Germans have never heard of the stuff: Goetta is our thing, and making it is a labor of love involving long hours at the stove. Fortunately, food columnist Rita Heikenfeld has updated her mother-in-law’s recipe to shave off a bit of time.
1. Put a 3-pound fresh pork shoulder; 3 cups of chopped onions; 3 cups of celery, diced; 4 bay leaves; and salt and pepper in a stockpot with 8 cups of water to cover. Simmer 3 hours until the meat falls off the bone. Remove pork and vegetables and chop the meat finely.
2. Combine water from the vegetables and 5 cups of pinhead oats (Steel-cut oats? Acceptable. Oatmeal? Never!!!) in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on high until it’s thick enough to hold up a spatula, two hours or so. Add the chopped meat, vegetables, and a couple teaspoons of poultry seasoning. Cook for another 45 to 60 minutes.
3. Taste the mixture: Salt? Pepper? Don’t be stingy.
4. Pour into foil-lined bread pans.
5. Refrigerate at least 12 hours to set up.
6. Slice and fry
7. “The only way to fry goetta is with bacon or in bacon drippings,” insists Heikenfeld. But you knew that, right?