Monday, October 5, 2009


It's Oktoberfest time. Nothing like a beer-centric festival that lasts not just one or two days, but for a week or more. Those crazy Germans. So grab your supplies-sausages, potatoes, and plenty of beer, and let's bid adieu to shorts and caprese salads in favor of sweaters and Fat Cheddar Soup.

This version of potato salad uses a little bit more vinegar and mustard than most, it can be served hot or cold, I prefer the latter. Oh, and I fried up the bacon in a little bacon fat, not only to be a little ridiculous but also to bring in a deeper, smokier flavor. You do have some bacon fat in the fridge, right?

What does Hot Doug say about encased meats?

Beer-Simmered Brats-

1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
10-12 ounces beer per 2 bratwurst, (usually MLite, High Life, or Old-Style, yet this time with some Leine's Oktoberfest-3 of those and two MLites)
Pinch of peppercorns
1 ts whole mustard seeds
10 uncooked brats

Pierce brats with a fork. In a large pot layer the bottom with onion and garlic, place the brats on top and then cover with the beer. Toss in the peppercorns and mustard seeds and bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring every few minutes for about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes or so. Grill over medium-direct heat for 8-10 minutes, or until slightly charred, turning often. The proper condiments- sauerkraut, the onions from simmering, and brown spicy mustard. Prosit.

What smells better than onions and bacon frying in a skillet? A bacon-scented candle just made it to my Christmas list.

German Potato Salad
serves 6-8

2 lbs. baking potatoes, peeled, medium dice
1/3 C apple cider vinegar
1/4 C whole grain mustard
1/4 C white sugar
1 C yellow onion, finely diced
1/4 C green onion, finely diced
1/2 lb. bacon, diced
4-6 hard boiled eggs, optional

Place the potatoes in a large stockpot and cover by one inch with cold water. Add a few pinches of salt and simmer until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Rinse immediately with cold water once tender until cool to the touch. Over medium heat render the bacon until crisp in a saute pan, add the yellow onion and cook for a few minutes longer. Add the vinegar to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen the fond, or the browned bits of bacony goodness. Add the sugar and stir to combine, then remove from heat. Combine the rest of the ingredients and fold until mixed thoroughly, don't mix too much or too rough, otherwise you'll have baby food.

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