Very recently, we marked the end of an era: the four of us have recently all upped sticks and left our lovely little town in Switzerland and moved en masse to London. It turns out moving is hard work, and we’ve been busy little bees getting all settled in.
Before we left Basel for the big city, though, we thought we’d go out with a bang and mark our departure by splashing out on one of our favourite local dishes: Zürcher Geschnetzeltes with Rösti. We were feeling a bit fancy that day, so we also made some traditional Käsekuchen, and had ourselves a proper Goodbye Switzerland feast.
Zürcher Geschnetzeltes is made with veal, which sort of ruptured our bank accounts, and almost an insane amount of white wine. You could use a meat other than veal, but it wouldn’t be as yummy. The recipe we used was a slight modification of one we found via Coop. Pre-warning: we used ready-made Rösti. If you really want to go for it and make your own Rösti (essentially fancy potato hash), find a recipe alllllll the way at the bottom of the page of this Guardian article. (Pro-tip: add bacon bits for extra yum.)
Zürcher Geschnetzeltes with Rösti
You will need:
Clarified butter, for frying
600g Veal, cut into strips ca. 1cm wide
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs butter
1 small onion, cut finely
1 tbs lemon juice
1 dl (100 ml) white wine
1 tbs maizena (or other corn starch/cornflour)
2 dl cream
1 dl beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish
- Heat the clarified butter in your pan. Don’t be shy to use quite a bit of it. (Also don’t do what we did and use a non-non-stick pan. It will only end in burnt butter and tears.)
- Put the meat in the pan a bit at a time, cover it with a dusting of flour, fry it for about 2 minutes, and season it with salt and pepper. Repeat until all the meat is all cooked. (We did not do this due to Number 4 misreading the recipe and trying to fry all the meat at once. Again, this will only end in burnt butter and tears.)
- Take the meat out of the pan and set it somewhere where it will stay warm.
- Next, you should wipe the oil from your pan with kitchen roll. Don’t do what we did and wash the pan entirely out – you’re going to want that flavour.
- In the same pan, then, heat your butter and saute the onions in it.
- Slice the mushrooms thinly, and then immediately cover them in the lemon juice. (Yeah, this step mystifies us also.) You can then saute them with the onions.
- Pour the wine into the pan and cook until the volume has reduced itself by about half.
- Combine the corn flour with the cream and the beef stock. Then pour all that into the pan as well. (You may want to pour it in through a strainer so as not to get lumps of cornflour.)
- Bring the whole thing up to the boil again, then reduce the heat. Put the meat in, flavour the lot with salt and pepper, and wait until it gets hot.
- Serve with Rösti or egg noodles; garnish with chopped parsley.
We had a minor problem in that the pan we used caused all of the butter and flour we were using to fry the meat with to stick to it like glue, which meant we needed to clean it out in between or else have no flavour other than burnt butter. Not washing the pan would leave a lot more of the flavour behind. That being said, it was still delicious. The sauce was delightfully creamy and thick, and the meat was lovely and tender. Served with rösti and a good wine, it was the perfect Grand Finale to our time as food bloggers in Switzerland.
Never fear, though! The blog continues as we are reunited with our long lost Number 1 in London, and we have grand plans for the next few instalments.
One two three four – SCORE
[Numerical ratings are out of four, where four is best/healthiest/hardest/cheapest.]
Taste: 3.5. It would be four except for our little mishap with the pans. Yum. This sauce is delish with any kind of meat, but nothing beats the true veal geschnetzeltes for flavour.
Difficulty: 3. It’s fairly straight forward, but there are several parts that are easy to mess up and thereby ruin your meal.
Healthiness: Hahahahhahahaaaaaa. There is nothing about this meal that is not fattening. Cream. Wine. Butter. Fried potatoes. I’ll give it a 1.2, because veal is less bad for you than other meats I’m sure.
Cost: 1, Veal is really, really not cheap. Especially for us in Switzerland where all meat runs at insane prices. I think that it could be harder to obtain, as well, in places where veal is not a popular meat. Everything else you probably have lying around the kitchen, but the meat takes special consideration.
Overall: 3.6 Minus points for being full of cream and bank-breaking.