Saturday, November 13, 2010

Smoked Bratwurst and Sauerkraut with a Rustic Potato Pancake

This is a simple Octoberfest recipe that is easy to make!
     There are many different regional styles of sauerkraut recipes.  Usually pork belly or salt pork is the flavoring grease and meat for kraut.  Something to sweeten the kraut is added too.  Like carrots, apples, pears or sweet onions.  Juniper berries are a great flavor to add to sauerkraut.
     This time of year, German delis and butcher shops offer a variety of great Octoberfest sausages.  You can use any good German sausage for this dish.  I used lightly smoked bratwurst for this recipe.  There are a lot of different ways to make potato pancakes too.  This potato pancake recipe is very rustic and has a nice flavor.
     Recipe:  Cut some salt pork into small size pieces.
     Render the salt pork in a sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add some sliced carrots and juniper berries.  (Soak the juniper berries in a little bit of water over night before cooking.)
     Rinse some good quality sauerkraut twice in water.
     Drain the kraut water off through a strainer.
     Add the kraut to the sauce pot.
     Add some black pepper.
     Add a little bit of water to the kraut in the pot.
     Set two German sausages on top of the sauerkraut and cover the pan with a lid.
     Steam the sausages with the sauerkraut broth over medium heat.
     When the sausages are steamed and fully cooked, the sauerkraut and sausage is done.  If you prefer the sauerkraut cooked to a darker color, then cook it for a while longer.
     Rustic Potato Pancake Recipe:  Par boil a potato till it is only one fourth cooked and still hard.
     Cool the potato in cold water.
     Grate the potato into a mixing bowl.
     Add a whisked egg.
     Add sea salt and black pepper.
     Add a pinch of nutmeg.
     Add a chopped green onion.
     Add a few pinches of chopped parsley.
     Mix the ingredients together.
     Heat some unsalted butter and oil in a non stick saute pan over medium heat.
     Place a small mound of the potato pancake mix into the hot grease and flatten the potato mixture mound with a spatula, so it becomes a pancake shape.
     Shake the pan lightly while cooking so the pancake does not stick.
     When the bottom of the pancake is cooked firm, flip it over to cook the other side.  Cooke the potato  pancake till brown highlights appear. 
     Slide the potato pancake onto a plate and blot off any excess grease with a dry towel.
     Mound the sauerkraut across the plate.
     Set the sausages on top of the kraut.
     Serve with steamed green beans, sauteed mushroom caps and a baked piece of pumpkin.  Simply butter a thick piece of peeled pumpkin and bake in a 325 degree oven till it becomes caramelized.  The pumpkin will have a baked squash flavor when cooked this way.
     German Octoberfest food is beer food!  A nice German Octoberfest Beer is great with this entree.  Juicy steamed sausages with a good sauerkraut is a classic fall season plate of food!  The flavorings in the kraut make this dish special.  The simple rustic potato pancake adds a nice touch to this plate.  Ya!  Das est good!  Yum! ... Shawna

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