Whole kale Bremen style

(Recipe #53, pages 62 – 63)

The variety of kale called Grünkohl [lit. green cabbage] is less strong that the darker variety called Braunkohl [lit. brown cabbage] and is therefore preferred for cooking. If the kale has been subject to frost, only the heart and the leaves next to it are used, along with the stalks if they are tender. The other leaves can be cooked finely chopped as described in recipe 54 below.

Wash the kale thoroughly. The best technique is to prepare the kale on the evening before and let it freeze once more overnight. In regions where the kale has a very strong flavor—which often depends on the variety but primarily on the soil—boil it quickly in lots of water, because no amount of care can prevent the strong flavor from masking the kale’s pleasant taste.

Then set some boiling water with goose fat or pork drippings and butter on the stove, add the kale in layers with the requisite salt (not too much, since it is very easy to oversalt kale), allspice, and many small onions. Cover tightly and cook slowly. The kale must be completely cooked but not too soft; it must not be broken up by stirring. If it isn’t sweet enough, add a piece of sugar while it is cooking and in preparing the broth for serving. The liquid must be briefly reduced and thickened if necessary with a little potato flour or cornstarch. Lengthy cooking makes the kale more appetizing; it takes at least 2 hours.

Garnish the kale with steamed chestnuts (I, no. 20), which can also be mixed in or passed in a small bowl. Accompanying potatoes should be roasted.

As side dishes: roast goose, stuffed pork chops, roast pork, roast beef, beef round, smoked meal, bratwurst, pork cutlets.

Translated by David Green.

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