How This Community Member’s Regional Family Recipe Made It To Kitchen Stories
Patrick’s recipe for an Austrian roast has stolen our hearts
This article is part of “The Community Issue”, our celebration of what brings us together: Food. We’ll be giving you recipes that you asked for, highlighting some amazing recipes that you’ve shared, exploring what we’ve learned from each other here at KS, and so much more! Join us as we connect with each other through food this month and check out this link for an overview of all our latest stories and recipes from the issue. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes, extra community content, and more!
The recipes our community shares bring new inspiration to our team—and we love to highlight standout recipes for you to try in articles that spotlight community recipes—whether we focus on one in particular or a collection of many. So it was only natural that this month, which we're dedicating entirely to the community, we make space for even more community recipes. First up? This recipe for Bratl in der Rein (or Austrian roast pork) by community member Patrick Paillart, which caught my eye and won me over immediately.
Why we chose this recipe
Every time you upload a recipe to Kitchen Stories, our community team gets to work. We check it for completeness, look at the images, preparation steps, and, if we have no suggestions and don’t see missing pieces, we approve it for publication. Recipes that are particularly creative or uploaded with an obvious attention to detail are ones that we flag and try to give special attention to so other community members can see it and share in our appreciation by, of course, cooking it!
So it’s no wonder why Patrick's recipe caught our attention. The preparation of his recipe is explained in great detail and each step is accompanied by a beautiful (and helpful!) photo, which ensures that anyone cooking this recipe will be able to follow along easily. In his chef’s note, Patrick also vividly tells how this traditional recipe from Austria's Innviertel region (the northwestern quarter of Upper Austria) reminds him of his grandmother-in-law. We thought it fit perfectly with the theme of our monthly issue; what better way to bring people together to learn or reminisce than a regional recipe?
Of course, more literally, this community recipe also brought some members of our team together to cook the dish, photograph it, and put it in the right light so the community will be inspired to do just the same!
An Austrian Sunday roast, made “easy”
There was plenty to talk about when it came to cooking Patrick’s recipe. Our photographer Eric was excited to see how the pork would taste and basically hovered around the oven waiting for it; my colleague Kirsten was looking forward to the bread dumplings; I was highly anticipating the sweet and sour caramelized cabbage; our chef Hanna was inspecting (very closely, mind you!) the details of the recipe itself.
To make the recipe, you must first cook the pork belly in beer, this softens the skin on the outside so you can score it easily; it also makes for a particularly crispy crust later on. As the name suggests, the roast is then placed in the Rein (the Austrian term for a roasting pan) on a bed of root vegetables and potatoes and roasted in the oven for just under 2 hours. In the meantime we devote ourselves to the cabbage and the bread dumplings.
For the sweet and sour cabbage, part of the white cabbage is first caramelized with onions and sugar until it’s a deep, rich golden brown hue. Then it’s deglazed with apple cider vinegar and water and can be set aside to simmer away slowly while we make the dumplings. Some simple, butter-sautéed onions, parsley, and milk get mixed with some rustic pieces of stale bread, mixed, and rolled into large bread dumplings. Kirsten, Hanna, and I are all very familiar with these semmelknödel and discuss the intricacies of shape and flavor (it’s a big deal in Germany!), while Eric, who grew up in Canada, is quite and more skeptical—he's never tried these types of dumplings before.
We are slowly approaching the end of our roasting project. The dumplings are cooking in a pot of simmering water, the cabbage is on the stove to keep warm, and we can start the final step for our pork: crisping up the crust. As described in the recipe, we rub it with a little salt and turn on our oven’s grill function. The little diamonds we had scored into the skin earlier gradually begin to pop up, almost like popcorn, a spectacle we all had to capture on camera (be sure to follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes peeks!)
At about 1 p.m. sharp, just like grandma, we take the finished roast out of the oven. But we don't eat it yet, we have to take the photos first! On previously selected plates, we lovingly arrange the roast, dumplings, sweet and sour cabbage, and root vegetables to photograph. In addition, a little boat of gravy sits beside the plate, ready to crown our Sunday roast.
What comes next is one of the incentives for us to deal with food and recipes every day: We get to eat. At our lunch, we came together around this regional family recipe that made it from the Innviertel region of Austria to our Berlin office thanks to Patrick Paillart and the Kitchen Stories community. Eric finds his first bread dumpling quite different from what he expected, but "so delicious" and we all agree, perhaps the last time we had such a delicious, hearty dish was around a table with our own families. After all, it’s not every day that you make and eat a meal like this. Thanks to Patrick and his grandma-in-law, I finally know how to make a perfect pork roast at home myself—and all the homey feelings seemed to be baked right in.
Do you have a regional recipe you want to share with our global community? May is all about how we can connect—globally and locally—across our international community, because good food unites us all. So upload your favorite recipe via our app or website; we can’t wait!
Published on May 13, 2021