Last weekend kicked off Oktoberfest, and while there are lots of places you can celebrate in the US most of them end up with me getting super annoyed with folks who started drinking while I was still making sweet, sweet love to a cup of coffee, so this year I decided to get my Oktoberfest on at home. Now the advantage to celebrating this way is that you can drink really excellent beer and do so in your stretch pants!
Since Oktoberfest doesn’t end until October 6th you have plenty of time to get your sauerkraut on with a few simple recipes. I started with preparing my bratwurst in the traditional manner (read boiled). The brats got tossed into a pot and then covered with beer (I used a hefeweizen), and boiled them until they were cooked through. Then they got tossed onto a grill pan until they had some lovely grill marks on all sides. Now you can toss them back into the beer to hang out till you are ready to eat them, we just ate them on some delicious pretzel rolls (thank you Trader Joe’s), with whole grain mustard (for me), and sauerkraut (for the hubs).
To go with the brats I wanted to make kaese spaetzel, which are 1) amazing and 2) the German version of mac and cheese. Kaesa spaetzel were also the meal that kept me from falling asleep on the table at the restaurant the first night in Munich after flying in from DC and getting tucked right into a few liters of beer. You can make your own spaetzel, its not terribly hard (and you do NOT need a spaetzel maker, just substitute in a potato ricer or a strainer with large holes to make the noodles uniform). I was lazy and got a bag of them from Whole Foods. To make kaese spaetzel just do the following; 1) boil the spaetzel and drain them when they are 2 minutes under cooked, 2) toss the spaetzel with a cup of grated cheese (whatever you have laying about) and a cup of chicken stock, 3) layer more cheese over the top, 4) bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
To go with the meal you want some super delicious beer that you would only normally share with people you really like. The hubs and I were introduced to Berliner Weiss, a cloudy, sour, wheat beer while in San Diego in August and it is delicious. It has the clean finish of a wheat beer with a great sour kick that goes perfectly with the slight sweetness of brats. A hefeweizen would also work really well, you want something light to go with this meal.
Please ignore the clean towels in the background 🙂