Thursday, July 23, 2009

Panas Making

Ah, panas. What's that, you ask? Well, let me try to explain. It's a German tradition and our family has been making it every year that I can remember since I've been little. Everyone gathers at my grandparents house one day in early spring for the fun. And my grandpa has a ball, let me tell you.

First the gross part. You start off with several hogs heads - and yes, these are in fact sawed in half. I know, I know...

The heads are thrown into big, black kettles and are simmered for a few hours.

Once cooked, the heads are removed from the kettles and the meat is stripped from the bones. Nothing is left behind, in fact - I won't go into detail here...

The meat is then ground via this old fashioned food grinder. (This was my favorite part as a kid...)

The cooking liquid left in the kettle is strained to remove any small fragments of bone remaining and then the ground meat is put back into the liquid in the kettles.

Then the fun really begins. A flour/corn meal/salt/pepper mixture is added to the kettles.

And someone has to stir....

and stir...

and stir...

until the mixture begins to thicken. The old method for stirring used to be via a 2x4 and lots of elbow grease, but luckily someone got smart and got out the drill and drill bit. Nate tried his hand at the mixing and complained afterward that his hands HURT.

One must fight off the moochers (my grandma) who like to dip in and taste test. :)

Once the panas reaches the desired consistency, it's time to put it into containers and let it cool. Good thing my grandpa keeps all these beer flats...

The finished product. Isn't it pretty?

Everyone gets a box or two to take home. My parents cut theirs up into bricks and freeze it. The best way to cook panas is to slice it about 1/4-inch thick and fry it up in a pan. It's wonderful for breakfast, IF you're well aware of what's in it and don't care, as is the case with me. :)


PattyFromTexas October 23, 2015 at 8:46 AM  

Hrmm... this post was mad 6 yrs ago. Thank you for the informative description. My local butcher makes Panas and out of curiosity, I purchased a pound, so not knowing what I should do with it and not really sure what was in it, I Googled it and surprisingly this was the first entry. Anyway, thanks again. I'm cooking it as I write. Let you know how it turns out.

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