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Gruenkohl und Pinkel - Kale and Sausage - North German Specialty

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Gruenkohl - Cooked Kale from Northern Germany

Gruenkohl - Cooked Kale from Northern Germany


Try cooked kale and sausage as a winter comfort food. Germans celebrate winter with a "Gruenkohlfahrt", which is a brisk hike accompanied by schnapps and a warm kale dinner afterwards. Cooked kale is mixed with mustard, bacon and sausage for a nutritious dinner.

Makes 2 - 3 large portions

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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes


  • 1 lb. kale, about 12 oz. cleaned and chopped
  • 2 pieces of bacon chopped, or 50 grams of "Bauchspeck" diced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp. beef bouillon
  • 1 T. mustard
  • Pepper
  • Various sausage, such as bratwurst, frankfurters or other
  • Thick slice of ham (optional)


Clean kale, remove the thick middle stem and chop. Blanch for 1 minute in boiling water and drain. You may also use frozen kale (looks like spinach) if you can find it (frozen kale is popular in Germany).

Brown the bacon in a pan, sauté the onion in it and add the kale. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add water to cover. Stir in beef bouillon. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the mustard and stir. Place the sausages and meat on top of the kale and simmer for another 30 minutes. Pepper to taste, salt only after tasting as the meat is salty.

Serve with boiled potatoes and potatoes browned in butter and sugar.

Note: Everyone has different ways of eating kale, one of the most famous is called "Gruenkohl und Pinkel" (also "Bregenwurst", or "Grützwurst") a sausage which traditionally contained brain (not any longer), oats, bacon and pork, and is flavored with allspice, cloves, pepper and maybe marjoram. The recipes are held secret and every family has its favorite butcher.

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