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German Grits

Posted by brownthumbia (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 5, 10 at 11:01

I have a feeling I'm going to ask the impossible, but my Grandma used to make grits, (I don't know how to spell the German spelling) and in those days when they butchered their own hogs they would, (yuk) boil the hog's head then the meat was removed,and with the juice they put in steel cut oats, thyme, and raisins. After it was completely cooled they sliced it, fried it in a frying pan and put either syrup or sugar on it. It was used as a breakfast cereal. Is there any chance anyone would have that recipe?
My brother suddenly got the taste for it and I surely have no idea what the process would be like how much water, how much meat, thyme, etc.
I, and my brother, thank you for any help you can give us. BT

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: German Grits

Grits as southerners know it are made from cornmeal. What you are describing is similar to PA Dutch scrapple or our livermush/liver pudding. I would look up recipes for scrapple and see if it sounds what your grandmother made.


RE: German Grits

I agree with Teresa, it sounds like scrapple to me, more like a headcheese than the southern American grits.

I've never made or eaten scrapple, but I found this recipe. I see the directions call for "cereal", and suggest cornmeal mixed with other grains, but maybe oatmeal would be a good substitute.

Does this look anything like it might be close? If so, maybe someone here makes scrapple and can help with directions. I know BizzyLizzy at Harvest makes her own scrapple, if you think it's close to what you are looking for.


RE: German Grits

Scrapple is from the Pa "Dutch" country....and the Pa. Dutch are really Germans....
Also sounds to me like what I call scrapple.
It was all part of using every part of the hog but the squeal!
Scrapple can be made with sausage meat....AKA ground pork.
Everyone's scrapple is different, some heavy in thyme some with mostly sage....some with lots of pepper and other's with very little.
Is your page telling me you live in Iowa? When I first came here from "scrapple country" and asked why I couldn't find scrapple, I was told that Iowa has so much hogs and corn that we didn;'t need to eat all the stuff that scrapple was made from....we could eat "real sausage".
My advice is to read lots of recipes for scrapple and do your own adaptation of those recipes. I made scrapple years ago out of sausage meat....but was disappointed as it didn't sluice really well. I think I didn't cook it long enough.
Good luck!
Linda C
Grits and corn meal are "same thing only different"...both corn that is cooked as cereal. Perhaps that's why you had grits in your scrapple.
I would suggest


Oops, here's the recipe:

Real Scrapple

Here is why you don't see any real scrapple recipes on Zaar. This is not "the" Scrapple recipe. This is A scrapple recipe. Each family developed its own. When I was a kid, every family had its own. It is becoming a lost art. They can tell you Grandma made scrapple but not what her recipe was.
8 pans (change servings and units)


4 lbs ground meat. NOTE: the meat involved is Pork head, meat, feet, heart and tongue, or other pork trimmings, if desired, including liver.
buckwheat flour, see recipe
3 ounces salt
1/4 ounce black pepper
1/4 ounce sweetened marjoram
1/4 ounce nutmeg
1/4 ounce thyme or sage
2 1/2 ounces onions
1 pinch mace (optional)
1 pinch red pepper (optional)

Place meat in a water in a covered container and boil until the soft tissue separates readily from the bone. Separate tissue from bone and grind with a fine grinder. Return the ground meat to the strained soup container and boil. Cereal is then added. A common cereal mixture is seven parts cornmeal and three parts of either buckwheat, white, or rye flour.

Approximately 4 lbs of the ground meat combined with 3 lbs of soup (liquid) plus 1 lb of cereal is sometimes used. Gradually moisten the cereal with a cool liquid (water or the cooled soup) to prevent lumping. Add this premoistened cereal to the ground meat-soup mixture slowly then boil for 30 minutes.

Prior to finishing boiling, add seasoning.

A suggested seasoning combination for 8 lbs of finished scrapple would include 3 oz salt, 1/4 oz black pepper, 1/4 oz sweetened marjoram, 1/4 oz nutmeg, 1/4 oz sage or thyme, and 2-1/2 oz onions. Some prefer to add a pinch of mace and a pinch of red pepper also.

After the seasoning is mixed thoroughly and the onions cooked, pour the scrapple into pans (not bowls) and refrigerate to 30 - 32F degrees immediately.

Note: this is usually made in large batches and saved throughout the year until the next butchering. It uses every part of the pig so nothing is wasted. It wasn't a throwaway society. This is also NOT a city recipe. They didn't butcher as they did in the country.

number of pans is a guess.

Now, again, I've never made scrapple or eaten it so this is not a tried and true recipe, just a guess as to whether it might be close to what you are looking for.


