A must for those who love great German food is the Schnitzelbank which first opened under this name in 1933 and has been owned and run by the three generations of the Hanselman family since 1961. But even before that, the site had housed eating and drinking establishments that stretched back to before 1908.
Located in Jasper which has a large German population -- by some accounts almost 90% of the population is of German descent, there’s a lot of great history here. Both Jasper and Huntingburg had breweries and after prohibition began, the local farmers continued making their own moonshine called Dubois Dew (Dubois is the county name).
The Schnitzelbank Restaurant is much more sophisticated now then its early origins when it was dubbed The Last Chance Saloon or The First Chance Saloon depending on whether you were approaching it or leaving it. The wait staff wear dirndls and all the food including the sauerkraut and mashed potatoes are made daily on site.
I enjoy eating there so much that I was happy to see that they published a cookbook called Ein Prosit: A Collection of Fine Family Recipes and Spirits. And after looking through it and noting the various schnitzel recipes, I would like to do a story on schnitzels—so if anyone has any old family recipes, please let me know. The book contains recipes for numerous schnitzels including Berner Schnitzel, Jager Schnitzel, Schwein Schnitzel and Weiner Schnitzel. Having only heard of the later before, I was surprised that there were that many different types of schnitzel. If there are even more types of schnitzel, please let me know. In the meantime, here are some Schnitzelbank recipes.
Bavarian Meat Loaf
One and three quarters pounds ground beef, finely ground
Seven ounces ground pork, finely ground
Nine ounces bacon, ground
One pinch nutmeg ground
Four teaspoons black pepper
Water as need for mixing loaf
Two tablespoons butter
One medium onion, minced
Knead ground beef until smooth, add ground pork, bacon and spices and mix thoroughly. While kneading, add enough water to keep mixture smooth but not too thin,
Spread butter evenly in roasting pan and evenly sprinkled minced onion inside of butter pan. Form meat into a loaf and place in open pan. Brush top with water.
Bake meat loaf in preheated oven about one hour at 350.
Schnitz Red Cabbage (Rothkohl)
1 medium to large red cabbage
2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. lard or vegetable oil
2 medium cooking apples, peeled and cored- cut into 1/8" wedges
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. sugar
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup onion- chopped fine
1 small onion peeled
1 cup boiling water
4 -6 whole cloves
Directions: wash the cabbage under cold water. Remove the outer leaves and cut the head lengthwise into quarters.
Remove the core and cut each quarter crosswise into fine strips. Put the cabbage in a bowl and add the sugar, salt, vinegar - tossing to mix thoroughly. Heat the lard (or oil) in a large 4-6 qt sauce pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and apples, stirring frequently until the apple slices are slightly browned. (about 5 minutes) Add the cabbage, the bay leaf and the whole onion, pierced with the cloves. Stir the mixture well and then add the boiling water.
Bring the contents of the pan to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, and then turn the heat down to a low simmer.
Cover and allow to simmer until the cabbage is tender- about 1.5 to 2 hours. Make sure that the cabbage remains moist.
When ready hardly any liquid should be left. If mixture looks too dry add a tablespoon full of boiling water. Remove the bay leaf and the whole onion. Add the red wine and stir. Serve in a heated bowl.
Anyone interested in purchasing the book call go to the restaurant’s website www.schnitzelbankgr.com or call 812-482-2640.