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Friday, May 21, 2010

Good Eats: The Anvil in Ste. Genevieve, MO

On our way home from our Missouri trip, Himself asked me where I wanted to stop for lunch. That didn’t take much thinking… as we were only a few miles from the Ste. Genevieve exit. I quickly said I wanted to lunch at “The Anvil”.

As a very small child, my family lived a couple years in Ste. Gen. It was then that our family acquired the taste for a food of local tradition – German Liver Kniffles (Dumplings).

Yes… liver.

At least two restaurants (The Anvil and The Old Brick) have them on their menu. I’ve heard one of the local owned grocery stores has them in the frozen section (I’ll have to check that out some time!). You’ll see them at every social and church picnic. You love them or you hate them.

And I love them! As a child I would beg Mom to make the labor intensive dumplings for special events like my birthday meal. As a teenager I was known to drive down to get some for myself. As an adult, I’ve made them a couple times… and would much rather go to my now favorite restaurant “The Anvil” and order them. They are a side item. I order 4 sides and a side of green beans. Plus one of their fresh homemade desserts.

What’s the German version of “Bon Appetite”?

This trip had a surprise for us. We parked in front of the restaurant – scored a place right near the door. I glanced up and noticed a group of older (than me) ladies laughing and talking on the benches by the entrance. As I open the truck door I was looking down for my purse.

And I froze. Who’s voice? I know that voice! I was already grinning as I looked up and watched my aunt telling a story to her girlfriends. So caught up in the telling of it, she didn’t even notice me. I got out and stood at the curb looking at her for a bit. Don’t think she even took a breath. So I interjected into the conversation with “Don’t believe a word that woman says!”

About eight heads whipped up in shock…Aunt Mary’s being one of them. Next thing she is laughing and slapping her leg (so much like my great grandma), then jumps up to hug me. When she finished laughing she introduced me to her friends (and Himself when he came around). They had just finished their meal and were heading out. We visited a bit and we went in for our meal.

Figure the odds of meeting up 25-ish miles from her home and where my parents live as we headed back to Tennessee!

Oh…Himself had the grilled pork loin for lunch…

Teri and her Aunt Mary in front of "The Anvil".

The decor is very simple. The exposed brick wall dates back at least two forevers.

German Liver Kniffles in all their delicious glory! Jump back... it's lunch time!

Liver Dumplings “Recipes of Old Ste. Genevieve”


• 1 lb. liver

• 1 medium onion, chopped fine

• 3 cups flour

• ½ cup ground pork (I use a thawed brat or two, with skins removed)

• 1 Tbs. chopped parsley

• 1 tsp. chopped basil

• 3 eggs

• 1 cup milk

• salt/pepper to taste


• Grind liver (This may be done in a food processor – this will happen quickly!)

• mix with chopped onion and ground pork.

• Add the flour and eggs, along with the parsley, basil, salt/pepper, and milk to make a stiff batter.

• Prepare a large pot of salted boiling water – add a Tbs of oil to keep dumplings from sticking – turn heat down so that water is barely simmering.

• Put some of the batter on a flat plate, and scrape with a spoon 1 Tbs. amounts into the simmering water.

• When dumplings rise to the surface, they are ready to be removed and drained (about 12-15 minutes).

• Heat 2-3 Tbs of butter over medium heat and gently sauté the dumplings in the butter for about 4-5 minutes.

• Serve drizzled with the remaining pan butter and some chopped parsley sprinkled over them.

Liver Dumplings are very versatile – they are often served with sauerkraut or in either beef or chicken stock as a soup – or you may like them best with a “gravy” of onions and bacon, gently sautéed together and served over the dumplings on noodles. Whatever way you choose to serve them, I think you’ll be surprised at how good they are.

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