German Tamales

Or stuffed cabbage.

This version from 1907’s The Milwaukee Cook Book suggests a slightly different formulation:

Mock Tamales (German Tamales).

Remnants of roasts, especially veal, pork, chickens and beef–chop very fine, add onion or juice of onion, season highly with cayenne pepper, a little chile, salt, grated lemon, celery salt, marjorie [marjoram], parsley, all finely prepared, two eggs beaten, all mixed thoroughly.

The covering is made of German pancakes, a thin batter of flour, two eggs, salt and water, fried the size of skillet or gridion, make seven or eight pancakes; fill these when cool lengthwise with the prepared meat, roll until it holds together nicely. Place the filled pancakes in baking pan and baste with soup stock. If gravy is left over, add this shortly before serving. One-half hour is sufficient time to bake–be careful to keep moist.

German pancakes are a bit like crepes, but a little thicker.

From a notebook originally from somewhere in the general area of Sterling, Colorado from the 1930s.

This recipe is from the 42nd page of the notebook; here’s the page in full (click to enlarge).

Click to expand a longer explanation...

In the words of the seller:
I acquired this book from the great granddaughter of the woman who wrote this book back in a small Nebraska town in the 30’s. She belonged to that generation of rural housewives who worked tirelessly to make ends meet and “keep body and soul together” for their families working the farms.

Later addendum:[A]fter a conversation I had with a friend’s sister who used to live in North Eastern Colorado, given the type of recipes listed we decided it might be from a small town there, i.e., Sterling or Fort Morgan. Also North Platte or Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Even Cheyenne, Wyoming. If you Google a map of Sterling, Colorado and pull back, you will see all these little towns in that tri-state area.

German Tamales

2 c. home canned beef (ground)
2 c. home canned pork (ground)
1/2 c. partially cooked rice
5 Tbsp. cornmeal
3 tsp. chili powder

Enough water to moisten and mold into patties as large as a small egg

12 large cabbage leaves
1 qt. home canned tomatoes.

While mixing meat mixture, set cabbage leaves in boiling water. Place each patty in cabbage leaf and roll up and flatten with toothpicks; place in a pan and cover with tomato pulp to which you add 1 tsp. chili powder, salt, and a little sugar.

Boil 1 hour.

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