RE: German Grits

The German word for Grits is Griee (Griesse)

This recipe is out of my Penna.Dutch cookbook:

from "The New Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book" by Ruth Hutchinson, page 77

Philadelphia Scrapple:
2 pounds pork shoulder
1+1/2 quarts water
2 cups cornmeal (approximately
1 teaspoon summer savory
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper

Boil the pork in water with salt and pepper, until meat comes from the bone. Remove meat and strain liquid. There should be 4 cups. Shred the meat, return to kettle with liquid, add seasoning and cornmeal,stirring constantly as the cornmeal goes in to prevent sticking. Simmer 15 minutes, or until the mixture is the consistency of mush. Pour into pans, cool; cool and fry lightly.
This is something the farm families made in the Fall during slaughter time. Think they also used more of the pig than just the shoulder. (Everything but the "squeek")

I can remember when some would not eat store-bought scrapple because it was not known what (unsavory) parts of the pig went into the finished product.

RE: German Grits

OK, I just got an email from a friend/lurker/prior member, who thinks that the OP might be looking for something called "Goetta", and the wikipedia description sounds like it could be it and it's apparently very popular in Cincinnati, Ohio!

"While goetta comes in a variety of forms, all goetta is based around ground meat combined with pin head or steel cut oats. Usually goetta is made from pork shoulder or "Cali", but occasionally contains equal parts pork and beef. Goetta is typically flavored with bay leaves, rosemary, salt, pepper, and thyme. It contains onions and sometimes other vegetables.

While similar to scrapple in that it contains a grain product and meat for the purpose of stretching out the meat over several days, goetta looks very different. Scrapple is made with meal while goetta uses steel-cut or chopped oats. The oats in goetta are much coarser than the fine powder used in scrapple, and add texture to the dish.

Goetta is typically formed into small loaves, and then cut into squares and fried, often in the oil left over from browning the meats or in bacon drippings. Traditionally a breakfast food, goetta is often served with apple butter, ketchup, syrup, sugar, grape jelly,honey, or eaten by itself.

More recently, goetta has become an all purpose food eaten with any meal. New goetta products in the Cincinnati area include goetta burgers, goetta dogs, and goetta pizza. As the meat in goetta is precooked during the process of making the loaves, goetta can be kept in the freezer.

Due to the popularity of goetta in the Cincinnati metro area, a number of commercial distributors produce and sell it in the parts of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana near Cincinnati. The most popular of these brands is Glier's Goetta, the largest producer of goetta in the world[1][2]. Glier's Goetta is based in Covington, Kentucky, part of the greater Cincinnati area."

So, maybe SharonCB has some input, since her husband is German, or maybe Peppi can help because her Dad is from Germany....


RE: German Grits

lisbet - Griesse? Never heard of that; we call them Gruetze. Could that word is Penn Dutch specific or otherwise regional?

RE: German Grits

Mmmm....goetta. Got a bellyful of goetta over the holidays in Cincinnati. (It's part of our traditional Christmas morning breakfast!) Glier's is good, and I noticed they've come out with a rectangular package of goetta, so you can cut slabs just like we used to get at the Findlay Market butcher.

The trick with goetta is to get a good crispy brown crust on both sides, while letting the inside stay soft and mushy.

That said -- I doubt ggoetta is what the OP is looking for. It's unmistakably oat-based, with a ton of black pepper for seasoning, not thyme.

RE: German Grits

FOAS- Greisse is like farina or cream of wheat, while the Gruetze is similar but served as a dessert- Rote Gruetze IIRC.

RE: German Grits/Rote Gruetze

A traditional German dessert posted in response to a recipe request. I estimated the measurement of the cornstarch

Rote Grtze
2 1/4 lbs currants or raspberries or brambleberries or strawberries or sour cherries or plums (assorted red fruits, in any combination)
1/2 cup Sugar (or more to taste, depending on the tartness of the fruit)
1 quart water
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 cup rum (optional)
milk or cream, to serve with the dessert

DirectionsWash fruit and pick through for stems (reserve 3/4 cup).

Combine the remaining fruit with water (reserving 1 cup), and Sugar in a saucepan.

Bring to a boil and cook fruit over medium heat until done but still holding its shape.

Sweeten to taste with more Sugar, if needed.

Stir corn starch into reserved water until dissolved and stir into the juice.

Bring to boil, cook until thickened, and remove from heat.

Blend in the rum if desired.

Mash reserved, uncooked fruit in blender and stir into the thickened juice.

