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Goetta: Recipes for Goetta

Recipe for Goetta

A Great Goetta Recipe.

As you know, I’ve received an enormous amount of goetta recipes which confirms my belief that this part of Ohio and Northern Kentucky have a lot of folks who carry on the tradition of goetta making. The rest of the country may be asking, “What is Goetta”.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, goetta has Germanic origins, but most people who live in Germany have never heard of it.

Inge, my German daughter-in-law who’s lived in Germany most of her life said she didn’t have a clue as to what goetta was until she moved to Cincinnati.

Yes, it’s definitely a Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky “thing”. A possibility about the name is that it comes from the German word “gote” or “gotte” which means peeled grain. The word became Americanized to mean “goetta”, since the ingredient you cannot do without when making it is pinhead oats (also called oatmeal. And Dorsels is the only brand I can find around here.

I’ve been making my mother-in-law’s recipe goetta for years with pork shoulder. We always fry it with some bacon. Most of you agree that bacon or bacon grease is the way to fry goetta. All goetta freezes well, so make a big batch!

Goetta and eggs in a cast iron skillet.

Goetta and eggs in a cast iron skillet.

This is my original recipe from 1994 and since then, when I make it, I add a bit of poultry seasoning and more salt and pepper. But you can do what you like. If you can find a pork shoulder with the bone in, that’s the best. If not, regular pork shoulder will do.

But you know what? No matter how hard I try, it still doesn’t taste as good as my mother-in-law, Clara Heikenfeld’s goetta. I attribute that to the fact that they raised their own hogs, and, of course, it’s that extra touch of love that made hers special.

A reader a few years ago said she added a couple of beef boullion cubes with the water and less salt, and that made it good, too. Don’t even try to make this with any other oats but pinhead (also known as steel cut) – the other oats will make it too mushy.

Goetta Recipe

2-3 pounds pork shoulder
8 cups water
3-4 cups chopped onion
2 large bay leaves
2 ribs celery, chopped with leaves
1 tablespoon salt, or more to taste
1 tablespoon pepper, or more to taste
Poultry seasoning to taste
3 cups pinhead oats

Cut meat into big pieces and put in pot with water, onions, bay, celery, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and lower to simmer.

Cook, uncovered, and stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. Meat should be real tender and fall off bone if that’s what you’re using. Strain and chop meat finely. Set meat and veggies aside. Pour liquid back into pan and add pinhead oats. Bring to a boil, then lower to asimmer.

Cook, uncovered, stirring often, for another 2 hours. Mixture will be thick. Add meat,veggies, and seasonings. Simmer another 1 -2 hours. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Line 3-4 loaf pans with aluminum foil and spray each one. Pour goetta into pans, packing down firmly. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. For a creamy, softer goetta, cover pans. Uncovered, you get a crisper crust.

Keeps for a couple weeks in frig, or several months in freezer. To serve, slice goetta and fry with pieces of bacon.

Goetta is a great breakfast treat.

Permanent link to this article: http://abouteating.com/goetta/


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  1. Char Lindner


    I enjoyed hearing you at Teen Challenge Tea this afternoon. Thanks.

    I had hoped to find your recipe for pumpkin soup on this website. Was that your recipe or do I get that from Teen Challenge?

    Re. Goetta. I make my own and could not find Dorsel’s Pin Head Oatmeal at Kroger’s this year. However, I found Steel Cut Oatmeal at the health food store. It’s the same thing.

    1. jrwall68

      Hi Char. I’m not sure which Pumpkin Soup Recipe you’re looking for, but I’m just added one to the site. ~Rita

  2. Loretta Turner

    I heard you this morning on the Son Rise Morning show on Sirius, and you gave a recipe for German Potato Salad, indicating that it was on this website—and I can’t find it at all! I am a full blooded German Russian, and would love the recipe. Can you help me, please?
    Thanks! I enjoyed this morning’s show.
    Loretta Turner

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Loretta,
      Try again at Abouteating.com – it is up now. Also on my blog at Cincinnati.com (Cooking with Rita). My German daughter in law sometimes uses red wine vinegar. Go to taste on everything – you might like it a bit less sweet and a bit more sour. Let me know how it works for you.

  3. linda clift (hartwell)

    hi rita, going thur recipes trying to find one for goetta and found you on here. I have made homemade goetta before and lost recipe but I remember I used one pound of ground beef and one pound of ground pork do you think it is better with all pork and no beef? also your recipe calls for celery I think I will try that next time. Would the pork shoulder have more flavor than ground pork it just is so much easier with the ground pork but still would like your opinion. thank you linda

    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Linda,
      I remember you!How are you doing now that Bob Evans closed? Are you working somewhere else? Anyway, using ground beef and pork is just fine. I always use pork shoulder since that’s traditional in our house. Let me know how it turns out, and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  4. Berrnadette

    I have been making goetta for years. I always use dorsel’s pin oats, but can no longer find them even at Kroger;s. Have heard if steel cut oats give goetta the same texture.

    Thanks..I always enjoy your cooking segment when you are on TV.


    1. Rita Heikenfeld

      Hi, Bernadatte,
      Dorsel’s pin head oats are available at Jungle Jims in the oatmeal/cereal aisle. If you can’t find them, ask. Also pin head oats are also known by the other name you gave, steel cut oats. They are one and the same. I just made another batch of goetta this week.

      I would love to share your recipe if you’d like!

      Thanks for the nice comment about cooking on TV. I have fun doing that.

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