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Bavarian Griebenschmalz

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A thoroughly authentic homemade Griebenschmalz recipe with the same rich and rustic flavor you know and love from Germany! It’s easy to make and I’ll take you through my step-by-step tutorial on how to render lard and then fry up those crispy pork cracklings for your schmalz. A true taste of rustic German culinary tradition!

Follow my tutorial on How to Make Lard. It’s super easy and soon you’ll be enjoying some delicious Bavarian Griebenschmalz!

griebenschmalz recipe authentic traditional German pork schmalz bavarian bayerisches rezept onions apples marjoram pork cracklings bread spread

What is Griebenschmalz?

Griebenschmalz translates as “cracklings schmalz” and is a traditional German spread made from rendered lard mixed with chopped pork cracklings (“grieben”), onions, apples and spices (traditionally marjoram, pepper and salt). It is rustic German farmhouse fare that has been enjoyed for centuries. When I was growing up it was still commonplace to find the most popular brand from Bavaria sold in the traditional small gray and blue ceramic crocks known as Schmalztöpfe (Schmalztopf singular). While these can still be found, it’s sadly now more commonly sold in plastic tubs that are made to look like the ceramic crocks. Griebenschmalz is eaten spread on rustic, crusty bread or rye bread. It’s typically eaten by itself without embellishments or you can add some sliced German pickle on top.

griebenschmalz recipe authentic traditional German pork schmalz bavarian bayerisches rezept onions apples marjoram pork cracklings bread spread

Growing up I remember my Mutti buying Griebenschmalz on occasion. And though we lived in the Stuttgart area my mom, originally from Bavaria, would aways buy the Bayerisches Griebenschmalz. She’d smear a generous layer onto a slice of freshly baked bread from the local bakery. I was too squeamish then to eat it, but I do distinctly remember the wonderful smell of it with those caramelized onions and the bacon-y fragrance from the pork cracklings. Fast forward a few years when we moved to the U.S. in my mid-20’s, my mom was no longer able to find her beloved Griebenschmalz and so I learned how to make it for her, sourcing the fat from a local farm and rendering it myself. This homemade Griebenschmalz is made after authentic fashion and tastes just like you know and love it from Germany!

griebenschmalz recipe authentic traditional German pork schmalz bavarian bayerisches rezept onions apples marjoram pork cracklings bread spread

What Kind of Fat to Use for Griebenschmalz?

Griebenschmalz is made from pork fat. There are two varieties you can choose from depending on how strong or mild of a flavor you prefer. Leaf fat (called Flomen in German) is the fat the surrounds the kidneys of the pig. This fat has a very neutral flavor. Then there’s back fat (called Rückenspeck in German) which has a porkier flavor, though it’s still fairly mild. Leaf fat, because of its neutral flavor, is the popular choice for sweet applications like pastry crusts and other baked goods. Back fat is the fat of choice for sausage-making. Both fats are commonly used to make Griebenschmalz and it just comes down to personal preference. You can’t go wrong with either. Back fat is more readily available because there is much more of it compared to the limited leaf fat of the animal.

griebenschmalz recipe authentic traditional German pork schmalz bavarian bayerisches rezept onions apples marjoram pork cracklings bread spread

Griebenschmalz Recipe

Let’s get started!

Follow my tutorial on How to Make Lard and reserve one cup of finished and strained lard and about 1/2 cup of the rendered fat chunks to make the cracklings.

how to render lard DIY from scratch homemade

Heat a skillet over medium high heat and fry the reserved rendered fat chunks. Fry until browned and crispy. Once cool enough to handle, finely chop them.

Set these pork cracklings aside until ready to use.

frying pork cracklings in skillet

Fry the onions in the skillet over medium heat until nicely caramelized.  Add the apple and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the apple is soft. 

Add the seasonings and cook for another minute. 

frying onions apples and seasonings

Whip the lard with a fork until light and fluffy.

Add the chopped pork cracklings and the onion-apple mixture.

Stir until thoroughly combined.

Place the Griebenschmalz in a glass jar, seal with the lid and refrigerate for at least 2-3 days before using to let the flavors develop. Will keep in the fridge for up to a weeks.

griebenschmalz recipe authentic traditional German pork schmalz bavarian bayerisches rezept onions apples marjoram pork cracklings bread spread

Serve spread on some good crusty bread.

Enjoy!

griebenschmalz recipe authentic traditional German pork schmalz bavarian bayerisches rezept onions apples marjoram pork cracklings bread spread

For more traditional German dishes be sure to try our:

griebenschmalz recipe authentic traditional German pork schmalz bavarian bayerisches rezept onions apples marjoram pork cracklings bread spread

Bavarian Griebenschmalz

A thoroughly authentic homemade Griebenschmalz recipe with the same rich and rustic flavor you know and love from Germany!
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course condiment
Cuisine German
Servings 10
Calories 197 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 cup rendered pork lard (click link for my tutorial on how to make lard), can be made with either leaf fat ("Flomen") for a neutral flavor or back fat ("Rückenspeck") for a more porky flavor.
  • 3 tablespoon finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped apple , any variety works
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped/crumbled pork cracklings (these are a byproduct when you make your own lard)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • See my tutorial on How to Make Lard. This can be made well in advance as it keeps for weeks or even months if you freeze it. And you can freeze the rendered fat chunks to fry into cracklings later.
    Reserve about 1/2 cup of the fat chunks leftover from rendering the lard.
    Heat a skillet over medium high heat and fry the fat chunks. Fry until browned and crispy. Finely chop them and measure out 3 heaping tablespoons. Set these pork cracklings aside until ready to use.
  • Fry the onions in the skillet over medium heat until nicely caramelized. Add the apple and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the apple is soft. Add the seasonings and cook for another minute.
  • Whip the lard with a fork until light and fluffy. Add the chopped pork cracklings and the onion-apple mixture and stir until thoroughly combined. Place the Griebenschmalz in a glass jar, seal with the lid and refrigerate for at least 2-3 days before using to let the flavors develop. Will keep in the fridge for up to a weeks.
    Serve on rustic crusty bread.
    Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Nutrition

Serving: 2tablespoonsCalories: 197kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 3gFat: 22gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 140mgPotassium: 10mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 5IUVitamin C: 0.5mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword Griebenschmalz, Schmalz
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
kimberly killebrew the daring gourmet

Hi, I’m Kimberly Killebrew and welcome to Daring Gourmet where you'll find delicious originals, revitalized classics, and simply downright good eats from around the world! Originally from Germany, later raised in England, world-traveled, and now living in the U.S., from my globally-influenced kitchen I invite you to tour the world through your taste buds!

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Recipe Rating




5 from 9 votes (6 ratings without comment)

12 Comments

  1. Wunderbar! Das war eigentlich weniger Arbeit als ich dachte. Sehr lecker, sehr authentisch. Danke sehr.

  2. Kimberly, this was a delight to find. I know there are those who will turn up their noses at this but for those of us who grew up with Griebenschmalz and have the willingness to try it, it’s a treasure :) I’ve rendered my own lard before using your recipe so was already familiar with the process. As soon as I saw your recipe I rendered another batch and for lunch today had my first taste of this wooooonderful Griebenschmalz. It is so good and just like what I grew up with and enjoyed through my young adulthood before marrying an American and moving to the United States. I feel like I’ve stumbled upon a hidden treasure and am just so giddy to have found this. THANK YOU for your talents and generosity in sharing so many wonderful recipes. YOU are a treasure. Alles Liebe, Doris