“Kasseler” is a German method of curing and smoking pork. My
research tells that the “kasseler” method was invented in 1880 by a Berlin butcher (who just happened to have the name of Cassel) when he smoked then ripened a loin of pork in brine. This preserved the meat, but also gave it a distinctive flavour. Apparently in
Germany, the “kasseler” method can be used on just about any cut of meat
I hadn’t seen kassler here in Hawke’s Bay before, but the other day when I was at Holly Bacon, I spotted a piece – it was a 1.1kg piece of loin. When I asked Claire Vogtherr if this was a new product, she said “No, with the number of Southern African ex-pats that we have living in Hastings, there is a demand for it.” All I can say is I am pleased to have discovered it and will be keeping an eye out for it in the future.
The Holly Bacon kassler was a little different to kassler I have had in the past. I do not consider myself an expert on kassler, but I used to purchase it in Sydney and this piece seemed to be more lightly smoked and brined, but was as good as any I had, had previously and I loved been able to make that fabulous crackling (see below).
Roast Kassler with Potato & Green Bean Salad
The rind on my piece of kassler was finely scored which suggested to me that this just might make some excellent crackling and I was not wrong – I suspect that my way of cooking this piece of kassler may not be how my German friends would do it, however, I would like to assure them that it was delicious and had some of the best crackling I have ever had!
Leftovers were excellent in sandwiches.
1-1.5kg piece kassler (smoked pork loin)
1 cup white wine or cider
POTATO & GREEN BEAN SALAD
1kg new potatoes, scrubbed
250g green beans, cut into 2.5cm pieces
1 small red onion, finely chopped
½ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
chopped parsley or chives, to garnish
1 Preheat oven to 250°C. Place kassler in a roasting pan, rub a little salt into the rind and roast for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to
200°C, add wine or cider and roast for 30 minutes longer. Remove meat from pan, cover and keep warm.
2 Meanwhile, make the potato salad, place potatoes in a saucepan of cold water over a medium-high heat, cover and bring to the boil. Remove lid, add salt to taste and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are just tender – take care not to overcook them or they will fall apart when you cut them. After 10-15 minutes, add beans – I do it this way so that I only use one pot! Once potatoes and beans are cooked, drain, cover to keep warm and set aside.
4 Place onion and oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent. Stir in vinegar, sugar and mustard, bring to
simmering and simmer, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until mixture
reduces and thickens.
5 Cut potato into chunks. Add potato and beans to warm
mixture in pan and toss to combine.
To serve: Cut kassler into thick slices, accompany with warm potato and bean salad and scatter with parsley or chives.
Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Kassler: Holly Bacon – Hastings; Onions: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Potatoes, green beans, parsley: JJ Organics – Napier; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Apple cider vinegar: Te Koha
Organics – Hastings; Store Cupboard Ingredients: Dijon mustard, brown sugar, sea salt, wine or cider.
Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.
Happy cooking and eating.
Recipe by Rachel Blackmore
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