Oktoberfest And Your Sunday Football Menu

MUNICH, GERMANY - SEPTEMBER 16: Typical German food Bratwurst is seen on the opening party at the Oktoberfest on September 16, 2006 in Munich, Germany. The 173rd Oktoberfest, for years the biggest public festival in the world, is expected to draw 6 to 7 million visitors this year. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Late September means it’s Oktoberfest around the world. If you like to celebrate the season while hosting your football watch party, we have some fantastic menu ideas for you. There are a lot of options to serve during your Oktoberfest party. These include the ever popular bratwursts, pork roast & kraut, spaetzle, and of course fine German beer.

Oktoberfest Time

We’re going to roll out the “Brat-Tub” for your brats, it’s a surefire way to serve the most delicious brats your guests have ever enjoyed. The pork & kraut recipe will use your crock pot, which makes the chef’s job even easier. Spaetzle is a German pasta that can be dressed up many different ways. The German beer part of the day is by far the easiest, but should be used in moderation until after your guests are fed.

The Infamous Brat Tub

Brat Tub Necessities

  • 3 large and sturdy foil pans
  • 24-36 brats (Johnsonville, of course)
  • 9-10 large sweet onions
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 stick of butter
  • 12 pack of your favorite beer
  • 24-36 brat rolls
  • Regular mustard and spicy mustard
  • 1 jar of sauerkraut (optional)
  • Granulated garlic, salt, pepper (optional)
  • 2 Sternos, 1 wire Sterno rack or chafing dish

Brat Prep

Take your brats out and place them in one of the sturdy foil pans. I recommend poking several holes in the brats with a sharp fork before placing them in the pan. This is an ongoing debate among brat enthusiasts. One school of thought is that you don’t want the holes because that lets out the juice. My opinion is that the holes allow the juices to mingle with the beer and onions. The brats then absorb all of that goodness while simmering in the brat tub. You can taste the difference, and trust me, you achieve a better flavor in the end by poking the holes in the brats.  

Next, chop up three of the onions into large chunks. Add them to the pan along with as many beers needed until the brats are covered. You have the option to boil the brats on your stove using two burners or outside on your grill. This is entirely dependent on whether you want your house smelling like brats. 

Brat Time

If you choose to grill with charcoal, take about 25 briquets and place them in the center of your grill. Once they reach that “perfect gray,” spread them out from side to side across the grill. Place the pan on the grill, and let the fun begin.

Whether you are on your grill or using your stove, rotate the brats every 5-10 minutes as they simmer. Do this for 60-90 minutes until the brats are cooked through. Take the pan off of the stove or grill and allow it to cool. Once the brats are cooled, remove them and place them in a foil pan. You should also remove about a third of the liquid from the Brat Tub, leaving as many of the onions as possible. 

Take the remaining onions and cut them up into big chunks. Place the onions in a large skillet and drizzle olive oil onto them. You can add the granulated garlic, salt and pepper at this point if you choose. Sauté the onions until they are almost caramelized. Add in the 1/2 stick of butter and continue to simmer the onions until they are done. The onions will be added to the Brat Tub later on. 

Grill Time

The brats you prepared are already cooked and only need the char from grilling to be finished. Grill the brats to get the necessary char and set them aside. It’s now time to get the Brat Tub ready. If you’re serving in the house, you will need the stove to keep the brats warm in the Brat Tub. If serving outside, you will need two Sternos and a wire Sterno rack or chafing dish. 

Brat Tub Assembly

Take one of the large foil pans and place about a 1/2 inch of water in the bottom. Place the Brat Tub pan on top and add in the caramelized onions. Next, add in your grilled brats. Be sure your brats are almost covered with the yummy beer/onion liquid. Seal the pan with foil and light the Sternos. Allow the brats to simmer in the brat tub up to 2 hours before serving, stirring them up every 15 minutes. Your guests will be amazed at the incredible flavor the brats acquire from the Brat Tub. 

Opening Up The Brat Tub

Remove the foil from the Brat Tub and serve them with the brat rolls, your mustards, and sauerkraut. Your guests will definitely enjoy the delicious brats you serve out of the Brat Tub.

Pork & Kraut

This is an easy recipe that involves your crock pot.

Ingredients

  • One bone-in pork roast (boneless, if preferred)
  • One large package or jar of sauerkraut
  • Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, pepper and granulated garlic
  • One 12-ounce German beer

Take the sauerkraut and place it in the bottom of your crockpot. Place the bone-in pork roast on top of the sauerkraut. Sprinkle your seasonings on top of the pork roast. Lastly, drizzle the German beer over the roast and sauerkraut. Turn your crock pot on high for two hours, then low for six hours. Carefully remove the pork from the crock pot making sure no bones are left behind. Allow the pork roast to rest for 15 minutes, then cut into chunks. Add the pork roast pieces back to the crock pot, set on low. Serve after about 30 minutes on low to blend all of the flavors.

Spaetzle

Ingredients

  • One package of spaetzle noodles
  • One stick of butter
  • Chopped chives or green onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the spaetzle noodles as directed on the package and drain. Using a large skillet, melt the stick of butter. Add the spaetzle to the skillet and simmer on low stirring continuously. Season with the salt and pepper, and toss in the chopped chives or green onions just before serving. Spaetzle makes a great side dish for your Oktoberfest celebration.

German Beer

This next part is completely up to you. I advise taking a trip to a larger liquor store which will provide the biggest selection of Oktoberfest brews from around the world. Here are a few of my favorites: Hacker-Pschorr, Spaten, Paulaner, Beck’s, Lowenbrau, Hofbrauhaus, and Warsteiner. You should be able to find a wide variety of Oktoberfest brews in stock right now. Get several six packs and have a German beer tasting during your party, for kicks!

Oktoberfest At It’s Best

Combining Oktoberfest with your weekly football party is a great way to impress your guests. They will appreciate the German theme dishes and tremendous beer while they cheer on their favorite team. We recently covered the opening weekend of football with a great menu and will continue on throughout the football season ahead. There will be many different themed menus to match the seasons coming up, so stay tuned!

 

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