Eat Rote Grtze either hot or cold and serve with cold milk or cream

Pasted in from Wiki.

RE: German Grits

Foodonastump, that is exactly what they called it, but as I said I didn't know how the Germans spelled it!!! Thanks so much and to all of you who were kind enough to answer me. I have been down south and seen their 'grits' and I knew it wasn't the same. What they have down there looks like cream of wheat. Gramma definitely used steel cut oats. and as I said raisins and thyme. Have no idea what else she put in there.
Again, thank you so much for the time you took to answer me. I can see some other recipes that sound delicious to try. Gonna do that soon. Wish me luck--if I get this mastered, you're all invited for breakfast. lol BT

RE: German Grits

BT - I just stopped by my mom's house. She wasn't of much help as your description of the dish didn't sound like something she's ever had. So I guess me thinking grits = Gruetze was more because they sound the same. I wonder if something like that is going on in your case.

She could offer no word for "grits" because corn products were not available - or at least not common - in her day. (She turns 80 next week and I believe she came here in '57.) As for Rote Gruetze she was very insistant that it is traditionally made with "Sago" which according to her German-English dictionary is tapioca.

RE: German Grits

FOAS, Mom is right, it is made with tapioca. Now tell me where Mom is from please, I am curious.

RE: German Grits

Offenbach. Frankfurt area. My relatives are all south now, closer to Munich. And what about Dad, while we're at it?

RE: German Grits

There is a butcher north of Dayton named Landes
They are descendents of German Baptist Brethern and still do some of their own butchering, they have..Menonites or something similar working in there.
If you were to call them if you run into questions you might get some answers.

RE: German Grits

From your description I suspected right away it was goetta, which is similar to scrapple. Cincinnati being heavily German in heritage, it would make sense that goetta is the German version. My son lives there, which is why I knew about goetta.


RE: German Grits

FOAS, both parental units are from Dusseldorf, right on the Rhine. Mom was an only, but Dads brother and his kids are all still there. He came in 56, right off a boat, went back, married Mom in 58 and both came here.

RE: German Grits

Annie, you just solved a mystery for me. When we were in KY, we have friends from the northern part of the state who kept talking about how they couldn't find this particular product where we were. I thought they were saying "gouda", but the description didn't sound like anything I'd heard of. They wanted goetta!

Liver pudding it the only thing I'll eat that has liver in it (and I miss it very much), but I can't imagine it with raisins.

RE: German Grits

While we were discussing this someone sent me a recipe for goette. I made it last night and fried some up this morning. Served it on top of toast and mixed berry preserves from my new favorite diner. Yum!!!

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RE: German Grits

Well, I sure do want to thank everyone for their help. I did make some, whatever 'it' is called lol, it really didn't turn out too bad, even though not exactly like Gramma's. Guess she had a special touch that I don't have. Anyway I bought some pork ribs, (thought I may get the flavor out of the bones like they did with the hog's head.) I boiled them with a little salt, slowly, for a long, long time. When the meat fell off the bones I removed most of the meat, added the thyme and steel cut oats to the juice, slowly cooked them for about 15 minutes then added the raisins and cooked for about 5 minutes more or until done. The amount fit nicely in a bread pan. When totally cooled, I sliced some, fried it and ate it with sugar or you can use Karo syrup.
Goodness me, maybe this was Gramma's own made up recipe, I don't know but it did bring back fond memories of going to her house and eating 'it'. LOL
Again, thank you so much for your trouble, bless you all, I think it's great that so many are willing to help.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!!! Stay safe and well!!

RE: German Grits


Grandma was from Germany and made what she called "Hava grits". You need (steel cut) oats for this. You cook a pork roast for dinner the night before.(always get a bigger roast than will be eaten). Keep the drippings and any left over pork(put in fridge). The next day cut pork up into very small pieces almost shredded. In a skillet saut 1 large onion. Put pork, dripping and onions in pan, add water and beef base use real beef base (google "Minors beef base"). Bring to a boil for a while(till pork becomes very tender). Add steel cut oats and cook till done let cool then put in fridge. End product should have consistency of mashed potatoes.

To cook hava grits. Grandma used real butter I like using lard. If you use butter use clarified butter it doesn't burn. In a skillet melt butter/lard over high heat. Patty the hava grits then put into skillet and cook till golden brown on both sides. It's like a breakfast potato cake.

I haven't made this in many many years so I don't have measurements Sorry. I don't ever remember there being any I/grandma just added what looked good. After a few times making this you learn how much to add. Taste the beef base it has some salt in it so don't use any salt you can add pepper if you like. I also remember using garlic cloves a few time. I may have used some chicken base also to off set the beef base a little. Like I said before it's been years since I've made this.

