Pichelsteiner(Bavarian Stew) – A Sunday Supper

September 18, 2023

Pichelsteiner is a thick German stew that originated in Bavaria. When it was first made is still up for debate. Some accounts say it originated in 1742 when a farmer’s wife had to feed a large military troop passing through. She only had some leftover meat, cabbage and turnips, which she placed in a large pot (called a “pichel” ), and cooked it over a fire.  Another attributes the creation of the dish to a Bavarian innkeeper, Augusta Winkler, in 1850. Whoever came up with it, it’s delicious. So, in honor of Oktoberfest I thought I’d whip some of this hearty stew up for our Sunday Supper this week. Fun Fact: Pichelsteiner is such beloved dish that the town of Regen (in the Bavarian Forest) holds Pichelsteiner Fest every year. The fest is full of parades, music and plenty of Pichelsteiner stew.

Pichelsteiner (Bavarian Stew)

  • Servings: 6ish
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adapted from German Foods


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 pounds stewing meat, cubed (combination of chuck, pork shoulder, and/or lamb) 
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 leek (white and light green parts only) cut into half circles
  • 3 large carrots, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1/2 small celeriac, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6-8 medium sized yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed caraway seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley plus more for garnish
  • 2-3 tablespoons creme fraiche (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, working in batches to avoid overcrowding.  Transfer the browned meat to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the butter and cook the onions until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and leek and cook until softened.  Add the carrots and celeriac and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  4. Return the meat to the pot along with all remaining ingredients except for the parsley.  Cover the pot. Place the Dutch oven on the middle rack and bake for 90-120 minutes (avoid stirring it) or until the meat is very tender. Add additional broth if needed. 
  5. Stir in the parsley, creme fraiche, and salt and pepper.  Discard the bay leaf.
  6. Sprinkle with additional parsley and serve with some crusty bread.

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