Wine Food Pairing - Stelze, Stelze Everywhere!

Wine Food Pairing with Stelze ... what, you ask is that? An Austrian pork treat, of course!

Stelze or schweinhaxe, as it is sometimes called, is an Austrian/German dish. It is made from the leg region of the pig ... that area between the knee and the foot ... a pig shin? I think the proper word in English is a pork hock and it is a tasty, but fatty delight.

I have eaten Stelze all over the world.

The first time I was introduced to Stelze was in Vienna, Austria at the famous Schweizerhaus. It is a large beer garden type restaurant done up in the Bavarian style. Perfect for the warm spring day or a crisp fall afternoon. Of course, if you eat the stelze it must be paired with the original Budweiser Budvar, beer made in the Czech republic. It is fresh on draft with a traditional thick fluffy head on top. The meal is served with a basket of fresh "salt" sticks, a cabbage salad and a special Schweizerhaus potato chip platter made right on the premises. You get freshly grated horseradish and senf, or mustard, on the side .... YUMMO!

To check out the Schweizerhaus you can just CLICK here

The next place I ran into into this pork delight was at the Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. WOW! Oktoberfest is this is a crazy beer celebration held every year and if you are ever in that neck of the woods at the end of September or early October be sure to stop by to enjoy the show.

We ate at the Hacker-Festzelt, I think it means the "festival tent" . These are not to be confused with camping tents .... these portable dwellings seat between 4,000 - 6,000 patrons and take 3 months each year to erect! After much discussion we decided on a wonderful stelze served with a potato dumpling and gravy ... OH BOY ... it was good! This was served with the "super sized" beer called a "mass", actually spelled with a special German letter that is not on my keyboard, it is the phonetic spelling. All I know is that each stein of beer is one liter and some of the ladies serving these giants carry up to 12 steins at a time! Talk about muscles. You can check out the Hacker-Festzelt by clicking here.

Next on our journey of stelze we went to Salzburg, Austria. The birth place of Mozart, Salzburg is also a picturesque city with many castles, churches and of course, the Augustiner Brewery. This is where the Augustiner monks have been brewing up their wonderful beer in their monastary since the 1600's. The Augustiner Brau is Austria's largest beer tavern and is quite unique by American standards. First off, you pay for a beer token and are given a heavy stoneware beer stein, then you line up and rinse your already clean stein and go over to the beer fountain an fill her up ... COOL ..... !

For food, you have a choice .... you may bring your own from home like a picnic basket .... many people do this ... or you can wander the food stands and vendors to buy something. This is where we ran into the Stelze stand.

Three of us shared this tasty treat along with an Austrian bread dumpling ( called a knoedel) and a mixed salad plate. Inside seats about 1,500 and in the nice weather they open up the beer garden outside for another 1,600 seats .....

For more info on the Augustiner Brau

Well, it has been several months since our last Stelze, since finding it in Florida is a rare thing indeed. Our Austrian friends Elisabeth and Hans decided to give us a real treat and whip one up for us!Elisabeth served Austrian potato salad and a cold cabbage slaw to complete the traditional Austrian meal. The Austrians drank beer with the meal, but the wine "chick" (myself) went for a Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon which I thought paired quite well!

Wine Food Pairing with stelze is certainly not impossible. CHEERS!

To learn how to make Stelze or Schweinhaxe, I have a terrific recipe, just click here!

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