More than a half of the dishes in Steinschalerhof’s menu have “Dirndl” in their names. It took me a while to figure out that they mean not the famous Austrian feminine dress but the Cornelian cherry, which the people in the Pielach valley call with that name and are totally obsessed with for whatever weird reason.
I don’t know if the Pielachtal is also known for its weird Brettljausen, but the Steinschalerhof’s creation definitely belongs to that category. Once in Italy I ordered a cheese plate, and upon bringing it the waiter went into long details about what order the cheeses had to be eaten in, and what sort of cheese goes with what chutney. I wish someone could educate me in a similar way about this Brettljause, for this mixture of mildly flavored Speck, black pudding, sheep cheese, horseradish, two sweet chutneys and a salted cucumber left me dumbfounded and puzzled.
I began by spreading the cheese over the bread and adding the chutneys on the top, which looked like the most logical approach. Later, though, I started to experiment, mixing the Blunzen with the Dirndl-chutney and wrapping sheep cheese in bacon, while accompanying all that with the salad of wild herbs that I ordered as a side dish. I can’t say such a blend worked great, but it certainly did taste different.
I could not help noticing, however, that the Jause missed quite a few ingredients mentioned in the menu, such as Dirndl-olives, Dirndl-horseradish-spread (unless that was the pinkish sweet stuff that did not taste of horseradish at all) and deer sausage (fortunately, not a Dirndl-deer). Not that I particularly missed them, but that was just another weird thing about the dish.
Nonetheless, I liked Steinschalerhof. Its Brettljause was too eccentric for me, but this restaurant, which belongs to a hotel of the same name, has a really sweet garden and obviously knows a lot about wild herbs. And about Dirndl, of course.