My Mom's "Sonntagsbraten" (Sunday Pot Roast)


This is my Mom's fantastic pot roast. The best is the delicious homemade gravy! So delicious over some mashed potatoes. The secret are the spices that my Mom uses to rub the pork roast with. We do like our hot spices and my Mom uses her typical mix of garlic, harissa, biber salcasi and sambal olek. She also adds some mustard. It's a feast and it tastes just incredibly fantastic every time :)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb pork loin (boneless, tender)
  • salt
  • 2-3 cloves garlic - minced 
  • 2 tsp Biber Salcasi (Turkish hot red chili pepper paste)
  • 2 tsp Sambal Oelek (Indonesian style chili-based sauce with garlic, lime, ginger)
  • 2 tsp Harissa (Tunesian hot chili sauce)
  • 2 tsp mustard
  • 3 Tbsp oil 
  • 1 Tbsp butter 
  • salt, pepper (for gravy)
  • 2 Tbsp gravy thickener (or corn starch)
side dishes
  • mashed potatoes
  • veggies (peas and carrotts, beans, brussel sprouts, etc.)

    Preparation:

    Preheat oven to 390 degree Fahrenheit (200 degree Celsius).
    1. Glaze the pork roast: Wash the pork loin and dry it. Then, salt it and rub in the minced garlic, the Biber Salcasi, Sambal Olek, Harissa and mustard, evenly across the entire pork loin. Let sit for 30 minutes. Before starting to roast, add some flakes of butter.
    2. Roast the pork: Add the oil to a casserole dish so that the bottom is covered. Place the pork loin in it. Roast for about 1.5 hours in total. After 45 minutes, rotate the pork loin. Every 20-30 minutes, baste the pork roast with some of the hot oil from the casserole. As soon as the oil with the spice and garlic drippings from the pork turn dark or the liquid evaporates, add some water to the casserole. In case the pork roast turns too dark, cover with some tin foil. To see when the pork is done,  my mother uses a long skewer and pierces the meat with it. When it slides in and out without any resistance, the pork is done. Also, juices that come out should be clear. I don't suggest to use a meat thermometer, as the pork is roasted for a long time and the internal temperature will be reached way before the meat reaches the desired tenderness. When prok roast is ready, take out of the casserole and keep warm while you prepare the gravy. Cover it up.
    3. Prepare the gravy: The flavor for the gravy will come from the liquid (oil, water, spice drippings from the roast) in which the pork was roasted. Pour that liquid in a separate frying pan and heat up on the stove. Pour some water into the casserole, scrape the sides, stir and heat up in the oven again. Add it to the frying pan. Repeat, till the casserole is clean. Use every bit of the flavors. Then, add a little bit more water to the frying pan and spice with a little bit of salt and pepper. Don't use too much water or too much salt/pepper, you want to have the natural and strong flavors from the roast. Right now, the sauce will be too thin, so add some gravy thickener and bring to a boil. Add more salt, pepper or gravy thickener if needed.
    4. Serve: Slice the pork roast. Serve with a side of mashed potatoes and veggies. Drizzle the gravy over the pork and the mashed potatoes.









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    My Mom's "Bauernfrühstück" (Farmer's Breakfast)


    This is called a Farmer's Breakfast ("Bauernfrühstück" in German) and consists of an omlette filled with home fries and severd with some fresh tomatoes, cucumber and a bean salad. These home fries are called "Bratkartoffeln" in German and are sliced pre-cooked potatoes that are pan-fried with some onions and ham. The combination of the warm potato-filled omelette with fresh side dishes makes it really delicious.

    But be aware - even so it sounds like a usual breakfast with eggs and potatoes, it actually is a full meal and a little to heavy for a breakfast.

    My parents ate this dish when they were younger in one of the local German small town taverns. They liked it so much that my Mom created her own recipe :)

    Ingredients:

    "Bratkartoffeln" (Sliced Home Fries)
    • 2lb (about 6 medium sized) potatoes
    • 2 Tbs oil
    • 2 onions
    • 3 slices deli ham - diced
    • salt, pepper to taste
    • cayenne pepper (as topping)
    • fresh parsley (as topping)
    Omlette (for 2)
    • 2-3 eggs
    • 125 ml milk
    • pinch of salt 
    • pinch of pepper 
    • pinch of nutmeg
    • 1 Tbsp oil
    Sides
    • My Mom's Green Bean Salad
    • tomato slices
    • cucumber slices
    • pickles

    Preparation:

