Tales from Rivvy’s Kitchen – Kassler
This is a recipe my mum used to make a lot when we were growing up. Strangely, I didn’t like it as a child. As an adult, however, I had it a few years ago at a dinner party she was having and fell in love with this simple, rich and tasty winter dish.
It’s a German dish (we lived in Germany for 3 years when I was between the ages of 6 and 8 – where I got my love of all things Christmas!) and I’m sure this is not the traditional method of cooking it, not least because we can’t buy raw smoked ham steaks here like they have on the continent. In any event, it’s delicious and so easy to make that even the most nervous of chefs will be unable to mess it up.
It’s also relatively inexpensive to make. I use the vacuum packed smoked gammon steaks from Asda that are only £2 for 2.
I don’t make it often, it has to be said, for the sole reason that it’s not good for the waistline. It is, essentially, pork steaks baked in cream, but as an occasional treat on a cold winter’s day, it cannot be beaten!
4 raw smoked ham or gammon steaks
4 onions, sliced (not diced)
1 medium punnet mushrooms (any kind), sliced
500ml single cream
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
Preheat oven to 180*C.
In a large frying pan, fry the onions and mushrooms over a medium heat until the onions are soft and glassy, remembering to season well.
Arrange the smoked steaks in the bottom of an oven dish, trying not to overlap them.
Spoon the onion/mushroom mix over the steaks.
Pour the cream over and around the steaks.
Sprinkle cheese on the top.
Bake for 30 minutes until the meat is cooked and the cheese has gone a lovely golden brown.
Yes, it really is that simple!
In relation to the mushrooms, I tend to use the plain old white mushrooms for this because the flavour of the steaks is strong so more delicate nuances of anything else will be lost.
I’ve never used red onions to make this, always white. I don’t see that it would make much of a difference though, so experiment away.
You can add garlic at the frying stage. I don’t personally feel that it needs it, but if you’re a garlic lover then add away!
Cheese – I tend to use regular grated mature cheddar for this dish, mostly because that’s what I have in the fridge as standard. If you want to make it with mozzarella and parmesan, that works too. If you want to mix mozzarella and cheddar, that works. Basically, whatever you want. I’m not a huge fan of blue cheese, but I can see that it would be extraordinarily tasty if you wanted to try it!!
I don’t know what it’s traditionally served with. Personally I tend to eat it as a hearty winter meal, with mashed potatoes and fresh greens (broccoli today!).