The first Oktoberfest was not really a festival, but a public celebration of the wedding of a Crown Prince and Princess of Bavaria on October, 1810. Held on a large field in Munich, the party featured horse racing, beer, food, music and dancing.
Oktoberfests has been celebrated in Munich for almost 200 years. As immigrants from Germany came to North America, smaller Oktoberfests sprouted up in their communities. These giant fests set the stage for similar Oktoberfests across the world in towns with a higher population of German decent. In America we pretty much celebrate Oktoberfest on any day in October.
What goes best with Oktoberfest? Well, If a beer is in one hand, the other hand holds a "wurst". At the Munich Oktoberfest, food is served in large oversized portions, halves of oxen and whole chickens are spit-roasted, as sausages are steamed and served with sauerkraut and onions.
The beef, chicken, pork or veal - are often flavored with fresh herbs and seasonings to complement the bready, malty flavors of Oktoberfest style beer.
I changed slightly from the norm by substituting a pickled cucumber, onion and carrot salad for the traditional sauerkraut and onion. The following recipes will help you create a very close to authentic Oktoberfest menu that celebrates Oktoberfest at its best!!! Bon Appetit!!
OKTOBERFEST STYLE BRATWURST
2 pounds bratwurst
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 cup butter
6 (12 fluid ounce) cans or bottles beer
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
Prick bratwurst with fork so they won't explode as they cook, and add to a large stew pot. Add onions and butter or margarine, and slowly pour beer into the pot.
Place pot over medium heat, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Preheat grill for medium high heat. Lightly oil grate, and place bratwurst on grill.
Cook for 10 to 14 minutes, turning to brown evenly.
Serve hot off the grill.
OKTOBERFEST GERMAN POTATO SALAD
3 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 T white sugar
2 T dried parsley
ground black pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add peeled and cut potatoes; cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl. Add onions.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, oil, vinegar, sugar, parsley, salt and pepper.
Gently stir in the potatoes and onion. Let stand for 1 hour before serving to enhance flavors.
PICKLE CUCUMBER ONION and CARROT SALAD (my version)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
4 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced into ribbons, discard seeded part
2 small onions, thinly sliced
2 carrots thinly sliced long ways into ribbons Mix together sugar, salt, vinegar and water until sugar is dissolved.
Pour over cucumbers, carrots and onions and refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight.
Dressing can be reused for another batch by adding more vinegar or salt as needed.
You can use cucumber, carrot and onion salad as a side or top your bratwurst with it.