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Jan's Schmaltz Recipe (Griebenschmalz) 

➤ by Oma Gerhild Fulson

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Jan's Griebenschmaltz ready as Christmas gifts

If you've been looking for a Schmaltz recipe, you're not alone! Thankfully, Jan Neumann, one of our Facebook fans, sent in this one, along with photos. He made these to use as gifts for Christmas. (What an awesome idea!) The recipe's in German and I've copied it below just the way he sent it. Perfect to practice your German, but I'll translate it below. Normally, it's something that's easy to buy in Germany and used as both a sandwich spread as well as a 'fat' for cooking. 

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Jan's is a bit different than what my Mutti made. His is a flavored one, lightly spiced. This surely would be wonderful on some of my freshly baked sourdough bread

Jan's Schmaltz Recipe - just the way he wrote it ...

  • Für diese Ladung habe ich 1,5 kg Schweinespeck gewürfelt, im großen Topf ausgelassen, bis die Speckwürfel klein und braun werden, dann 15 gewürfelte Zwiebeln dran getan und 1,5 kg Schweineschmalz.
  • Dazu eine Handvoll Salz, zwei Handvoll Majoran, 15 Pimentkörner, 3 kleine Lorbeerblätter und zehn gewürfelte Äpfel.
  • Das wird alles gekocht, bis die Zwiebeln braun werden, ca eine reichliche halbe Stunde.
  • Wenn das dann in den kleinen Töpfchen ausgekühlt ist, kann man das als Brotaufstrich essen, mit Röstzwiebeln und saurer Gurke drauf, das heißt in Sachsen "Fettbemme" :-D Oder man nimmt es zum kochen, z. B. an Rotkraut :-)

Translated as ...


  • 3⅓ lb slab bacon (not too lean), diced
  • 15 onions (cooking size), diced
  • 3⅓ lb lard
  • handful salt
  • 2 handfuls dried marjoram
  • 15 allspice berries
  • 3 small bay leaves
  • 10 apples, diced


  • In a large cooking pot, cook the cubed slab bacon until the pieces are small and lightly browned.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and continue cooking until the onions have browned, about half an hour.
  • Ladle into jars (see photo for quantity) and let cool.
  • Use as a sandwich spread with caramelized onions and sour pickles on the side or use it when making red cabbage, etc.

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Tips on making this ...

  • Jan said that this will keep about 3 months in the fridge, so, unless you are making this as a gift, you may want to divide the recipe into half or less. Just adjust the amounts accordingly.
  • Using a "hand full" as a measure is very popular in Germany. However, one needs to be careful, since hands are different sizes :) I'd probably start with a 'small' handful  and then add more if needed. 
  • You can always remove some of the hot schmaltz onto a little plate to let it cool and then re-season if necessary.
How to make schmaltz at homeOn the lower right, you'll see what Jan uses for Schweinespeck and Schwieneschmalz. At the top, the hot schmaltz and at the bottom, ready to eat.

I recall my Mutti making this when we were little. My Papa would spread it liberally on his rye bread sandwich and sprinkle it with celery salt. Heavenly!!!!

Here's some Bread to spread it on ...

Leave a comment about this recipe or ask a question?

Pop right over to my private Facebook group, the Kaffeeklatschers. You'll find thousands of German foodies, all eager to help and to talk about all things German, especially these yummy foods. 

I pop in all the time as well, to chat and to answer questions. 

Meet with us around Oma's table, pull up a chair, grab a coffee and a piece of Apfelstrudel, and enjoy the visit.

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Griebenschmaltz made as Christmas presents PIN

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