While visiting Berlin my friend Katharina invited us over for dinner to her beautiful apartment in Prenzlauer Berg. Katharina is a wonderful cook, and I was looking forward to what she would create for us.
On the menu was feld salad with warm bacon sauce; classical German potatoes with Schmorgurken, and pork cutlets in creamy red wine sauce. For dessert we had Schwarzwaelder cherry ice cream. Let me tell you, this dinner was out of this world.
Katharina shared with me that she wanted to serve us something regional that I had probably never eaten before, and she was successful! I had never heard or tried Schmorgurken before, but fell in love with it on my very first bite. “Gurken” is the German word for cucumbers and the verb “schmoren” translates into simmering something slowly. Schmorgurken is very regional dish from the Berlin area.
Katharina told me that you use the thicker, uglier cucumbers that have more flesh, and are usually grown in your garden or bought at the local market. You peel and half the cucumber, remove the seeds, and slice it into smaller chunks. The cucumber pieces get sauteed in oil, seasoned, and simmered in some broth. Right before serving you add some cream or creme fraiche and fresh dill.
Here I would like to share with you a variation of the Schmorgurken recipe that incorporates ground beef. It is a very homey dish that just makes you feel good inside. I already know that this Schmorgurken Hackfleisch Pfanne will have to be cooked at our house many more times. It is heavenly.
Thank you Katharina, Christoph and Mavi for the special dinner and opening your beautiful home to us. We hope to see you soon again!
* 1 pound ( 450 g) ground beef
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 pounds ( about 1 kg) thick cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cubed
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 8 oz. ( 230 g) creme fraiche
* 1 Tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
* salt and pepper to season
In a pan over medium high heat brown the ground beef together with the onions until cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer beef onto a plate but leave some fat in the pan. Set the beef aside.
Add chopped cucumbers to the pan and saute for about 3 minutes on medium heat. Add the chicken broth and simmer the cucumbers for about 10-15 minutes. Stir in creme fraiche and add the dill. Season with salt and pepper. If the sauce is to liquid thicken with some corn starch.
Serve with rice or potatoes.
One year ago: Mediterranean inspired catfish stew