Throw Your Own - Backyard Biergarten
The start of Oktoberfest in Germany last Saturday had me dreaming of sauerkraut and soft pretzels. To mark the occasion we turned our little patio into our own backyard biergarten and invited a few friends over to partake in the fun.
The menu included soft pretzels, potato pancakes/hash browns with apple sauce, grilled bratwurst, sauerkraut and potato salad. I laid out an assortment of mustards and pulled out a bunch of beer glasses (giant beer steins included) for the German style beers I picked up to wash everything down.
I will admit, most of the menu was precooked and just required some reheating/toasting in the oven. This is great for an impromptu Saturday night shin dig. I did however doctor up the sauerkraut a little. This is my basic recipe for sauerkraut, when it's the main dish I usually add some diced potatoes and ham too.
- 1 bag refrigerated sauerkraut
- 3 slices bacon, diced
- 1 medium sweet onion
- 1 sweet-tart apple
- 1-2 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- Drain and rinse your sauerkraut and set aside.
- Add your diced bacon to a medium to large pot and set to heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally as it cooks.
- Once the bacon is nice and crispy, spoon onto a plate covered with a paper towel to drain.
- Add the onion to the pot, using the leftover bacon grease to cook.
- Once the onions begin to get fragrant and somewhat translucent, add the apple and give everything a good stir.
- Cook for another 5 minutes, then add the bourbon and sugar and stir again.
- Allow to cook, stirring occasionally over medium-low heat for another 10-15 minutes so all the flavors can meld together.
- Pour sauerkraut into a serving dish and serve.
Check out another version of my sauerkraut here. Crazily enough it's the most viewed recipe on my site.
A pilgrimage to the annual celebration of beer is on the travel bucket list, but for now I'll settle for celebrating on this side of the Atlantic. Oktoberfest continues until October 4. Plenty of time to gather all of your best bar glasses and prost (cheers in German) the night away.