Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel was largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
This country is at the top of my European road trip hitlist: Luxembourg. A tiny, landlocked country in Western Europe with picturesque medieval castles and rural countryside. It is one of the smallest European countries at just over 2500 square kilometres, one of the least populous countries with just over half a million residents, and it has a GDP among the highest in the world. Luxembourgish is the official language, but language and culture are mainly influenced by the country’s German and French neighbours.
My brief research showed that Luxembourg cuisine is all about wholesome, hearty ingredients and cozy flavours (if that even makes sense?) After reading recipes for lots of dishes that focus mainly on meat and potatoes, I found Rieslingspaschteit, also known as Riesling Pork Pies. I decided to make this because it is so different from any other dish I’ve prepared before. I was ready for a challenge.
Rieslingspaschteit is featured on this post by Expatica, this post by Chef’s Pencil, this post by Trip101, this post by lacademie, this post by You Could Travel, and this post by TravelWorldOnline.de. We followed this recipe by BBC Food.
The night before we were going to have our Riesling Pork Pies, I prepared the meat mixture. This was straightforward and the spices and ingredients made me excited for a tasty dish.
The next day, I thawed some dough I had left over from an apple pie I made over the winter. Using a pre-prepared dough made it much easier and efficient to make our Rieslingspaschteit. I formed the rectangles, rolled the dough inside, and made the cute little chimneys. They went into the oven, and came out looking surprisingly good. I was really worried they would bubble over or fall apart.
Finally, I made the Riesling-gelatine mixture (or as I called it, wine jello). When the pies had cooled, I used a syringe to fill the empty space with the gelatine. It was supposed to be poured in through the chimneys, but I did not find this to work well. Into the fridge they went for a couple of hours until we were ready to eat.
Overall, the recipe was less complicated to prepare than it initially seemed. However, for us, the flavour payoff and texture were not enough to make us want to have Rieslingspaschteit again. I just found it a little bland and was disappointed that I could not really taste the Riesling. Was it a bad dish? No. But I would not make it again.
I’ll definitely want to try Rieslingspaschteit in a small cafe when I someday drive a campervan into The City of Luxembourg and I bet it will be delicious.