic and stir. Add the butter and flour and stir until browned on the bottom of the pan. Add the vinegars, sugar, mushrooms awith the steeping water and chicken stock. Stir until the flour is amalgamated and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat simmer for 10 minutes. Add the shoulder steaks, simmer on a very low heat very gently for 30 minutes. Remove the steaks again and set aside. Using a stick blender blitz the gravy until very smooth. Add a few drops of  browning liquid until the right colour of brown is achieved. If the gravy is too thick losen with stock or water. Season with salt, pepper and lemon. Return the steaks and gently heat through.

5. Serve the steaks with the klose, cabbage and sauce.





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