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Laura Hunt

Cooking for Couples

Swiss Christmas Patty

This is our traditional Christmas Eve dinner. We usually eat it with a mixed green salad and afterwards have a light dessert. You can prepare the dough and the filling ahead of time, so you can finish the patty in the evening. Instead of preparing the dough yourself, you can buy phyllo dough or puff pastry.
I found this recipe in a Swiss cook book authored by Betty Bossi.

2 cups flour
10 ounces butter or margarine
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Quark (a European-style yogurt cheese, available in health food sections) or Ricotta
3-4 tablespoons water
1 egg for coating
1.1 pound ground beef
1/3 pound bread, 2 days old, preferably firmer Italian-style or French bread
1 ¼ cup hot beef bouillon
1 tablespoon oil
¼ pound bacon
1 medium onion
1 glove of garlic
½ bunch parsley
1/3 cup of dry red wine
1 egg
3 tablespoons cream
½ teaspoon salt
½ - 1 teaspoon crushed bay laurel


Chef One:
Mix flour with salt, and cut butter into the mixture.
Put into a food processor, or rub it between your hands until the mixture becomes crumbly.

Chef Two:
Add water and Quark or Ricotta cheese to the flour mixture.

Chef One:
Mix until dough holds together.
Shape it into a ball and wrap it with aluminum foil or cling wrap and chill for ½ hour.

Chef Two:
Cover 12 inch cooking sheet with parchment paper, grease with butter, and set aside.


Chef One:
Prepare bouillon from cube or use from a can.
Carefully remove the crust from the bread and discard.
Slice bread, then tear it into small pieces, and place the pieces in a bowl.
Add the hot bouillon, mix well, and put aside for later use.

Chef Two:
Heat oil in a skillet.
Cut bacon slices into small bits.
Add to skillet and fry, add ground beef and keep stirring while Chef One adds all the other ingredients.

Chef One:
Cut onion into small pieces and add to meat; press and add garlic, chop and add the parsley; add the bread mixture; add red wine.

Chef Two:
Stir until the red wine is reduced by one-half.
Pour the mixture in a bowl and let cool slightly before you add the remaining ingredients.
Mix well.

Chef One:
Rinse an 8-inch diameter bowl with cold water and slightly press in the mixture. Rinse a flat serving plate with cold water and slide the mixture from the bowl onto the plate.
Preheat oven to 390 degrees.

Putting it all together

Chef Two:
Sprinkle a wooden or marble surface with flour.
Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll them out into two rounds of about 12 inches in diameter.
Cut about 1 inch off the edge of one, set aside for the decoration, then move the remaining piece of dough onto the prepared baking sheet.

Chef One:
Spread about 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs in the middle of the dough on the baking sheet, making a circle of about 8 inches in diameter.
Slide the meat mixture onto the bread crumbs.
Coat the visible dough with egg white.

Chef Two:
Cut a ¾ inch size hole in the middle of the remaining piece of dough, then cover the meat mixture with it.
Press the edges of the dough (patty) rounds together. Roll the joined edges of the patty up and seal with a fork.

Chef One:
Use the leftover dough to cut out stars, and use egg white to glue them onto the patty.

 Chef Two:
Beat the egg yolk with some cream and coat the patty evenly. Place into the oven (second shelf from the bottom) and bake for 40 minutes. If the patty gets too dark, cover it during the last few minutes with aluminum foil. Let the juices settle for a few minutes before serving.

You might pair this dish with a glass of red wine.

Bon Appetit!

More Cooking for Couples

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