A few months ago a friend of mine asked me if I’d ever had a plate of Goetta. I replied with a quizzical look that prompted her to explain what she was talking about. Apparently, Goetta is a meat and grain mush dish that is well-loved in the Cincinnati area. I have to admit this got me excited because I love finding out about new recipes and always want to know more.
The first thing I seek to find out is what the dish looks like, how it is presented and the different takes that chefs have on it. Then I look at the origins of the dish to see if there are any interesting stories surrounding it (like potato chips and the sandwich) and how that dish has evolved over the years. Lastly, I check how that dish is made and try to recreate it in my very own kitchen.
The Goetta is a fascinating dish to make. I think of it as more of a breakfast dish that you serve with some sour cream flapjacks and creamy scrambled eggs. It is a unique and exciting dish to make, and that’s why I decided to teach you how to make it today. But firstly, let me give you a description and short history of our dish of the day – the humble yet amazing Goetta patties.
Goetta is one of the more popular dishes in Cincinnati USA (right up there with other culinary staples like Cincinnati style chili). It originated from a Germanic peasant dish that was brought to America when German immigrants settled there. Just like hotdogs, Goetta is composed of a variety of unwanted pork or beef scraps mixed with grain and formed into patties.
Oats are usually used as the grain that is mixed in with the meat, which gives the dish its claim to fame. They are scrumptious meat patties with a crispy texture that have become a breakfast staple all over Cincinnati. It is typically served between two slices of fresh bread or eaten with a big dollop of apple sauce. A yummy pairing would be Goetta patties with a runny sunny side up egg placed on top. Definitely a drool-worthy partnership.
So now that you know more about the fabulous Goetta sausage, it’s time for us to find out how you can make one and cook it in your very own kitchen.
Making Goetta patties takes a bit of time and effort on your part, but the results will be worthwhile. To begin with, prepare all of the following ingredients:
- Half a pound of ground pork.
- Half a pound of ground beef.
- 1 ½ cup of steel cut oatmeal.
- Half of an onion.
- 4 cups of water.
- Three bay leaves.
- Cooking oil or bacon fat.
- A saucepan.
There you go, that is all you need to start your quest for the perfect Goetta. Now we move on to the fun part of this article. Preparing the patties!
This is the hard part but it’s also the most fun to do. Always remember to give your preparation a bit of time (It will take about three hours to finish, so plan your day very well!). With that in mind, let us now start making the Goetta patties.
- Pour all of the water into your saucepan and bring it to the boil.
- Chuck the oatmeal into the boiling water with about two teaspoons of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Then reduce the heat to a low setting and cover the saucepan. Simmer for about two hours, stirring the mixture as often as you can. This will ensure that your ingredients will be cooked through.
- Add the ground pork and beef, chopped onions, and bay leaves into the saucepan and mix them well.
- Remove the saucepan from the stove and let it cool for about thirty minutes to an hour. Place the meat onto a chopping board once it is sufficiently cooled and then cut it into patties. Store them inside your refrigerator until they are well chilled.
Now is the time you have all been waiting for – cooking the fantastic Goetta! So put your chef’s hat on and let’s go on to the next part.
Cooking the Goetta patties is much easier than preparing them. Simply get your chilled patties out of the fridge (or leave them out for about thirty minutes to an hour if you placed them inside the freezer).
Fire up the stove and get your skillet ready. Heat some cooking oil or bacon fat and coat the surface of your pan (I prefer to use bacon fat for this dish, as it gives more flavor to the Goetta). Then slowly place your patties in the skillet and begin to cook them.
- Do not press down on the patties while they’re cooking as this will squeeze all the lovely juices out (this is rule number one for all of the patties you cook!).
Cook each patty for about five minutes on each side or until the outside of them turns golden brown. Serve hot!
Finding out about cuisine with a rich and diverse history excites the chef in me. There is something about a recipe’s origin and evolution that inspires me and helps me to become more engaged and creative in the kitchen. For instance, did you know that the holiday staple eggnog was first created by 13th-century monks as a way of celebrating prosperity and heath? Or that the origin of that great breakfast favourite, the waffle, dates back to the ancient Greeks? Those are just a few of the dishes that possess a very illustrious and fascinating history. There is much more to be discovered, and it is amusing to trace these dishes back in time.
Goetta has a very interesting beginning. European Immigrants who came to the US brought their knowledge of the old country with them. Being new to a country, hardships were to be expected. There was a lot of class struggle and barriers that they had to overcome, which is probably one of the reasons why they brought their food with them. They just wanted a piece of their home to take with them to the US during such turbulent times.
Goetta also shows how food evolves over the years. Immigrants that lacked the resources took pieces of discarded or cheap ingredients, like pork and beef parts that were going to be thrown away, as well as steel cut oats, and turned them into delicious patties. It is surprising to find out that a dish with such humble beginnings has grown so popular over the years to the extent that it has become the state’s more popular dish. It just goes to show you that for every caviar or truffle, there is a Goetta sausage ready to compete with them.
Do you love great food with a great history, and do you like making your own versions of centuries old classics? If so, please tell us about it. Feel free to share this article with friends or family members who would love to know more about lovely Goetta patties. If you adored this topic, then please write your comments or stories in the space provided below. Get sizzling and flipping, and good luck with making your very own scrumptious piece of history!