Oktoberfest is an anual folk festival held in Munich, Germany that lasts around 18 days and runs from mid to late September to early October. The festival celebrates the autumn harvest and involves plenty of food and great beer. If you're looking to bring some of that fun and festive Oktoberfest spirit to your home, look no further than these classic German dishes or even some great recipes that involve the festival's most famous ingredient: beer!
Beer-Braised Top Blade Roast
You can also cook the roast in a slow cooker. After adding the stock, transfer to a 6-quart electric slow cooker, and cook on LOW for about 8 hours.
Mushroom Stew with SpaetzleSpaetzle—small German noodles or dumplings—are paired with a thick mushroom gravy.
Classic Slow Cooker Beef StewThis classic meat and potatoes meal tastes just like how mom used to make it.
Potato, Turnip, and Spinach BaeckeoffeTranslated from the Germanic Alsatian dialect, baeckeoffe means "baker's oven," as it was traditionally a dish that was brought to the local baker to cook in his oven. Classic versions are loaded with meat, but our vegetarian riff is equally hearty and rich.
LebkuchenIn this version of these traditional German spice cookies, the edges are slightly crisp and the middles, soft and chewy. They're topped with a confectioners' sugar icing that is thicker than the classic see-through glaze. It's important to freeze the soft batter until very firm, so it can be easily scooped onto the baking sheets.
Grilled Beer-cooked SausagesJames Bullard simmers his sausages in beer first, which makes for quick grilling and helps feed guests fast. We love these smeared with coarse-grain mustard on crusty rolls. The onions take on a lot of the ale's flavor, including its slight bitterness. Leave them off your sausage if you're sensitive to bitter flavors.
Roasted Grape and Pear Kuchen
Fruit paired with cake is a magical thing, to say the least. Kuchen, traditional German yeast cake, is typically adorned with a variety of crunchy nuts, tart fruits, and creamy cheeses. A slice of this southern inspired sweet treat will have you reaching for another!
German Apple PancakeThe dramatic presentation of this German pancake—it puffs up gloriously—as well as the recipe's rich, custardlike texture make it a morning delight. Use any type of firm, tart apple such as Granny Smith, pippin, Northern Spy, or Sierra Beauty.
Stout Mac and Cheese
Serve with Wilted Spinach with Fresh Chile. Dark beer lovers will appreciate the flavor: cheesy up front and slightly bitter and malty at the end. Garnish with parsley for a pop of color.
Beer-Braised Chicken Thighs with Cremini Mushrooms
A wide skillet and less liquid allow for a relatively short, intense braise--less than 20 minutes, compared to many hour-long versions.
SauerbratenThe spicy-sweet gingersnaps soften the tang of white vinegar. Serve the tender marinated beef and sauce over spaetzle (tiny noodles or dumplings) for an authentic German feast.
Brown Beer Rye BreadHearty breads like rye and pumpernickel are German culinary standards. This version uses stone-ground rye flour and caraway seeds, a favorite spice in German cooking. Serve with Herring and Apple Salad, or use it to make sandwiches with Pork Loin Braised with Cabbage or Turkey Bratwurst Patties.
Chicken Soup with Cabbage and Apple
Chicken Soup with Cabbage and Apple is the definition of hearty in a bowl. Earthy green cabbage mingles with moist shredded chicken, chicken sausage, and broth-soaked potatoes. Tart, crunchy apple slices add a fruity counterpoint to this German-inspired soup.
Beer-Braised Pot Roast
This is no ordinary pot roast. First, it's rubbed with coffee. Then it simmers in dark stout beer and beef stock, yielding a deeply delicious gravy. Small carrots with tops and pearl onions elevate it further.
Easy SchnitzelMaureen Clancy, the author of this story, developed an easier and lighter version of Wiener schnitzel after her two college-aged sons discovered the dish on a trip abroad. Serve with a tossed salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and onion.
Pork Chops with Fresh Green and Red CabbageHere's a hearty, tangy dish for a chilly autumn night. Pork, cabbage, and caraway—a classic German combination—pair well with crisp, dry Riesling.
Note: If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can crush your spices by whirling them in a spice grinder or a clean coffee grinder.