Chicken and dumplings are a pairing you’re probably familiar with, but did you know that ham and dumplings is also completely delicious? Perhaps you do already know, if you’re from Pennsylvania Dutch country, as one of the best comfort food dishes in the local cuisine is schnitz un knepp, a savory stew of ham, dried apples, onions and homemade dumplings. We learned this recipe from Chef Jason Lewis, a culinary development chef for Aramark. Lewis dropped by the Pennsylvania Kitchen recently and shared the recipe with us. He got it from his Nana, who would make it often when he was a kid.
To try this comforting, homestyle dish, choose local pork (Lewis likes the smoked boneless pork shoulder from Leidy’s, a high-quality pork product company based in Harleysville, PA), dried local apples and top-quality chicken stock. In a dish this straightforward, the ingredients make all the difference!
PA Schnitz un Knepp
|Prep Time||Cook Time||Total Time|
|20 min||150 min||170 min|
- 1 pound local dried apples
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 Spanish onions
- 1.5 pounds Leidy’s Smoked Boneless Pork Shoulder (or another brand of your choosing)
- 2 quarts chicken stock
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- Soak dried apples in warm water for 2 to 3 hours until partially re-hydrated. Drain, reserving liquid.
- Cover ham with stock in Dutch oven (or a pressure cooker or instant pot, for a shorter cooking time). Cook for two hours, skimming any fat (reserve fat for later use).
- Remove ham from pot. Pull into bite-sized pieces and return to stock with chopped onion, apples, apple water and brown sugar.
- Simmer until apples are tender, between 15 and 18 minutes.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 local egg, beaten
- 3 tablespoons bacon fat or reserved ham fat
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Parsley sprigs, for garnish
- Sift flour and salt together in medium bowl, then form a well in center of dry mix
- Add milk and beaten egg into well and incorporate with fork until sticky dough forms.
- Drizzle in fat until incorporated and fold in chopped parsley.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop some batter onto a spoon. Use your fingers to gently drop the batter into the simmering broth.
- Once all uncooked knepp are in the pot, cover and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes until cooked through.
- Place two knepp in bowl, top with ham, apple and onion and a ladle of broth. Garnish with parsley.
- Recipe: Jason Lewis
- Photo: Dish Works