Thursday, April 11, 2013

On the Menu: German Food

Guten Appetit!

Are you ready for some German food?  I was, and it was pretty tasty.  German food is very homey comfort food.  Breaded meats, pot roasts, dumplings, sausages and soups are all very common.  Potatoes and red cabbage seemed to make appearances in many recipes I looked at.  Desserts include tortes and cakes that include a lot of fruit, especially apples it seemed.  It was hard to decide.

A very traditional food in Germany is sausage, or "wurst", as it is called there.  There are over 1,000 different kinds of sausage!!  And, as I mentioned before, red cabbage is a popular side dish along with dumplings or potatoes.  So I found a dish that includes all these elements and mixes them with some family favorites- bacon and beer!  The kids don't drink beer , of course, but it will be cooked so the alcohol will evaporate!!  I found the recipe on the internet, but I can't remember where, so I'm sorry that I'm not giving credit where it is due.  I changed a few ingredients and quantities anyway, so I guess I can claim it as my own, right?  The recipe didn't have a real German name so I'm googling how to say it in German.  

Rotkohl, Apfeln und Wurst 
(Red Cabbage, Apple and Sausages)

For the recipe you will need:
  • 4 thick pieces of bacon- chopped
  • 2 T sugar- I used real sugar
  • 1/2 onion- sliced finely
  • 1/2 head red cabbage- shredded
  • 2 granny smith or other tart apple- sliced
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seed
  • enough bratwurst to feed everyone
  • 1lb or so new potatoes
  • 1 cup beer.  I found some real German Beer but really "Budweiser" sounds German to me, right?
  • salt and pepper.  See my cute German salt and pepper shakers!!
1.  Fry the bacon in a large pan, remove the bacon when crispy but leave the grease in the pan.
2.  Add the sugar and let it caramelize until golden, then add the onions and cook them until they are golden also.  Don't let your onion-hating husband see this step!!
3.  Add the cabbage, apples, caraway seeds, cooked bacon you saved from earlier and vinegar.  Mix it all together and then put the sausages and potatoes on top.
4.  Pour your beer over the whole shebang.
5. When it comes to a boil reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about an hour.  Or until your family comes home from the park and/or the sausages and potatoes are cooked.

I didn't expect to like this that much.  I've never thought that I liked red cabbage, but I really enjoyed this.  It was sweet and sour and such a pretty color!  The potatoes (I only snuck one bite) were soft and fluffy and the sausages were bursting their seams.  I love bratwurst with mustard- yum!  Now for the rest of the family-  my husband said "he didn't hate it" and he finished his serving.  I know he knew there were onions in it and so I expect that was all he was thinking about.  Really, everything was so cooked together it all tasted the same, so I know he couldn't tell they were there if he hadn't known.  My son loved the sausage and potatoes and ate some of the cabbage- he's a trooper!!  My daughter was still mad about leaving the park, so she declared she wasn't having dinner and sat in her room.  Honestly, I would have been surprised if she even tried the cabbage! 

Since it got mixed reviews, I don't know if I would make it again, but I really enjoyed it!!  If you like that mixture of sweet and sour and want something different to try- make this!!  And invite me over when you do!!!