Although the roots of the term “wench” are technically Middle English and “beer wench” is now common Australian slang, wenches are more closely associated with the beer culture in Germany than anywhere else. Hence the Oktoberfest fraulein-costume image that most people think of when they hear the word beer wench. “Das bier vench, ya?”And if there was a time of year when beer wenches really shine, it’s during Oktoberfest – the world’s largest beer celebration, spanning 16 days. As Whole Foods Market®’s “official” Beer Wench, it is my honor to share with you two of my favorite “beeralicious” Oktoberfest recipes – Drunken German Potato Salad and Vegan Beer “Brats”.
Both recipes call for Goldmine Lager, which can be found at most Whole Foods Market stores around the country. (Alas, there are some stores that don’t sell any alcohol at all. It’s the law of the land.) At less than $3.99 for a six-pack, it’s almost cheaper than broth – so don’t worry about “wasting” it during the cooking process!
It’s also important to note that, for personal and family reasons, I have chosen to prepare both of these recipes with vegan ingredients. However, you are free to substitute the meat-substitutes for actual meat, if that’s your thing!
Lastly, the most important component of the night is an Oktoberfest-style bier to accompany your delicious meal! The traditional choices, such as Paulaner and Ayinger, all come from Munich and are rightfully celebrated. But many American craft breweries make equally awesome interpretations of the style – so I recommend picking up a mixed 6-pack or two from your local Whole Foods Market!
Drunken German Potato Salad (Vegan)
3 (12-ounce) cans of Goldmine Lager, at room temperature
4-5 large Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
¼ cup 365 Everyday Value® Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup Bac’uns (bacon bits alternative)
1/3 cup Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon Sierra Nevada Stoneground Stout mustard
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons minced chives, for garnish
In a large pot, bring Goldmine Lager and a pinch of salt to a boil. Add the potatoes, return to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Cook potatoes for about 10 minutes or until tender, but not too soft. Remove from heat, drain potatoes and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
While boiling the potatoes, pour the olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat and add onions, garlic and Bac’uns. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar, sugar, mustard and salt and cook until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and pour over the potatoes. Toss to coat.
Garnish with minced chives and serve alongside Beer-Poached Vegan “Brats”.
Beer-Poached Vegan “Brats”
1 tablespoon 365 Everyday Value® Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 package Tofurky Kielbasas
½ yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 (12-ounce) cans Goldmine Lager
Sierra Nevada Beer Mustard (I like the Stoneground Stout)
Raw Cultured Sauerkraut
4 sandwich rolls, toasted
Heat oil in a deep skillet or a saucepan set over medium heat Add garlic and onions and sauté for about 5 minutes. Prick the sausages all around with a fork (substitute another vegan sausage if you cannot find this brand in the Whole Foods Market near you) and add to skillet. Pour in beer and 6 ounces water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Remove sausages from poaching liquid. Dry the skillet and place back onto stove. Heat oil over medium and return sausages to the pan. Sear on all sides until nicely browned, roughly 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
To serve, place the sausages in a toasted bun and garnish with one of Sierra Nevada’s delicious beer mustards and raw cultured sauerkraut. You should be able to find raw cultured sauerkraut in the cooler section near the meat alternatives, But, if you cannot find it, substitute with sauerkraut of your choice.
Pair with a traditional Oktoberfest-style bier such as Paulaner, Ayinger or Beck’s –or try some of my favorite American Oktoberfest-style beers. Prost!!!
What beer fills your stein during Oktoberfest?