Friday, April 10, 2009

Rivels (or rivlets) Recipe

Here's a quick, easy, carby, tasty side dish in case you're scrambling to pull your Easter dinner together. Some of Mrs. WYA!'s favorite culinary memories are from her Grandmother's; maybe it was that Ohio country water, maybe it was the vegetable garden, maybe it was her knack for canning, probably it was combination of everything. Anyway, rivels was one of those dishes that she enjoyed at Grandma's and here's the recipe.

1/2 cup flour
1 egg
  1. Place flour in bowl.
  2. Make a well in center; drop egg in well (see photo).
  3. Cut egg into flour with fingers until crumbled (size of dry beans).
  4. Drop slowly into boiling salted water or broth or potato soup (Mrs. WYA! discovered it is pretty darn good in cream of chicken soup so we always use 1 can of that).
  5. Cook 10 minutes.
When we need a big batch, we just keep repeating the process.


Rebecca said...

This is similar to how my gram made noodles growing up. She'd make a well of flour (I called it a volcano) and drop an egg in the center before mixing it into a dough. They were always my favorite part of holiday meals.

Harl Delos said...

Yep, rivels are the same thing as egg noodles, except that you roll out the noodles and cut them into strips.

The old-timey way to cut them into strips was to use a banjo cutter - basically, you take a board, put something the thickness of a pencil (or greater) at each end, and then string a bunch of wires from beyond each pencil. Steel wire works best; copper wire will streetch.

Then just put the rolled-out dough atop the wires and go over it with the rolling pin, so that the wires cut the dough into parallel strips.

They sell rivel makers that are sorta like slaw cutters - a bottomless box that slides along a board, like a slaw cutter, but instead of a single blade in a slaw cutter, there's a grater.

I've never talked to anyone who had a rivel maker, though. They just sorta crumble them between their fingers.

Beef and noodles was a family favorite; you toss a couple of slices of shank meat into some water, and boil it for hours, until the marrow falls out of the bone and and meat falls into strings at the slightest provocation. Pull the bones out - the dog loves shank bones, even without the marrow - and add some kluski noodles - or add rivels. Kluski noodles are big fat noodles that look fairly rustic, instead of the polished stuff from the big companies.

Make some mashed potatoes - we always used evaporated milk to make them creamy but my wife uses butter instead - and serve the beef and noodles/rivels in the potatoes as if they were gravy.

City folk are aghast at the idea - two starches? - but there's no such thing as a "starch" food group. The potatoes are a vegetable, and the noodles/rivels are grain and egg.

This is a favorite comfort food of Ohio/Indiana farm families. When I'm feeling low, beef & noodles (or better yet, beef & rivels) really lifts my spirits.

WYA! said...

You are making us hungry Harl!

Harl Delos said...

Turnabout is fair play! You make me hungry all the time.

The only thing that comes even halfway close to being as tasty and satisfying as beef and rivels over mashed taters is a good bowl of pho tai nam.

It's awfully easy to fix, though, if you can find shank meat. I suspect oxtail should work, although I've never used it.

When last I lived in central Indiana, Marsh had shank meat. Most meat markets should have it as well, although I'd recommend that you avoid Hill's Meat Markets in Fort Wayne; they once sold me a 10-pound bag of hamburger that was only 9 pounds, and was spoiled hamburger as well. I'm surprised that they're still in business.

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for a rivel recipe for years My sister and I talk about it all the time My Mother passed away with the recipe We just remember how good it was as kids.

WYA! said...

Wow anon, we hope that this one comes close to the one that your Mom made.