Oktoberfest is a time honored tradition. Every year from the end of September to the beginning of October, thousands flock to Germany to partake in this two week long bratwurst eating, binge drinking celebration. If you are stuck in the U.S. this year, don't let that deter you from joining in on the fun. Host your own Oktoberfest party with this easy, delicious and lighter menu! Plus, you can celebrate all month long!
It's no surprise that the key ingredient in most Oktoberfest menus is beer, right? These recipes below are no different, although they are a bit lighter than the normal fare you'd find in Germany. Instead of relying on butter, oil and fat, I relied on the beer to work as the thickening agent without adding all of the extra fat and calories! Serve these dishes with a glass of your favorite lager and enjoy your Oktoberfest from the comfort of your own home! To really make it authentic, dress up in lederhosen or in a German beer maid outfit!
Light whole wheat pumpkin beer bread
Yields: 8 slices
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2-3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons white sugar
12 ounces beer (I used Sam Adams Oktoberfest)
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons melted margarine (*optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray.
Combine flours, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice and sugars. Gradually add the beer and canned pumpkin. Mix until fully combined. Add additional pumpkin pie spice for flavor.
Pour mixture into the loaf pan and then pour melted margarine over it.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until loaf is fully cooked (a toothpick comes out clean when inserted).
Pickled potato salad
Yields: About six 1 cup servings
8-10 baby red potatoes
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped leeks (or chives, green onions)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup chopped pickles (use sweet or dill)
2 tablespoons beer (I used Sam Adams Oktoberfest)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (can use cider vinegar)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3/4 cup chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup of beer (used the same beer)
1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of yellow mustard
In a large pot, boil potatoes in enough water (so that they are submerged) with a dash of salt for about 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender (but not too soft! Skin shouldn't come off easily). Rinse and set aside.
Once potatoes have cooled, cut into fourths and place in a bowl or dish. Add in onions, leeks, parsley and pickles; stir. Then add in vinegar and beer and gently coat. Set aside.
To make the dressing, heat oil in a saucepan. Add onions and cook until tender. Add the beer, vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Heat until sauce has thickened and reduced. Add in mustard and take off heat.
Pour dressing over salad, add additional salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
Bacon, cabbage and beer braised pork loin
Photo by Ryan Hicks
Yield: 8 servings (about 3 ounces of pork and 1/2 cup of bacon, cabbage)
1 (2 pound) boneless pork loin
4 teaspoons paprika, divided into two
2 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
Liberal dashes of salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 clove garlic, chopped
6-7 slices of bacon, chopped (will equal about 3/4 cup)
2 cups of chopped yellow onion
2 pounds or so of very thinly sliced cabbage (10-12 cups)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bottle dark beer (used Oktoberfest)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large Dutch oven with cooking spray.
Rub pork loin with 2 tablespoons of paprika, one tablespoon of thyme, sage and salt and pepper.
Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add pork and cook for five minutes, allowing the meat to brown on all sides.
Remove pork from pan and place in greased Dutch oven.
In the same pan, add bacon. Cook for about three to four minutes. Add cabbage, garlic and onion. Cook until cabbage is wilted, usually about 10 minutes. Stir mixture to ensure nothing burns.
Add in tomato paste and remaining spices. Take off heat, pour over pork loin and bake for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours, or until pork is white in the center.
Watch: How to make "beeramisu"
To celebrate Oktoberfest, we suggest a tasty and delicate variant of the renowned tiramisu, dedicated to beer lovers: the beeramisu!