The most traditional speciality in the Ziller Valley
Kaspressknödel can be found on almost every local menu, from remote mountain huts to the restaurants in town. However, the recipe differs from chef to chef. I met head chef Walter Stippler and watched him make this delicious dish as he let me in on the secrets of his recipe.
Passed down from generation to generation
The kitchen at the Hotel Edenlehen smells amazing. Head chef, Walter Stippler, is already waiting, ready to educate me in the art of Tyrolean cuisine. However, before we get started he tells me a little about the history of the Tyrolean Kasspressknödel. "It is a simple, low-cost dish, which in the past provided essential sustenance. The ingredients - potatoes, flour and cheese - were readily available on most mountain farms. The recipe has been gradually refined as it has been passed down from generation to generation", explains Walter Stippler.
From bread dumplings to potatoes
The ingredients of this regional speciality are as diverse as the state of Tyrol itself.
"Many Tyrolean chefs, especially those around Innsbruck or to the north of the Ziller Valley use bread dumplings, white bread or mountain cheese (Bergkäse). In Mayrhofen, we follow the old tradition and make Kasspressknödel with potatoes, cheese and flour. The Ziller Valley grey cheese (Graukäse) gives the dumplings their special flavour", says Walter Stippler.
By the way, Tyrolean Kaspressknödel are also known as "Zerggl".
The classic dish: Kaspressknödel soup
Kaspressknödel don’t just vary in their ingredients but also in the way they are served. "The most popular dish, which should be on any good local menu, is Tyrolean Kaspressknödel in a beef broth. However, this speciality can also be enjoyed with cream and chives or cabbage and brown butter. Chives should be used to give all of these dishes extra flavouring", explains the head chef as he begins to cook.
Recipe for four people
- 500 g potatoes (cooked)
- 50 g flour
- 130 g Heumilch-Graukäse (local grey cheese)
- Depending on the intensity of taste, some Heumilch-Zieger (goats cheese)
- 1/2 onion
- salt and pepper
- brown butter
- beef broth
Cook and peel the potatoes. Leave them to cool before mashing them. Finely chop the onion and fry in butter until clear. Add the onions to the potatoes and add the grated Graukäse and some cream. Also add the goat’s cheese at this point (if using). Season with salt, pepper, chives and nutmeg.
Form the dough into five centimetre dumplings and press them flat. Heat some butter in a frying pan and cook the dumplings, turning until both sides are golden brown. Guten Appetit!
Tip from the chef: Serve your Tyrolean Kaspressknödel with some chives in a tasty beef broth.