Recipe: Überbackene Fleischpalatschinken

They don't look like much, but they taste great.

They don’t look like much, but they taste great.

8 crepes

For the filling:
Oil, for frying
2 shallots (or 1 onion), finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
400 grams (14 oz) ground meat
1-2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt
pepper
1 cup crème fraîche (or 150 grams [5.3 oz) sour cream)*

For the topping:
200 grams (7.1 oz) sour cream
100 milliliters (ca. 1/2 Cup) heavy/whipping cream
2 egg yolks
salt
pepper
Grated cheese (for sprinkling)*

1. Preheat oven to 180-200 ° C (350-390 F).

2. Make the filling: Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions and garlic until translucent.

3. Add the ground meat and spread it out evenly throughout the pan. Fry until almost cooked through, stirring frequently.

4. Season with parsley, nutmeg, paprika, salt, and pepper and fry until the meat is completely cooked through.

5. Remove from heat, pour out pan juices, and stir in crème fraiche (or sour cream) until thoroughly combined. Season to taste again, if needed. Let cool.

6. Make the topping: Combine the sour cream, whipped cream, and egg yolks and stir until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

7. Lay one crepe out flat and spoon some of the meat filling over the left third of the crepe. Roll the crepe, starting with the end with the meat, and put it in a pre-greased baking dish seam-side down.  Repeat with remaining crepes.

8. Add any leftover meat filling to the topping sauce and stir well. Pour over the pancakes, then sprinkle with grated cheese. Cook for 15 minutes.

NOTES:
1. I used sour cream in the filling vice crème fraîche, and Emmentaler cheese for sprinkling.

2. I made one pan of pancakes following this recipe exactly, and a second pan where I substituted würzige käsesauce for the sour cream topping. (See the recipe for the käsesauce here.) I liked the original version better because it was “eggier” and heartier, but my husband liked the cheese sauce version better. I’ll be making both versions again.

The käsesauce version look more appealing in the pan.

The käsesauce version looks more appealing in the pan than the original.

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Cafe Wunderer

After a morning visit to Schloss Schönbrunn and its grounds, my friends who are visiting and I had lunch at nearby Cafe Wunderer. This cafe boasts a menu of “old style Viennese cooking,” much like your Austrian Oma would have made in her day. I love this type of cooking as it is hearty, filling, and almost always delicious. After a vigorous session with the menu (how can I possibly choose from all the offerings?), this is what I ended up ordering:

Waldviertler Krensuppe

Waldviertler Krensuppe

Kren is raw horseradish. It is normally grated and served on top of Austria’s version of open-faced sandwiches, Brötchen (see my brief explanation of Brötchen here and some “how to” instructions for assembling them here and here). You can buy horseradish root at the grocery store for your at-home horseradish needs.

You would think this soup was overpoweringly spicy because of the use of raw horseradish, and indeed there were horseradish shavings in the soup for flavor and texture. The soup was not spicy, however. It was earthy and a little sweet, and the only time you tasted the kren was when it was already partway down your throat. I have no idea how they made such a delicate soup from such a potent ingredient, but I am going to try to make it.

For my main I had this:

Fleischpalatschinke

Fleischpalatschinke

Crepes filled with spiced ground meat, covered with Hollandaise sauce, and baked. I had a very similar meal at Häuserl am Roan (see the description of that meal here), except that my previous meal had a cheese sauce on top. I enjoyed the first meal and I also enjoyed this one, which reaffirms that I really need to get moving on learning how to make crepes so I can make dishes like these.

Until this lunch, I thought that I was pretty much done discovering new Austrian dishes to learn. I still need to try Tafelspitz, which is not only quite popular here but was also a favorite of Emperor Franz Josef, but beyond that I didn’t think there was much else to try. The menu at this restaurant proved me wrong because there are all sorts of old school Austrian dishes that I’ve not even heard of, let alone tried. Thank god for that.

Lichtenthaler Bräu

Today I met my husband for lunch at the Lichtenthaler Bräu, a local brewery and restaurant. I tried their Belgian-style ale, which was pretty good and went well with my meal. Sorry, I don’t know much beer lingo so I cannot describe beer much beyond “good” and “not good.”

Many restaurants in the city offer lunch-time “menus,” which is what we would call a set meal. You can choose to have either two or three courses (i.e., whether you want a soup or dessert, or both), and often times you have a choice between two mains. The menus are generally inexpensive, or as close to it as you can get in Vienna, so I choose them whenever they’re offered.

Today’s lunch began with a bowl of mushroom cream soup. I’ve yet to have a bowl of bad mushroom soup here, and this soup did not prove to be an exception. I am definitely going to find a recipe for this soup. In case you are wondering, no, not every Austrian soup is vegetable- and cream-based; those are just the ones that I enjoy the most.

Paprika-Zucchini Strudel

Paprika-Zucchini Strudel

I chose the pepper and zucchini strudel as my main, and I am so glad that I did. I generally enjoy savory vegetable strudels (spinach and cheese is a big one here), but this one had the bonus of being topped with a cheese sauce. I’ve been wanting to learn how to make strudels for a long time since my husband is ga-ga over apple strudel, and my desire to re-create this meal might finally give me the impetus that I need to finally start trying.

The meal ended with a palatschinken (crepe) filled with apricot marmalade and topped with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar. After my fantastic lunch at Häuserl am Roan I’d decided that I need to learn how to make crepes, and this simple yet fantastic dessert has confirmed this as a “must do.” So, in short, I need to get cracking on my strudel- and crepe-making. This should be a fun challenge.

 

Häuserl am Roan

We enjoyed a fantastically delicious lunch at Häuserl am Roan this weekend. Not every restaurant has something on its menu to get every member of our family excited about eating, but this restaurant did. My son was able to order his favorite lunch: nudelsuppe und brot (chicken noodle soup and bread). My daughter practically ate herself into a schnitzel coma, and my husband had this:

Jäger Schnitzel

Jäger Schnitzel

This is schnitzel topped with lardons and sliced mushrooms, served with a ham and mushroom gravy. So delicious, yet the recipes that I have found look so easy. I plan to make these in the very near future, so stay tuned for a recipe.

Not as immediately do-able was my meal:

Gratinierte palatschinken

Gratinierte palatschinken

This is gratined crepes filled with sheep cheese and spinach, topped with rectangles of sheep cheese and tomato. They were so heavenly that I would have licked my plate, had we not been in public. I have no experience with crepes, however, so in order to recreate this dish I first have to learn how to make crepes, then figure out what kind of crepe this is. It is denser than the crepes I’ve seen, so maybe they are made with a different type of flour? This will take some experimentation and hopefully in the not-too-distant future I will have a result worth sharing here.