Munich hosts the 177thOktoberfest from September 18th until October 4th, 2010. Many beer tents await your patronage that are full of great food, great beer, and a sense of non-stop partying that typified the original wedding celebration that happened in 1810.
Traditional foods and beer go great together when you think of enjoying Oktoberfest. Even if you aren’t one of the six million pilgrims who make it to Munich for the sixteen day party, you can still enjoy the harvest festival that started as a wedding feast held in conjunction with Munich’s agricultural celebration.
Here are some great beer and food pairings you can have at home with some traditional foods at Oktoberfest mixed with some of the best brews you can find. Eat up and take it slow-Oktoberfest lasts 16 days so feel free to experiment with your own tastes.
Bratwurst and Spaten
Spaten Brewery’s Oktoberfest beer is an amber lager that is one of the traditional tastes of Oktoberfest. As far as a traditional taste that hasn’t been altered for over a hundred years this is definitely something you should try. Lots of malt, with a little hops aftertaste, gives Spaten a balanced feel.
Bratwurst any way you like it goes well with this standard German beer. The spicy sausage enlivens the grassy beer perfectly so as to not overwhelm the other flavor. Grilling bratwurst is the way to go whether you cook outside in October or on your indoor electric grill so the sausages plump up nice and juicy.
Lightly Breaded Chicken and Hacker-Pschorr
Hacker-Pschorr’s beer is also a tradition in Munich as well as lightly breaded chicken breasts. Both go together wonderfully. Hacker-Pschorr makes an Oktoberfest Marzen every year with a rich caramel color that has a scent of floral and fruit. The taste is very smooth with brown sugar and a caramel taste that doesn’t overpower your palate.
Having a lightly breaded chicken is the perfect balance to bring out the full taste of the beer. Instead of frying the chicken, add your favorite breading to a chicken breast and bake it in the oven for thirty minutes at 350 degrees will make your chicken juicy and the breadcrumbs soft. Make your own breading by crumbling some of your favorite bread and adding your own spices to taste will make this recipe your own.
Veal and Augustiner
Tender veal is a treat at Oktoberfest when you don’t want any pig knuckles or the ten million varieties of sausages. Augustiner’s Oktoberfest bier is a rare treat that comes from Munich’s oldest brewery. Augustiner’s is a perfect beer for the celebration with a huge head, golden color, and sweet. Little to no spice flavor lends to no aftertaste. You can’t find this beer in the United States so try the Lagerbier Hell as a replacement.
Veal is very tender and should be roasted to seal in the flavor. Add whatever spices you like such as marjoram, garlic, salt, and pepper to the cut of meat and place in a roasting pan in the oven at 325 degrees. Cook the veal for 90 minutes. For added flavor you can roast carrots and potatoes alongside the veal for a complete meal. This hearty meal is perfect for a hearty beer.
Roast Duck and Paulaner
Roast duck is a traditional feast in Munich and so is Paulaner’s beer. Paulaner brews its Oktoberfest Marzen year-round so you should have no trouble finding it. A deep copper color that typifies a lager beer awaits a brilliant smell. Tasting is a wonder when you have all beer flavors from the yeast, malt, and light hops on the aftertaste. In short, Paulaner is a German beer with no extras but it is still one of the most enjoyable drinks at Oktoberfest.
Roast duck is just like a turkey only smaller. Duck has a distinctive flavor much like Paulaner’s beer and goes well with the Munich traditional taste. Duck is fattier than turkey and should be cooked longer at a lower temperature to work through the layers of fat that need to be cooked. Stuff the duck with whatever bread stuffing you wish and add poultry seasoning to taste. The duck is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Check the fowl every 30 minutes after the first two hours of cooking at 350 degrees to ensure it is done but not overly so.
Hamburgers and Hoffbrau
Hamburgers aren’t necessarily an Oktoberfest tradition but they are hearty reminders of beef dishes that originated in the Germany area of Hamburg. Hoffbrau is one of the most popular German beers in America and has a milder taste than most Oktoberfest beers. Because of its mild flavor you should go for a hamburger that brings out the natural tastes of the beef.
Grilling a burger is a thing of beauty. Add an egg, chopped onions, and crumbled bread to a pound of ground beef to help the beef stick together. Freezing the patties that you make for a few hours may also help the meat stay together when you cook it. Sear both sides of the patty at a high grill temperature to seal in the juices and then turn down the heat to cook the meat slower for the next ten to fifteen minutes. Serve any way you like and the mild Hoffbrau will go perfect with your beefy hamburger that tastes like pure meat heaven.