If I had not found a Brettljause today, I would not have been too unhappy. On my last day in Deutschlandsberg, I slept long, had a slow breakfast, paid for the hotel and went for a hike, which was neither strenuous nor especially interesting. Then I considered catching an early train to Vienna, but at the last moment decided to pass by Resch (which I found on the map the day before) and quell my thirst with some wine and mineral water. Eating was not really in my plans. However, as it often happens, I saw a Brettljause on the menu and ordered it before my common sense could stop me.
Well, common sense can be misleading sometimes. In this case, it would have left me without one of the best but also the biggest Brettljausen I have tried.
During the COVID pandemic, as I was stuck at home for a couple of months, I tried to make my own Brettljausen and they turned out huge. I simply dropped everything I had in the fridge on them. It looks like Resch is still thinking in the same way. An enormous slice of Schweinsbraten, still with some crunchy crust, dominated one side of the plank, and would have succeeded as a full-fledged dish on its own. To my horror, underneath it I discovered a slice of Geselchtes, two slices of Speck and three slices of ham – all thickly cut. The other side of the plank was occupied by a hard sausage, a Liptauer spread and a ball of Schmalz. At least four slices of cheese threatened to block my stomach, and there was even a small cube of soft white cheese pierced with a wooden stick together with some pickles.
Clearly overdoing with the main ingredients, Resch did a fantastic job with the sides. I don’t remember seeing so many of them in a single Brettljause. Just to list: fresh cucumbers, pickled cucumbers, tomatoes, pickled Pfefferoni, a tiny red chili pepper (extremely spicy), a half of an egg, horseradish, a clove of garlic, apple slices, paprika of different colors and a slice of orange. I wish all the Heurige would follow this lead. Especially in terms of garlic and chili peppers.
To say I enjoyed this Brettljause would be an understatement. The only problem, I could not finish it. Finishing it looked out of the question the moment I saw it. Thus, at least a third of the ingredients went back to the kitchen… I really hope the owners have a cat – what I left would be enough to feed it for a couple of days.
As I was leaving, a family of four arrived, and three of them ordered Brettljausen, while the fourth asked for a thinly cut version of the dish and a runner bean salad. Are they completely mad? Or am I becoming old and weak?