Oktoberfest menu

It’s that time of year when the weather gets cooler and people crave savory dishes. Here’s a great menu for the season and even for the holidays. It starts off with a breakfast of Muesli (a lower fat version), then a German beer cheese soup, sauerbraten over a potato pancake served with some brats on the side and a pfannkuchen (German doughnut) for dessert.




Ingredients – Muesli
2 cups of oats
1/2 lb of coconut shavings
1/3 lb of sliced almonds
1 cup of honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup of dried pineapple, diced
1/2 cup of dried apricots, diced
1 cup of dried cherries
Ingredients – Beer cheese soup
4 TB butter
4 TB flour
2 bottles of 11 oz German beer   (lighter blends are better)
2 lbs of cheddar cheese, grated
1 TB honey
2 TB brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup sour cream
green onion, sour cream garnishes

Ingredients – Sauerbraten
2 1/2 lb chuck roast
1 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sherry wine vinegar
1 very large onion
20 juniper berries
1/4 tsp yellow mustard seed
1/3 tsp ginger
1 TB brown sugar
1/3 tsp allspice
2 bay leaves
10 exotic peppercorns
1/8 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp coriander
1 star anise
1 tsp salt
2 large carrots
1 stalk celery
Ingredients – Potato pancakes (galette)
2 lbs potatoes
exotic peppercorn blend
applesauce for garnish
Ingredients – braised cabbage
1 cabbage
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar, not packed
Ingredients – Brats
1 lb cooked beer brats
1 German beer, 11 oz
Ingredients – Pfannkuchen
4 cups flour
1 package yeast (not fast-rising)
3/4 cup whole milk
5 egg yolks
1/2 stick of butter, softened
pinch of salt
canola oil ( enough to come up 3 inches in a large pot)
orange marmalade
granulated sugar for dusting
Method – Muesli
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a half sheet pan with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, cinnamon, coconut and sliced almonds. Spray a measuring up with cooking spray and add honey. The spray will help the honey to slide out of the measuring cup. Stir mixture with honey and then put on the sheet pan. Put the pan in the oven for 20 minutes, mix and then bake for another ten minutes. Allow to cool. Add the fruit and stir again. Put in a sealed container in a cool, dry area until ready to eat. It will last about ten days.
Method – Beer cheese soup
In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour over high heat. Whisk until the roux is a light brown color. Add 1 bottle of beer, whisking until smooth and the froth subsides. Add grated cheese a little at a time, constantly whisking. Add all the spices, salt, honey and sugar. Add the other beer (still whisking). Turn down the heat to just below simmer ( no more bubbling) and whisk in the sour cream. Let it slowly reduce on low for about an hour. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and thinly sliced green onion.
Method – Sauerbraten
Place all the ingredients except for carrot, onion and celery in a glass dish large enough to hold the roast. Whisk to combine. Add the roast and turn once to coat. Thinly slice half the large onion and add. Refrigerate for an hour, turning once after 30 minutes. Heat a large pot to high and add the whole roast, marinade and all to the pot. Bring up to a boil, then add carrots, peeled and whole, the other half of the large onion, cut in chunks and the stalk of celery, cut in half all right on top of the roast. Simmer for 2 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Serve over the potato pancake (below) with some of the liquid over it (carefully avoiding the peppercorns and other large spices at the bottom of the pot).
Method – Potato pancake
Boil potatoes, skin and all until they are about half done. Remove and allow to cool. Grate through the large holes of a grater over a cutting board (most of the skin won’t go through). Spray a small frying pan 4-6 inches in diameter with cooking spray. Heat to high. Add a pat of butter. When it melts, add enough potato to make a pancake in the bottom of the pan. Lower to medium heat. With a knife, carefully push the sides in a little so it stays together. Add a sprinkle of salt and exotic peppercorn and more butter around the sides if needed, to prevent sticking. Flip it over with one quick motion of the wrist. (It will break if you use a spatula.) Add a little more butter around the sides. When golden on both sides, remove to the plate you are serving it on for each person.
Method – Cabbage
Cut cabbage thinly. Heat large pot to high and add cabbage with other ingredients. Turn down to simmer and braise, stirring occasionally until softened.
Method – Brats
Heat your grill using manufacturer’s directions. Place the pre-cooked brats in beer while the grill is heating up. Put brats over indirect heat until you get grill marks and turn once. When marked, serve in buns or with the cabbage. Do not pierce the brats while grilling.
Method – Pfannkuchen
Heat milk to lukewarm. Allow to cool to 110 degrees F or less. Add the yeast, stirring to combine. Let stand until yeast gets frothy, about ten minutes. In a large mixer bowl, add yeast mixture, butter, salt and egg yolks. Mix slowly with dough attachment on your mixer, slowly adding the flour. When the dough becomes one mass, check for texture. If it seems a little dry, add a TB of warm water. Cover and let rise for an hour. Roll out to 3/4 to 1″ thick. Cut circles 3 – 4 ” in diameter and place on a sheet pan covered with parchment. Let rise another 15 – 20 minutes. Heat the oil to 375 degrees F. Add a few doughnuts at a time to the hot oil. Don’t crowd the pot. When they are golden on both sides, remove to a plate lined with paper towel. When they cool to lukewarm, place them in a bag with some sugar and shake to coat. Fill, using a pastry bag with about 1 TB of orange marmalade. Enjoy.


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