    1. Prepare the Potatoes, Onion and Ham: Boil the potatoes in a pot of salted water till they are medium soft, that will take about 20 min depending on size of potato. Use a fork to see whether they are soft enough. They should not break apart or fall off the fok as they will be pan-fried next. In the meantime, cut the onion and the ham. Peel the onion and slice in half. Then cut the half in another half so that you have quarters. Cut the quarters in thin slices. Cut the ham slices in 1 inch long stripes. When the potatoes are ready, drain them and let cool for a few minutes. Peel and slice them in 1/4 inch thick slices. 
    2. Prepare the Home Fries: In a frying pan, heat up the oil and add the potato slices. Spice with salt and pepper. Fry for 5 minutes without stirring till they turn a little brown and crispy on one side. Shake the frying pan to prevent burning the potatoes. Then flip the potato slices, add the onion rings and fry for a few minutes. Keep shaking the frying pan at times. Do not try to stir them as you do not want them to break apart too much. Before the potatoes are completely done, add the ham stripes and fry till the potatoes are brown and crispy from both side. When ready, set the home fries aside. Sprinkle cayenne pepper on top (or do it later on the plate, right before eating).
    3. Prepare the Omlette: In a bowl, mix the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Heat up another frying pan (or a crepes maker works as well). Best, if it is a teflon pan where the omlette will not stick to. Pour in the mix so that the bottom of the frying pan is filled. Mix should be enough for two omlettes. Let fry on medium heat for a minute. Try to make sure that the omlette does not stick to the bottom by using a long wooden spatula and loose the edges as soon as they dry. You can also shake the frying pan to loosen the omlette. If possible, flip the omlette when the sides are dry. However, if the top is getting try without flipping, it is not necessary. When done, slide the omlette on a plate.
    4. Serve the Famer's Breakfast: On a plate, fill half of the omlette with the home fries. If you haven't add cayenne pepper before, sprinkle it over the home fries now. Fold the omlette closed. Add some tomato and cucumber slices, some pickles and the bean salad as a side dish.







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    Salmon Tacos with homemade Avocado Salsa


    I love Mexican food and on my last vacation I had these fantastic tasting grilled salmon tacos... so, I gave it a try to recreate them. I found this nice little recipe at the Cooking Classy blog that looked great and that I used as an inspiration. I did not have a grill but the salmon still tasted really juicy and good. I noticed too late that I had bought withe meat salmon which I never had before. I am used to the red meat salmon. However, it was a very flavorful salmon and the important part was the spicing.

    Important were the fresh ingredients. Here, the fresh avocado salsa with the cilantro, jalapenos, garlic and olive oil was perfect! Also, the light creme fraiche sauce was a good addition. And because I already had all the ingredients I even went so far to also make some fresh pico de gallo =)

    Ingredients:

    Salmon

    • 2 piecse boneless salmon
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
    • salt, pepper to taste

    Fillings:

    • 6 flour tortillas
    • 1 cup red cabbage - thinly sliced
    • 2 cups avocado salsa*
    • 1 cup pico de gallo*  (or substitute with tomato slices)
    • 1/2 corn - freshly grilled
    • 1/2 cup feta cheese - crumbled
    • 1/2 cup creme fraiche sauce*
    • fresh cilantro, jalapeno slices and lime wedges to taste


    * Homemade Avocado Salsa

    • 1 avocado (medium soft) - peeled, cored, diced
    • 1 Tbsp red onion - diced
    • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro - chopped
    • 1 Tbsp jalapenos - finely diced
    • 1 garlic clove - minced
    • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
    • salt, pepper to taste

    * Homemade Pico de Gallo

    • 2 tomatoes - diced
    • 1/2 Tbsp red onion - diced
    • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro - chopped
    • 1 Tbsp jalapenos - finely diced
    • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
    • salt to taste

    * Creme Fraiche Sauce

    • 3 Tbsp creme fraiche
    • 2 Tbsp plain yoghurt
    • 1 Tbsp harissa 

    Preparation:

    1. Grill the salmon: In a small bowl, mix the spices (cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper) with the olive oil. Brush it on both sides of the salmon pieces. Let sit for 30 minutes. Then, grill the salmon pieces for about 3 minutes on each side. Best to use a real grill, but a frying pan works as well.
    2. Prepare the avocado salsa: Best to prepare the salsa while the salmon is being marinated. In a bowl toss together avocado pieces, onion, jalapenos, cilantro and garlic. Pour the lime juice and oil over it. Add salt and pepper and mix gently. Be careful not to mash the avocado too much. It works best, if the avocado is soft, but not overripe. Let sit for a while, so that the flavors develop (best in the fridge).
    3. Prepare the pico de gallo (also called salsa fresca): In another bowl, mix together the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno and lime juice. Add more lime juice if needed. Add salt to taste. 
    4. Prepare the creme fraiche sauce: Mix creme fraiche and plain yoghurt till smooth. It should not be too thick and not too fluid, it should drip of a spoon. Add the harissa to give it some cick. 
    5. Assemble the taco: Warm up the tortillas in the oven or on a grill. Place little slices of salmon and red cabbage in the middle of the tortilla. Add either 2 slices of tomato or one tablespoon of freshly made pico de gallo. Then, add one tablespoon avocado salsa, spinkle with grilled corn pieces and crumbled feta. Dripple one tablespoon of creme fraiche over it.








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