This holiday, celebrate with a cozy dinner of warming German classics, including hearty braised pork roast with root vegetables and irresistible Christmas cookies.
For a festive, fruity cocktail, stir this traditional sweet-tart macerated fruit conserve into some champagne.
Potato pancakes are traditionally served with applesauce, a sweet compliment to the savory, crispy fried potatoes. Try serving the pancakes with our apple cranberry sauce for extra tang.
When serving the baked walnut-stuffed apples, try experimenting with flavored whipped creams, which are super easy to prepare and add sophisticated flavor.
RECIPE: Braised Pork Roast with Root Vegetables
The juniper berries and caraway seeds in this roast give it a floral, woodsy flavor, while the bacon that wraps it helps keep the meat moist.
SERVES 6 to 8
1 (5-lb.) boneless pork shoulder, butterflied
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp. whole juniper berries
4½ tsp. caraway seeds
8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
8 strips bacon
¼ cup olive oil
3 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 small celery root, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1" chunks
½ cup dry red wine
1½ cups chicken stock
6 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
RELATED: A Classic French Dinner Party
1. Heat oven to 350°. Season pork with salt and pepper, rub with juniper, caraway, and garlic, and lay 4 strips bacon across pork, parallel to short sides and spaced about 2" apart. Starting at one of the short edges, roll pork into a tight bundle, and place seam-side down; lay remaining bacon lengthwise across the top of the roast, and tie securely with kitchen twine at 1" intervals. Season outside of pork with salt and pepper, and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a large roasting pan set over two burners over medium-high heat. Place roast, bacon side down, in pan, and cook, turning as needed, until browned all over, about 25 minutes. Push roast to one side of the pan, and add parsnips, carrots, potato, celery root, and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 15 minutes. Add wine, and cook, stirring to scrape the bottom of the pan, until liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock, thyme, and bay leaves, and using tongs, arrange roast on top of vegetables. Cover with foil, and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast reads 165°, about 2 hours.
3. Transfer pork to a cutting board, and let rest for 20 minutes. Discard bay leaves and thyme, and arrange vegetables on a large serving platter; slice pork, and arrange over vegetables.
4. Bring roasting pan with pan juices to a boil over high heat. Mix cornstarch and 2 tbsp. water in a bowl. When juices boil, whisk in cornstarch mixture and cook until gravy is thick, about 2 minutes more. Strain gravy through a fine-mesh strainer, stir in vinegar, and season with salt and pepper; serve alongside roast.
RELATED: Christmas Cookies
RECIPE: Nusstaler (Chocolate-Dipped Hazelnut Cookies)
The recipe for these Christmas cookies comes from the bakery Rischart in Munich.
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
4 oz. toasted hazelnuts, very finely ground, plus whole raw hazelnuts to garnish
2 cups flour
½ cup natural cocoa powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
RELATED: 2012 SAVEUR Holiday Gift Guide
1. Heat oven to 350°. Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla with a hand mixer until fluffy. Whisk together ground hazelnuts, flour, cocoa, and salt in a bowl; add to butter mixture; beat. Portion dough into 1" balls; transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spaced 2" apart. Place a whole hazelnut on top of each. Bake until cracked on top, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Dip bottom of each cookie in chocolate; chill until set.
MORE FROM SAVEUR.COM: