The 2012 Oktoberfest kicked off in Munich, Germany, last week with a parade and ceremonial tapping of the kegs before this two-week-long celebration of all things beer and brats began. While you may not be able to plan a last-minute jaunt to Germany to experience Oktoberfest firsthand, you can bring the festival’s best eats and drinks stateside with Food Network’s Oktoberfest menu inspired by some of the many tents and food halls found throughout the event.
Let’s talk bratwurst, a German sausage and one of the must-have meals at Oktoberfest. Though you can buy this hot dog look-alike already cooked, it’s also sold raw, and is often served alongside potatoes or sauerkraut. Inside the Burtschers Bratwursthüttn tent at Oktoberfest, bratwurst and a host of other sausages are paired with any number of beers. Food Network Magazine’s Bratwurst With Potato Cakes (pictured above) is an easy-to-make meal that celebrates traditional German flavors. Hearty bratwurst is sautéed for just a few minutes and served with crispy sauerkraut-potato cakes and a tangy mixture of mustard and sour cream.
When it comes to the Feisinger’s Kas- und Weinstub’n tent, “it’s all about the cheese,” particularly melted Raclette, a cheese from Switzerland. While the warm cheese is often paired with bite-sized gherkin pickles or onions at Oktoberfest, Food Network Kitchens’ Cheddar and Hard Cider Fondue can be served with your favorite dunkers like sausage, sliced bread, vegetables and more.
The festival’s Schützen-Festzelt is known for its live musical performances and its offering of succulent suckling pig. If you can’t get your hands on a suckling pig this weekend, just stick with Food Network Magazine’s Pork With Potato-Bean Salad, a 30-minute dinner that boasts mustard-rubbed pork tenderloins and a side of creamy potato salad with tarragon and fresh green beans.
Similar to the specialties served at Poschner’s Roasted Duck and Chicken tent, the Pan-Roasted Chicken With Leeks from Food Network Magazine is a crowd-pleasing recipe that’s filled with rich, bold flavors. Juicy chicken drumsticks are quickly seared in deliciously decadent bacon fat, roasted until golden brown and finished with softened garlic-laced leeks. Prefer duck to chicken? Give Ina’s top-rated Roast Duck recipe a try.