Bratwurst with Vegetable and Cheese Knöpfli

A few days ago, my wife and I embarked upon a long day of winter hiking from Zermatt, Switzerland to Riffelalp and then to Furi and Zmutt before returning to Zermatt. Along the way, we hiked a some new trails along with some trails that we had hiked a few summers ago, and we even saw a few Chamois (wild alpine goat). It snowed pretty much the whole time, which gave us a unique experience of some of the areas we had visited in the past (and made the hiking a little more of a challenge…good thing we had our snow spikes on our boots!). Needless to day, after that walk, we desperately needed a big, hearty meal.

To this end, we first stopped at a local Metzgerei (Matterhorn Fleisch AG) to see what was fresh, and we bought two pork bratwursts. Then, we trekked a few blocks down the road to the Coop to figure out what to make for the rest of our meal. We have had Späzli before and made it many times. But, we’d never had Knöpfli…and we saw both types of dumplings sitting side by side in the refrigerated section. As far as I can tell, they are extremely similar, with the primary difference being how they are cut before going into the boiling water. Eventually, we will make Knöpfli from scratch, but for this recipe, we’re using premade since that’s what we had. That said, if you want to make this from scratch, it will also work using our Spätzli Recipe.

Time: 40 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • Bratwurst
  • Knöpfli (or make your own dumplings using our Spätzli recipe linked above…and we will put a Knöpfli recipe up when we are home and make it from scratch)
  • Cauliflower
  • Button Mushrooms
  • Cheese. We used Bünder Bergkäse, but any good melting cheese from Switzerland (Gruyere, Appenzeller, Emmentaler, Raclette) will do.
  • Milk
  • Butter

Method:

  • Start to boil some water in a pot large enough to fit all of your bratwurst links. When boiling, carefully add your wursts, and cook for about 10 minutes. Then remove, and set aside.
  • While the sausages boil, cut your cauliflower into small pieces (or use the shredding plate of your food processor), and slice your onions.
  • Melt some butter in a pan, and add your onions and cauliflower. Sautee until both start to soften. Then, add your mushrooms, and mix together in the pan.
  • After a few minutes, when the mushrooms darken, and the cauliflower and onions start to caramelize, add your spinach, and allow it to wilt.
  • While the spinach is wilting, cut slits in the top side and bottom side of your bratwursts. Then, heat some butter in a separate pan that is large enough for the sausages to fry, and place them in the pan. Flip after about 5 minutes, when they are golden brown.
  • While the sausage starts to fry, add your Knöpfli to your vegetable pan, and grate in your cheese. Mix to combine, and then stir in some milk. Let cook until the cheesy milky goodness thickens a bit.
  • When your dumpling sauce thickens to your desired consistency, and your sausage is nicely golden brown on top and bottom, you’re done!
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!

2 comments

  1. Should you still be in Switzerland when you read this, you can check out this link to Amazon Germany to see what a Knöpflipfanne looks like. You should find it in any swiss supermarket for under $10: https://www.amazon.de/9390-25-chg-Sp%C3%A4tzle-Profi-27/dp/B0002HP0NI/ref=sr_1_1?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&crid=2OCSUS4W66U9L&keywords=kn%C3%B6pflesieb&qid=1576272868&sprefix=kn%C3%B6pfle%2Caps%2C171&sr=8-1. There is another gadget that makes both Knöpfli and Spätzle called a Spätzlehobel, which you can also find at Amazon or where you are. The single most important thing about the Spätzle dough using either contraptions is that the dough must be able to flow with the help of the spatula (or the Spätzle”lathe”)
    Happy hunting 🙂

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