Mettigel – A German Savory Dish
There are lots of different ways to eat raw meat. Pannekoeken From sashimi in Japan to tartare in Europe, raw meat is something that many people enjoy eating. But there are a few less-known German preparations for raw meat that are a bit more unique than the typical sashimi or tartare, and one of them is called Mettigel.
A mettigel is a hedgehog-shaped presentation of a raw minced pork dish in Germany, which is often served as part of a buffet. The raw minced meat is seasoned with salt and pepper, usually garlic and sometimes caraway seeds.
Traditionally eaten on a bread roll and sprinkled with chopped onions, mett is often served as part of a breakfast. It is also popular as a party appetizer.
This savory dish can be purchased prepackaged at some supermarkets or sold by butchers. It is typically seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg and garlic. It is typically shaped into the shape of a headgehog, with sliced onion pieces or pretzel sticks for the spikes and olives for its eyes and nose.
In a more creative twist on the traditional mett, you can make a mettigel with a piece of seasoned mett that you mold into a vaguely oblong, mildly tapered hedgehog-like shape (which is actually kind of a hedgie). To assemble the mettigel, simply add 2 tsp of salt and freshly ground (preferably Madagascar) pepper, then knead the mett together until it forms a vaguely oblong, moderately tapered hedgehog-like shape.
The hedgehog-shaped presentation of the mett was first popularized in the 1970s, and is still a popular way to serve the mett in restaurants or at parties. It can be made with a large serving of seasoned mett, and it is typically decorated with sliced onion pieces or pretzel sticks as the spikes and a cocktail tomato or two black olives for its eyes and nose.
Another variation of the mettigel is to sculpt the mett into a hammered, iron-like shape. It’s a simple way to make the mett look more appealing, but it can be a little time-consuming.
You can purchase a package of mett at some supermarkets or butcher shops, or you can make your own with a piece of raw minced pork that you knead into a vaguely oblong, somewhat tapered shape. It’s best to use pork that you can trust and find at a butcher or farm shop.
Whether you choose to assemble your own or purchase it from a butcher, the mett should be packaged in a semi-frozen state, stored at a temperature not to exceed 2 degrees Celsius, and should not contain more than 35% fat. This is because a lot of uncooked minced pork in the US and other countries contains higher levels of pathogenic bacteria than the meat that you can get from your butcher or farmers.
If you do make your own mett, the simplest way to prepare it is to knead it with salt and pepper, then add any other seasonings that you might like, such as garlic or ground caraway. This is a great option for people who don’t have access to prepackaged mett, and it’s easy to do at home.