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German Spaetzle with Lamb Sausage and Braised Red Cabbage

Jeff Hedin - Leopold
Chicago, IL

Seasonal
Entree
Autumn

Serves: 4 |Prep time: 45 minutes

For the spaetzle
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk (warm)
  • 2 t water (warm)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 t cracked black pepper
  • 2 T whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 t fresh grated nutmeg
  • 12 Smits Farm chives, sliced into small pieces
  • 5 T butter, for browning
For the sausage and cabbage
  • 2 lbs Mint Creek Farm lamb sausage, uncooked
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 6 Nichols Farm cippolini onions, peeled and thinly sliced
    1 large Mick Klug Farm (tart) apple, peeled, cored, and finely diced
  • 1/2 cup beer (preferably a Belgian blond ale)
  • 1 T whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 t Smits Farm thyme, leaved picked
  • 1 small head Nichols Farm red cabbage, halved, cored, and sliced thin
  • 2 t Seedling Farm or Mick Klug Farm cider
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Method

For the Spaetzle

  1. Add warm milk and water to the beaten eggs and stir together.  Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, mustard and nutmeg and mix well.
  2. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil and add 2 teaspoons salt; maintain a simmer.  The spaetzle should be light, so check batter by dropping 1/2 teaspoon batter into simmering water.  Cook 4 minutes and check the noodle.  If it is not light, add a couple more tablespoons of water to the batter.
  3. Put all the dough into a heavy 1 quart self-sealing plastic food bag (like a Ziploc) and cut one bottom corner off (make the cut fairly small so that the dough you press through it is about the diameter of a pencil).  Quickly squeeze our 1 inch pieces directly into the simmering water.  Boil 4 minutes or until the dough rises tot he surface and floats for about 30 seconds.  Remove and chill in an ice bath, then drain and toss lightly in oil.

For the sausage and cabbage:

  1. Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook until softened (about 5 minutes), add apples and cook another three minutes.  Stir in beer, mustard and thyme and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.  Add cabbage and cider and cook, covered, until wilted and tender, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Finish with butter and season with salt and pepper; cover to keep warm.
  2. To serve, bring a skillet up to medium-high heat.  Add a knob of butter to the pan and cover the bottom of the pan with the chilled spaetzle.  Brown the spaetzle in the butter, add chives, check for proper seasoning, then add desired amount of the cabbage-sausage mixture.  Serve immediately.

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