I only recently learned about goetta, courtesy of a Clevelander with an appreciation of this Cincinnati treat. Although I am, technically, a Buckeye by virtue of my birth in the state, I haven’t been in Ohio since I was 3 years old. But after my newly found love of goetta, I feel a closer connection with my native state. As a bit of research, including the wonderfully informative Country Scrapple: An American Tradition, will tell you, this great culinary land of ours boasts a rich patchwork of meat/grain breakfast foods. Scrapple, liver mush (or pudding), ponhaus, boudin, goetta, whatever you call it, I call it porktastic. This particular gustatory tradition developed as an economical way to use the leftover parts from butchering to make a savory fried treat, and, apparently, give it a cool name. Goetta’s home is the area around the border of Ohio & Kentucky, and is centered in Cincinatti, where Goettafest! is held every August. Although I had actually never tasted goetta before I made my first batch, I did my best to come up with a flavor and texture close to the real thing. If you’re an experience go-goetta, give my recipe a try & let me know how I did!
makes about ten 1-pound loaves or logs
5-pound pork butt
3/4 pound celery, roughly chopped
3/4 pound yellow onion, peeled & roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
4 fresh bay leaves
8 cups water
5 cups steel-cut (pinhead) oats
2 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons sage
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
In large stockpot, bring pork, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, & water to boil over high flame. Reduce flame to low, cover, and simmer 2 hours. Remove pork from stockpot (leave water in pot) and allow to rest until cool enough to handle. Cut pork into chunks & grind. Discard bay leaves from water, then remove other vegetables and feed them through the grinder as well. Return ground pork & vegetables to stockpot and add remaining ingredients. Bring to simmer over medium-high flame, stirring often; reduce flame to low, cover, and simmer 2 hours, stirring often. Remove pot from flame, allow to cool, and pour into greased mini loaf pans or roll into 1-pound plastic-wrapped logs. Refrigerate if using within a week; freeze for up to 3 months. To cook, cut into 1/2-inch to 1-inch slices, then fry in a small amount of butter in a nonstick skillet or griddle until nicely browned.
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