In Touch with Prairie Living
By Michael M. Miller
The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at the NDSU Libraries
in Fargo reaches out to prairie families and former Dakotans. In
various ways, it affirms the heritage of the Germans from Russia
as an important part of the northern plains culture. In this month's
column, we share some of the foodways.
The following recipes have been selected from Sei Unser Gast(Be
Our Guest), a publication of the North Star Chapter of the American
Historical Society of Germans from Russia.
This recipe, whose name means "hare in pepper," is just as good
made with commercially raised rabbit (available frozen in supermarkets),
or freshly bagged cottontails or young jackrabbit.
1/2 lb. bacon, finely chopped
1-5 to 6 lb. rabbit
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
3/4 c. flour
2/3 c. minced shallot or union
1/2 tsp. chopped garlic
1-1/4 c. dry red wine
3/4 c. beef stock
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. brandy
2 tsp. red currant jelly
1 bay leaf
1 crushed juniper berry
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of crumbled dried rosemary
1/4 tsp. crumbled dried thyme
In a dutch oven, cook the bacon, stirring until it is crisp. Drain
the bacon bits on paper towels. Cut the rabbit into serving pieces.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper; then, dredge the pieces in the flour,
tapping off the excess. Heat the bacon fat over high heat and brown
the rabbit on both sides, a few pieces at a time. Transfer the browned
pieces to a plate. Pour off all but a little fat and add the shallots
and garlic. Cook over moderate heat until the shallots are soft,
stirring frequently. Add the wine, stock, and vinegar and bring
to a boil, scraping loose bits clinging to the bottom of the dutch
oven. Stir in the brandy, jelly, and herbs. Return the rabbit and
any juices that have seeped from it to the dutch oven. Add the bacon
bits, cover, and simmer over low heat for 45 to 90 minutes, or until
the rabbit is tender, but not falling apart. Discard the bay leaf.
Taste for seasoning; adding more salt and pepper, if needed (the
sauce should be quite peppery).
Although the meat is not marinated in this recipe, many recipes
call for it. To make the marinade, mix salt, pepper, wine, stock,
vinegar, brandy, jelly, salt, pepper, herbs, and spices. Add the
rabbit pieces and refrigerate 24 to 48 hours, turning occasionally.
Reserve the marinade and later add it to the browned bacon and rabbit
pieces and sauteed onion and garlic.
Himmel und Erde
(Heaven and Earth)
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 pt. water
1 lb. cooling apples, cored and peeled
2 oz. bacon, diced
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Cook potatoes in salted water 10-15 minutes. Add cored and peeled
apples. Add salt and pepper. Cook until apples and potatoes are
soft. Drain. Fry the diced bacon and sprinkle on the apples and
potatoes when you serve. This goes well with sausages, poultry,
New German-Russian cookbooks
We are pleased to announce two cookbooks: Some Wonderful Old
Time Recipes from Our Mothers and Grandmothers compiled by Thelma
Bartel Wiest, Portland, OR, and Pots of Gold from Hutterian Kitchens
by the Forest River Hutterite Colony in ND.
Thelma shares many recipes from her family such as Pfeffernusse,
Borscht, Aunt Minnie's Roll Koka, and prune cake. Thelma writes
in the forward, "This recipe book was compiled in order to preserve
the many old family recipes that are endangered, but which are still
alive in the memories of many family members and in some cases,
also the kitchens. If, a hundred years from now, some curious, bright-eyed
teenager, rummaging through an old trunk discovers this cookbook,
I hope she [or he] enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed writing
The Hutterites share their many German recipes including carrot
soup, sauerkraut relish, cottage cheese perogies, Fleisch Korfeln,
dumplings, Sauer Fleisch and potato pancakes. For further information
about the cookbooks, contact the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection.
We continue to receive positive feedback by e-mail from persons
viewing the recipes at the GRHC website. Our thanks for their contributions.
Information about the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection
For further information about the collection, German-Russian heritage,
the cookbooks, and the future Journey to the Homeland tours to Ukraine
including the former Bessarabian, Black Sea and Crimean German villages,
contact Michael M. Miller, NDSU Libraries, PO Box 5599, Fargo, ND
58105-5599 (Tel: 701-231-8416; E-mail: Michael.Miller@ndsu.edu;
GRHC website: http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc).