Thursday, October 13, 2011

Let Me Sleep All Night in Your Polka (Soul) Kitchen

Happy Oktoberfest!

It's Herr Riffendog!
So it's time for another food post.  And it's October so let's get those Leiderhosen on and do some Octoberfest cooking!

German food is really very easy.  It is kind of like soul food but with long socks and weird shorts that are held up with suspenders.  And instead of listening to the blues you have to listen to Eidelweiss or do a chicken dance and your cook is named Fritz instead of Bubba!  But why is it like soul food?  Because it's a lot of soaking, seasoning, slow-roasting, boiling, mashing, etc.  Like I always say food names change but most of the processes really stay pretty similar.  So put on some Polka music and let's cook!

So what's on our menu?

Sauerbraten w/red cabbage sauerkraut
German Hot Potato Salad
German Green Beans

Sauerbraten w/red cabbage sauerkraut:
1 head of red cabbage chopped

4# top round or rump roast
2.5 cups dry red wine
1.5 cups red wine vinegar
2 quartered onions
1 bunch of celery
2 tbs coarse (sea) salt
2 tbs sugar
2 tbs Pickling Spice
1 tbs mustard seed
1/4 tsp nutmeg
10 cloves
2 tsp lightly cracked black pepper
4 fresh parsley springs
2 bay leaves
2 tbs clarified butter

*  Mix wine, vinegar, 1 cup of water, 1 quartered onion, celery leaves, salt, sugar, mustard seeds, nutmeg, cloves, peppercorns, parsley, pickling spices, and bay leaves in large bowl.
*  Place meat in a brine bag and poor liquid over meat.  Secure bag from leakage.  Let meat marinate for 3 days, turning occasionally.
*  Remove meat from brine and set brine aside
*  Season meat with salt and pepper
*  Heat clarified butter in kettle until hot but not smoking
*  Add meat to butter and brown all sides
*  Pour reserved marinade into kettle and over meat.  Hold back 1 cup of marinade.  Simmer mixture for 4 hours or until meat is tender.
*  Set meat aside in oven on warm (@ 200)
Optional (sauce):
*  Strain liquid to remove fat.  Transfer liquid to sauce pan and add 1/2 cup of red wine (Madeira if you prefer sweeter), and bring to a boil and reduce liquid until thick.  Gently stir in 1 tbs of flour if you wish to thicken.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
*  Use sauce as gravy for meat

Red Cabbage Sauerkraut:
*  Roughly chop 1 head of red cabbage
*  Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in saute pan and add 2 garlic cloves sliced thinly
*  Slowly pour in 1 cup of red wine vinegar and 1 cup of the reserved marinade from meat
*  Add 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp mustard seed
*  Once ingredients evenly combined add cabbage and saute for 20 minutes - tossing occasionally so that all cabbage cooked evenly.  Cook until cabbage tender but still slightly firm.
CAUTION - make sure cabbage is cooked to 155 degrees if you are using the reserved marinade as the marinade is potentially hazardous due to the marination with the raw meat.

German Hot Potato Salad:
2#'s of red potatoes boiled in skin until tender
4 slices of bacon
1 cup peeled finely chopped onions
2/3 cup chopped celery
Pinch of celery seed or celery salt
1/2 tsp salt (slightly less if you use celery salt)
black pepper to taste
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs flour
5 tbs white vinegar
1/2 cup water

*  Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch slices (leave skin on)
*  In large saute pan saute bacon until brown, remove, and set aside; leave drippings in pan
*  Add chopped onions and celery and saute until brown.
*  Add celery seed, salt, pepper, and sugar.
*  Slowly add flour into mixture stirring in flour to incorporate into liquid to form a smooth paste.
*  Slowly stir in vinegar and water
*  Let sauce simmer until thick
*  Add potatoes and crumbled bacon into sauce.  Cook until potatoes are heated to temperature.

German Green Beans:
1# fresh green beans
4 slices of bacon
1/2 onion chopped rough
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
salt and pepper (to taste)

*  Blanch green beans by boiling on stove until tender (about 10 minutes after water comes to rolling boil), remove from heat and strain beans and run cold water over until cool (shocking).  Set beans aside.
*  Cook bacon in saute pan and add onion - cook until brownish caramel color.  Add green beans to saute pan and then add sugar, cider, salt, and pepper.  Cook until back to serving temperature.

Note:  Ryan doesn't prefer German dessert because he likes Chocolate cake to be just chocolate not stuffed with cherries or with a lot of coconut on top!  Maybe I'll think up some desserts for a Halloween post.  Or maybe you can just think of me as a dessert!


Anonymous said...

You've made me very hungry. I'm putting on some Polka music and ready to cook now. OMG! I love Eidelweiss! I actually have the SOM soundtrack on my iPod.

Rosie said...

Hmmm, give me the Fraulein, the cute dog AND German Choclate cake. Ok, I'll settle just for the cake and the dog.