There are great pubs and bars in cities around the world, but we all know Munich for Octoberfest. We missed the Octoberfest festivities last year so we decided to have our own American version of Octoberfest at home. If you want to host your own octoberfest and are looking for tasty foods, look no further.
This year I have added the history of Octoberfest as well as more recipes for an Octoberfest menu based on German foods I grew up with. Add some music and some beer, invite some friends over, and you can host your own Octoberfest at home.
What is Octoberfest?
The Octoberfest origin was the wedding feast of King Ludwig I and Princess Teresa in 1810. The celebration was held in a field with all the citizens of Munich attending. The event included a horse race as part of the closing ceremony. Bavarians decided to repeat the horse races the following year, starting this tradition. They added the tradition of the opening parade later in 1887.
There were several years when the festival did not take place. In the late 1800s a cholera epidemic caused the cancellation. Then WWI got in the way. Inflation during the great depression caused cancellation once again. Then when the Nazi party took control, they replaced the Bavarian flag with the swastika. During these decades, the festival transitioned from a Bavarian royal celebration to a autumn festival. During the 1950s the traditional opening festival was reinstated. Then in the 1960s, they removed the horse races. For Americans, Octoberfest means beer and good German food for the whole month of October.
For an authentic experience, get a real German beer stein from these sponsored links. According to my son, when the lid of the stein hits your head, it means you are done. He was told this while in Bavaria a few years ago.
Octoberfest Food: German Pork, Brats, and Kraut
- 4 pack of Bratwurst or other German sausage
- 4 pork loin chops sliced 1/2 inch thick or small boneless pork loin sliced
- 2 pieces of bacon cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 large onion sliced
- 3 apples
- 1 16 oz. can sauerkraut
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 1 bottle of German beer
- spaetzle or small pasta
- Begin by cooking bacon over medium heat in a frying pan. Add the onions until bacon is fully cooked and onions are clear.
- Meanwhile place the pork chops and sausages in a large baking pan.
- Then cut apples into fourths removing the core and tuck them around the meats.
- After that, sprinkle with black pepper, cloves, and brown sugar, and add drained sauerkraut to baking pan. Then top with bacon/onion mixture.
- Additionally, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and pour beer over the food in the pan.
- Cook for 30-45 minutes or until meat temperature is 145 degrees at the thickest parts.
- Cook the pasta or spaetzle during the last 15 minutes of the meat cooking time. Then drain and toss with butter.
- When meat is done remove contents to a serving platter using a slotted spoon and serve with buttered spaetzle.
Der Wienerschnitzel Recipe for Octoberfest
What is wienerschnitzel? Der wienerschnitzel is traditionally veal which is pounded very thin, breaded and fried. This is my more modern wienerschnitzel recipe using chicken. As usual, I substituted other ingredients as well to make a healthier version. For some reason, I don’t like pounding meat in my kitchen. I am always afraid raw meat particles are going to fly around, and I will miss some when I clean up. Instead I slice the chicken breasts crosswise to make them thinner. The pieces aren’t as large but they are easier to work with and a normal portion size.
Ingredients for wienerschnitzel recipe
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 cup egg whites lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons spicy mustard
- 1/2 cup crushed almonds
- 2 chicken breasts sliced crosswise into several thin pieces
- lemon slices to serve
Directions for der wienerschnitzel
- Mix together cornstarch and 1/4 cup almond flour on a plate. Then in a shallow bowl, mix together egg whites and mustard. In another plate, mix crushed almonds and remaining flour.
- I like to prepare these all prior to frying, so make sure to have another plate handy. One at a time, dredge pieces of chicken in flour mixture. After that, dip them in egg mixture. Finally, dredge them in nut mixture and place on the extra plate.
- Once chicken is prepared, heat a few tablespoons of cooking oil over medium heat in a frying pan. I like to use grape seed oil because it has a high smoking point. When the oil is hot, cook chicken a few minutes on each side until browned. Then remove from pan and place on a foil lined baking sheet, while cooking the remaining chicken.
- When chicken is browned heat oven to 350F on the convection setting. Cover the chicken with foil and cook for about 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 F.
- Serve with lemon.
Octoberfest Recipe for German Potato Salad
My dad used to make this all the time when I was a kid. It was one of my favorites. It supposed to be served warm, but I often make it to eat cold at BBQ’s.
Ingredients for German potato salad recipe
- 4 large potatoes, cut in fourths
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 strips bacon
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- dash of pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley, optional
Directions for German potato salad recipe
- Boil potatoes in salted water until cooked, about 20 minutes. Then drain.
- Meanwhile, cook bacon in a skillet until crisp. Then drain on paper towels while you cook the onion in the bacon grease. I usually cook the bacon ahead of time because I like to make a large batch. So I cook the onion in a little olive oil instead.
- Once onion is translucent, add in flour, sugar, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking over low heat until bubbly.
- When mixture is bubbles, slowly stir in water and vinegar with a whisk to prevent clumping. Boil for one minute, and then remove from heat.
- After that, crumble in the bacon and potatoes, stirring until well mixed. Stir in parsley to serve if preferred.
Octoberfest Food: German Peas and Carrots
This is a tasty Octoberfest food to make all year round.
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 strips of crisp bacon
- 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- Cook the carrots in a large pan in a little cooking oil or bacon fat, until lightly browned.
- Then add chicken broth, salt, onion powder and peas.
- When water boils, lower the temperature, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile mix the flour with a tablespoon or two of cold water.
- Once carrots are cooked, but not mushy, stir in the flour mixture and crumbled bacon until smooth. Then serve.
Then don’t forget your tradition German dessert Apfel Kuchen (apple cake)
Octoberfest Dessert: Apfel Kuchen
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- half tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 cups sliced apples
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup cooking oil
- Start by mixing all the dry ingredients together.
- Subsequently, beat the eggs and add eggs, oil, and vanilla to mixture.
- Then add apples and walnuts.
- After that, mix well and spread into a 9×13″ pan.
- Finally, bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean.
If you are looking for a great place in the U.S. to celebrate Octoberfest, then you should check out the town of Helen, GA.
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