Go ahead and tell me you never heard of Goetta. From what I’ve read it does seem like a regional delicacy, found mainly in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. But it has been in my family ever since I can remember. Though some of my siblings don’t appreciate it as I do. Where did I come across it? Well, my Grand Mom and Grand Dad on my mother’s side had some Germanic background, though I don’t know exactly, my Grand Dad once mentioned Alsace-Lorraine was in his background. When I first knew them they were in Chicago, but there was some relatives in Cincinnati (hint: write down as much of your family’s history as early as you can. It’s hard to reconstruct when there is no one left to fill in the blanks.)
But back to Goetta. You have probably heard of Scrapple and at one time or other eaten it with breakfast. Now these two have some similarities, and one big difference. First the difference; Scrapple uses Corn Meal while Goetta uses Oatmeal for a binder/filling. The similarity is that they both use Pork. The first recipe called for scrap “trash” pieces of pork, but mom and Grandma never did that. I watched mom making Goetta many times in my younger years. She always used a good piece of Pork and trimmed most of the fat and gristle from it – no “trash” pieces. Either fresh as I’ll describe ina paragraph further down, or some left over pork roast, With pork roast she’d just shred it and skip the boiling. I’ll get to the recipe soon.
To server it with breakfast, she’d put some “non-stick”, or even butter in a Skillet, almost always a Cast Iron one. Then form a bit of Goetta into a patty, about the size of a hamburger, and place it into the hot skillet. After one side had browned, she’d turn it over. When both sides sere browned she’d usually fry or scramble eggs, frying eggs do need more non-stick or oil as the goetta as I describe it leaves almost nothing behind. This was a special breakfast, one I looked forward to. Now I just use a non-stick frying pan with a light spray of olive Oil or Butter.
Ok, now how does one make Goetta? My recipe is a bit vague, I build it by feel so try it, I’ll give links to other recipes a bit further down. Every time it’s good, and always a bit different.
Take some good pork – you can make a trial run with one or two pork chops to start with. Trim off most of the fat. After cutting into smaller pieces combine them with some chopped onion, a Bay Leaf, a couple of Peppercorns and a bit of Poultry Seasoning or Thyme, and enough water to cover into a pan, cover and simmer. When the meat is fully cooked, remove it from the water, take out the Bay Leaf, and Pepper Corns, let this cool, but keep the water it’ll be full of onion and the other herbs and spices.
When the meat is cool enough to work with, chop into small pieces, shred by hand or use a Meat Grinder – I have one of the old Cast Iron ones that clamp to a table.
After preparing the meat, make some Oat Meal – Quaker Oats works best, but Steel Cut Oats work too, the final Goetta is a bit coarser. Use the water that you cooked the meat in, Make about the same amount of OatMeal as you have Meat. You should have fairly thick mixture. When the OatMeal has cooked, add the meat, stir well and pour into a loaf pan to cool in the ‘frig.
The next morning form a patty about the size of a hamburger, and fry as I described above. Next time, adjust seasonings to your preference, and let me know how you doctor up your recipe.
Have a Great Breakfast.
I promised some more recipes: