It would be remiss of me not to include a review of eating a traditional Oktoberfest meal, since my wife is German. So, you might think we have some fancy German dishes, but actually we enjoy just the simple brats, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, that any other American family might toss together to celebrate Oktoberfest and of course, don’t forget a good German Pilsner to wash it all down with.
But when we take a closer look at the ingredients of these three dishes, we move from minute to a plethora of nutritional values. Let’s start with brats. In general, any type of sausage should send up a red flag on the ingredients that are shoved into those intestinal casings. If you can’t pronounce them, don’t buy, let alone eat them! Brats should only have pork or veal and some spices, that’s it. Costco has some great ones on sale right now.
- Boil the brats in water, wine or beer for about 30 minutes and then transfer them to the grill or skillet for another 7 minutes for a perfectly cooked brat.
Mashed Potatoes are never instant in our home and Yukon Gold are probably our favorite.
- Cover the potatoes with at least a ½ inch of water, add a teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, prick the potatoes with the tines of a fork to see if they are tender.
- Strain the water out of the pot, add unsalted butter and whole milk or ½ & ½ and you can hand mash them first and then use a hand blender to smooth out any clumps. Add more milk or cream until you get your desired level of creaminess.
Sauerkraut, raw fermented cabbage, is where you will find a powerhouse of healthy bacteria to give you a nice healthy and happy gut. We Americans usually like to boil the shit out of the sauerkraut, but unfortunately by doing so, we are pasteurizing all that good bacteria out of the dish. We will eat it raw to get the full benefit of the sauerkraut, but if you would rather have it warm, heat it over a low heat.
Here is a funny riddle:
‘What do you call a grouchy German?’
‘A Sauerkraut’. (I like this joke, my wife, not so much!)
Of course, don’t forget some good German Senf (Mustard).
I would recommend a good German Pilsner to compliment this wonderful German traditional meal, like Warsteiner, you can find mini-kegs at Trader Joe’s for about $10.
Guten Appetit and Probst!