In my search for a perfect Brettljause I am used to the fact that Speck is the one ingredient that hardly ever looks the same (unless it comes from the same supermarket – yes, I am thinking of you, Viennese Brettljausen). I have seen thick ones, thin ones, fat ones, smoked ones, garlic ones, but I have never seen anything like this in terms of size. Here we are talking of a slice cut thickly across an entire cured leg of a pig, like those one can sometimes see hanging at butchers’ shops.
Taste-wise, the Speck reminded me mostly of the Speck in South Tyrolean Marenden: smokey flavor, slightly hard to chew (so best cut into smaller slices), with about 30% of fat, which one always feels bad about eating but can never resist, and the dark skin on the fat’s side that one has to remove. The similarities with a Marende do not end with Speck: there was a hard sausage, too, but much more of an Austrian Salzburg/Tyrolean (not Carinthian) kind. And there was also a thick slice of a tasty mountain cheese. Actually there were three thick slices of various cheeses: tasteless, tasty and something in between. Plus, the plate contained a slice of a strange fatty pink sausage – looking a bit like a Wiener, but with a much meatier consistency, – a thick slice of Schweinsbraten (fantastic once I added a bit of salt), and a brilliantly unhealthy Verhackertes spread with onions.
All in all, this was a very tasty and surprisingly authentic Brettljause served at a location that could have done away with something much more industrial, considering that most of the hut’s visitors are not Austrian, but tourists from the countries where “cold cuts” are anything that is cold and cut.
If I had to complain, I would mention the peculiar absence of pickled cucumbers; the Pfefferoni and the fresh tomatoes alone just did not cut the mustard, which was by the way also bizarrely missing. Still, with Graukogelhütte we have a seriously good Brettljause location, with a nice view over the surrounding mountains (some with glaciers), even if the tendency of everyone around to speak English does get a bit irritating after a while.