Labskaus (German salted meat & potatoes)

Name: Lynn Meins
Class Year: 1970
Country of Residence: Germany

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

This is a traditional North Germany dish.  It was supposedly created by a ship’s cook in the 19th century using what he happened to have on hand.  It is very popular and tastes better than it looks!


Serves 4-6. Takes approx. 30 minutes 


  • 600 g corned beef
  • 4 large onions
  • 100 g lard or margarine
  • 1 kg potatoes, mashed
  • 5 – 9 TS liquid from a jar of pickles
  • Salt, nutmeg to taste


Boil and mash the potatoes.

Put the corned beef and the onions through a food grinder, or mince the onions and mix them thoroughly with the meat.  Sauté the mixture in the fat for about 5 minutes, using a large frying pan.  Add the mashed potatoes and 5 TS of the pickle juice and cook well, stirring constantly (about another 5 minutes.  Add the rest of the pickle juice, salt and nutmeg.

Serve with fried eggs, pickles and a salad (usually a pickled red beet salad).  It is also often served with pickled herring or Rollmops.


Dr. Oetker Schulkochbuch Cookbook, 1971

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