How to Prepare an Authentic Oktoberfest Meal. Oktoberfest to most North Americans means satisfying beer and savory German food. The foods served during Oktoberfest are hearty, plentiful and filling, and best of all, many German recipes actually taste better if made in advance. With a little bit of planning, this may be the easiest feast you've ever prepared.
Things You'll Need
- CD Players
- Barbecue Grills
- Apple Ciders
- Pretzel Twists
- Red Potatoes
- Wheat Bread
- Wine - White
- Beer Mugs
- Polka Favorites CDs
Decide which German dishes to serve. A typical Oktoberfest dinner means sausage (bratwurst, for example), sweet mustard, sauerkraut, red cabbage cooked with apples, warm potato salad, and crusty bread rolls. The main course could be smoked pork chops ("kassler"), beef in a tasty gravy ("sauerbraten"), fish, or breaded and fried veal ("wiener schnitzel").
Go grocery shopping after you've determined the menu and guest list. You may wish to shop in advance, as many recipes can be made days before the event.
Make the red cabbage several days ahead - it will taste better. Keep in mind that it takes time to chop the cabbage and the apples, and even more time to simmer the mixture until it tastes just right.
Prepare the sauerkraut in advance according to your favorite recipe. A warm potato salad may also be made a day or two ahead of the party.
Choose a dessert like Black Forest cake, apple strudel or chocolate torte. These should be bought or made on the day of the party, as they taste best fresh. While you're at the bakery, find some heavy, crusty rolls or bread to serve with the main meal.
Chill the beer. You may consider offering your guests a choice of various German beers such as pilsner, wheat beer, stouts and lagers. Provide sliced lemons for the beers for added German authenticity.
Follow the recipe you've selected for your main course. If you choose sausages, consider barbecuing them for a very short time after they've been thoroughly cooked according to the package's or the butcher's instructions. This gives the sausages a nice flavor.
Warm the cabbage, the sauerkraut, the potato salad and the rolls just before the guests arrive. You may keep the food hot on the stove or, if space is limited, in the oven.
Play polka music or traditional German music to set the mood for the party.
Set out pretzels for munching. Choose the small crunchy kind or go for the large chewy ones with mustard.
Enjoy a cold German beer with your guests before serving dinner buffet style. Everything is ready - guten appetit!
Tips & Warnings
- Don't be afraid to use sauerkraut from the grocery store. Gone are the days of making it yourself. Drain most of the liquid away and add caraway seeds, onions, garlic, shredded pork, beer (to mellow the sour flavor), salt and pepper until it tastes like Grandma's.
- Consider ordering your dessert and rolls from a local European bakery in advance. Arrange to pick up the items on the day of your Oktoberfest.
- In addition to beer, wine and Champagne, apple cider and sodas are also served at Oktoberfest. Try mixtures such as wine with sparkling water or apple cider. Lemonade in a lighter beer is really refreshing. Both are enjoyed in Germany on hot days.
- Warming the apple strudel in the microwave will make the crust soggy; warm it in the oven or simply serve it at room temperature.
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