Monday, 1 November 2010

Oktoberfest Treats Part 1- Kielbasa in Beer and Onion Pie

So this past Saturday my parents hosted an Oktoberfest/beer tasting party. The idea came about during a wine tasting party they held a month prior, at which I had gone a bit overboard in terms of the food I prepared (including a layered goat cheese spread, mini-artichoke tarts and lava cakes). So of course I had to make some more themed food. I ended up making four dishes, which I'll cover in two entries.

First up is the first dish I made and by far the easiest. What you see below are literally all of the ingredients I used. I chopped up three pounds of kielbasa and put it in the Crock-pot with three pounds of sauerkraut and two bottles of Sam Adam's 'Oktoberfest" (seemed fitting). Done and done!
If you want to make it, just keep in mind how much sauerkraut you want. If you just want it as a bit of flavoring, I would cut it down to half or even less the total amount of kielbasa. Then again, I don't like sauerkraut at all, so I'm biased. The kielbasa came out wonderfully moist and flavorful. The taste of beer was certainly present but not overpowering.

Next up was "traditional" German Onion Pie. I put traditional in quotes only because our neighbor is from Germany and she had never heard of it before. Regardless, the dish was a tasty success. The first order of business was to chop up roughly 5-6 pounds of onions. Even though it was a bit chilly out, I decided to do the chopping outside. Didn't really feel like destroying the kitchen with the noxious fumes from a zillion onions. I had to cook them up in two different batches because I couldn't fit them all in the pan at the same time.

I chopped up and fried some bacon to start the cooking. I used a bit more than the recipe calls for cuz I like bacon, then cooked the first batch of onions in the bacon grease for added flavor. The second batch I cooked up in butter and added some chopped garlic (not in the recipe, but everything is better with garlic!). All the bacon and onions were mixed together with some sour cream, eggs and cheddar cheese (also not in the recipe, but how could I make something like this without at least a little cheese in it??). The whole delicious mixture fit almost perfectly into two frozen pastry crusts.

Allrecipes said to add some caraway seeds on top. I ended up grinding up some caraway seeds with a bit of pepper and some various onion/garlic seasonings in the motor and lightly sprinkling the whole mix on top.

I think The temperature and/or time on the recipe is off quite a bit. I ended up turning down the heat and also cooking the pies for less time than the directions called for and I was still sad to see they came out darker than I wanted. Ah well.

The pies/quiches were very good. It was literally like a big pile of caramelized onions with just enough "stuff" to hold it all together served on top of a crust...with bacon in it. Delicious! I will probably go have a big slice of the leftovers as brunch when I am done with this entry.

Stay tuned for part two where I talk about the pretzels and my black forest cake!

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