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Hot German Potato Salad

Submitted by on October 6, 2009 – 6:12 AMNo Comment
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DIY Oktoberfest

PotatoesBeer. Babes. Bratwurst.

That’s the traditional Oktoberfest Trifecta that you’ll find if you hit Munich any time between September 19th and October 4th for the 16-day festival in celebration of all things bier.   (You have to wonder why they don’t call the two-week party Septemberfest since it mostly takes place then, but maybe that just didn’t have the same ring.)

Traditional Oktoberfest has been going on in Munich since 1810 and the party quickly spread worldwide.  You can find a version of Oktoberfest in every German restaurant and beer garden in the U.S.  There’s a reason for that.  Beer might not have been invented in Germany, but the country has embraced the brew with a fervor that leaves other countries in the dust.  And Germans know how to throw a theme party with music and drinking games and sex.  (It’s true.  With typical German efficiency, Oktoberfest guests often combine drinking beer and hooking up without ever leaving the party.  German television routinely quizzes participants about their methods of having sex in the crowded beer tents.)

There’s no rule that says your Oktoberfest has to be exactly the same as the one your cousin Johann experiences in the Old Country. And if a little lederhosen goes a long way with you, go ahead and wear that Hawaiian shirt you’ve had since college or your lucky T.  It’s your Oktoberfest.  Tweak the elements any way you want to.  We just want to be invited.

The ingredients of a successful Oktoberfest are music, beer, food and girls.  Traditionally, the music played at Oktoberfest is heavy on brass and backbeat.  If you don’t happen to have any CDs of oompah bands handy, you can substitute anything else you have as long as it’s loud and festive.  Old school Metallica, for example, can really set a mood.

When it comes to beer, you’ll want to offer your guests a  number of different brews so they can mix and match with their food.  Oktoberfest is not the time to try fussy microbrews.  You can have a beer-tasting any time; what you want for Oktoberfest is your old favorites with emphasis on the German brews.

Oktoberfest food is heavy on the meat and potatoes.  Serve grilled sausages or roast pork.  Spare ribs are another traditional choice, served with sauerkraut or red cabbage cooked with apples.  Another good choice for a side dish is hot potato salad.

Hot German Potato Salad

Ingredients

-4 1/2 cups white potatoes, peeled and diced
-2 small onions, diced
-5 slices bacon, uncooked
-¼ cup white vinegar
-4 tbsp. water
-1-2 tsp. salt to taste
-¼ tsp. black pepper
-1 ½ tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

All you have to do now is invite the girls.  Make sure they know that you cooked.  Girls are impressed by that.

Beers to buy:  Don’t be a dummkopf. Oktoberfest is not the time to try out that fussy micro-brew or exotic beer brand that’s on sale down at BevMo.  What you want is a variety of German beers in a couple of different styles to suit everyone’s taste.  Why not start with:

Beck’s, a highly carbonated, completely refreshing pilsner with a crisp, clean taste.

Reissdorfer Kölsch, a light, slightly fruity brew.  Goose Island Summertime is another Kolsch-style beer (even if it is brewed in Chicago and not Cologne).

Pilsner Urquell, considered one of the best of the Bohemian pilsners and for good reason.

St. Pauli Girl Special Dark is a good choice for those who like full-flavored dark German beer while her sister brew, St. Pauli Girl Lager will satisfy those whose preferred style is a lager.

Spaten Oktoberfest, a sweet and malty beer available only between August and late October/early November.

Brooklyner-Schneider Hopfen-Weiss is a limited edition brew that’s the product of an German-American collaboration and worth tracking down.