The first mention of this Westphalian specialty dates back to 1378 in Dortmund, where an annual Pfefferpotthast Festival is held each September, usually at the end of the month.
Pfefferpotthast is a traditional meat stew hailing from Westphalia. It consists of pieces of beef that are simmered in a seasoned broth along with onions, soup vegetables, spices, and herbs. The meat is typically first browned in a little oil or lard before it’s cooked with the other ingredients, and the broth is usually thickened with crumbled bread, traditionally with the classic Westphalian pumpernickel rye bread.
Spices such as cloves, juniper berries, allspice, bay leaves, salt, and pepper are typically used for seasoning the broth. Warming and flavor-packed, the dish is perfect for a chilly fall or winter lunch or dinner, and it is usually accompanied by pickled gherkins, salt potatoes (Salzkartoffeln), beetroots, and a German beer on the side.