Traditional Swiss Berner Platte

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One of the Bernese specialities for people those are meat lovers is the Berner platte (‘Bernese platter’). It consists of a whole range of meats and sausages, which may include beef, ham, smoked bacon, pork tongue, spare ribs, and pork shoulder­­. There may also be some juniper-flavoured chopped cabbage, potatoes and dried beans in there.

Traditional Swiss Berner Platte

A traditional full Berner Platte is best prepared in four pots.

FIRST POT

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 cups of dry sauerkraut
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 juniper berries, crushed
  • 6 smoked pork chops (around 3 pounds)
  • 250g Canadian bacon, one piece
  • 1 mild German sausage
  • Salt, water

Method:

Heat oil in a Dutch kettle. Saute onions until soft and golden brown. Add sauerkraut, juniper berries and dry white wine into the oven. Put the smoked pork chops and bacon on the sauerkraut. Boil gently while covering over the lowest possible heat for 1.5 hours. Add sausage and keep simmering for 1 more hour.

SECOND POT

Ingredients

  • 3 pigs hocks
  • 6 pigs’ ears and 2 pigs’ tongues, ready to cook
  • 1/2 cup of diced celery
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • Salt, water

Method:

Put all the ingredients into a Dutch oven with 2 teaspoons of salt and about 2 liters of water to simmer during covering over the lowest possible heat until the hocks, ears and tongues are tender.

THIRD POT

Ingredients

  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • Salt water, boiled

Method

Stew the potatoes in boiling water until just soft. Drain and return to the pot. Shake over the lowest possible heat until potatoes are dry. Cover with a clean towel to keep hot.

FOURTH POT

Ingredients

  • 500g green beans
  • 1/4 cups of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons of pepper
  • Salt water, boiled

Method

Cook the beans in boiled salt water until mostly tender. Drain and return to saucepan. Add remaining spices and cook over low heat with continuously stirring until the beans are soft. Keep hot.

To serve, it is recommended to prepare 2 large platters. One will be placed with sauerkraut, with the sliced pork chops on top and sliced bacon, arranged in overlapping rows. On the second platter, arrange the sliced meats including ears, hocks and tongue on top of the string beans. Serve the potatoes separately.

This could be served with mustards and diverse pickles or even bread and sweet butter. Dry white wine or beer are also suitable drinks.

Phuong Ha

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