From grandma Lil Owens kitchen (may she rest in peace)

RE: German Grits

Dear Impossiable- Try this one an old family recipe, A hogs head not used anymore but substituted pork butt or pork shoulder for beef we used chuck roast. Recipe- 2/3 pork, 1/3 beef, Steel cut oats, salt pepper and allspice to taste. Boil all meats until tender(several hours) let cool. We Cook the oats in the microwave but can be done on the stove if you keep sturring they will burn. stove top takes several hours. microwave 15 to 16 minutes, sturring every 5 minutes.
WE make about 10 pounds at a time. 7 lbs. pork, 3 lbs. beef, 1 lb. steel cut oats, 1 1/2 Table spoons salt, 1 1/2 Tablespoons Allspice, 1 tsp. pepper.
After meat has cooled, grind it(fat included) then add the oats cooked (oats take about 2 qrts. of water, not to DRY) add spices and mix.
We packaged it up, about one meal amount, in freezer bags
and freeze.
To serve- Brown meat in a skillet and eat this pancakes or waffels or white bread. mix the meat mixture with Mapel or Karo syrup. Take a portion of your meat mix on your choice bread and enjoy.

RE: German Grits

I just came across this web site while looking for the grits or scrapple my great uncle (who was from Germany)used to make. All the receipes were helpful, as he hardly ever wrote anything down!! He used to make this and used barley!! It was absolutely delicious, so I am going to use some of the spices in these receipes and make a batch!! I already have a pork shoulder and the barley. So,on the weekend I will try making it and thanks to all of you on this site, thank you, and I will let you know how it comes out!!!

RE: German Grits

been reading about "Greutze"
this is something my grandpa pape made after they butchered hogs and a very fond memory
they always made it with cracklings that were the byproduct of rendering pork fat to get lard
i am making a batch right now waiting for the lard to render completely .when the cracklings float the hot lard will placed in a sieve to strain out the cracklings.
boil up some steel cut outs,salt to taste,add pepper then add the cracklings to the cooked oats,let cool a bit and place in loaf pans before the mixture "sets"
once the mixture firms up "overnight" place half inch slice in skillet over medium heat.ias it starts to brown turn and press down so final product will be a quarter inch thick and crisp.add a couple eggs on top or eat as is

4 cups steel cut oats cook as directed on package
add 4 cups or so of hot cracklings to the oats when they are done cooking

add your favorite meat herbs
pour in loaf pans
cool overnight

and enjoy one of the best treat you have ever ate

i have not meet one person who did not love this

RE: German Grits

Chickenman, you haven't met me but I can tell you I do not like this.

Both of my parents are from Germany, and even Mom hated it.


RE: German Grits

Chickenman - welcome to the forum! I see you just joined today.

I don't think I will be trying your recipe - but glad to have you on board!

Teresa in Minnesota

RE: German Grits

My Grandmas family was from Germany.... she used to make something like you describe (pork head meat, oats, etc). She called it Hobble Grits.....maybe a variation of the previously mentioned Hava Grits.
My mom made them for us..... good stuff!

RE: German Grits

FOAS recipe please - It looks kinda like the sausage patty at McD's

RE: German Grits

Oh not at all, CL, about as close as asparagus, LOL! I'm interested in the cracklings recipe but wouldn't know how to come up with all the cracklings. Anyway here is what I made:


1 lb Boneless beef chuck
1 lb Boneless pork shoulder
8 c Water
2 1/2 c Pinhead oatmeal
1 Chopped large onion
1 To 2 bay leaves optional
2 ts Salt
1/4 ts Black pepper


Grind beef and pork together, twice through the fine plate of a meat grinder.
Set aside in refrigerator.
Put water in a good-sized heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat, add oats, cover and simmer gently for two hours, stirring often.
Add meat, onion, bay leaf, salt and pepper.
Cover and continue cooking for one hour, stirring often.
Pour hot mixture into oblong loaf pans that have been rinsed with cold water.
Let stand in refrigerator until cold and firm.
Keeps nicely for a week or two.
Can be frozen.

To serve: Slice the goetta into 1/4 inch thick slices and fry in butter or bacon fat until crisp and brown.
Serve with hot maple syrup.

RE: German Grits

What is pinhead oatmeal? We have steel cut, regular, and instant here.

RE: German Grits

Pinhead oats are steel cut oats. To refine the definition, pinhead oats are a fairly coarse grade of steel cut oats, but really the same thing.

RE: German Grits


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