Hometoberfest 2011 -Knockwurst and Thuringer

My obsession with Octoberfest and all things German has hit a fever pitch. So last week, I took the bus over to Paulina Meat Market and stocked up on some crazy sausage

German Sausage Recipe:

1. boil it: on this particular day, I had knockwurst and thuringer. Knockwurst is stubby and fat and colored like bologna. Thuringer has more of a regular sausage shape, and it has a dark, mottled color, like chorizo but not as red.

thuringer (left) and knockwurst (right)

I boiled some water and put the sausages inside to poach for a while. I suppose I could have boiled them in some beer.

sauteing the onions

2. saute it (onions): while the sausages are boiling, slice up one onion and start caramelizing them. I was watching an episode of Five Ingredient Fix where she said that the secret to caramelizing the onions is to use a lid. On America’s Test Kitchen, they explained that it all comes down to temperature control – browning happens at a much higher temperature than caramelizing. And on Chuck’s Day Off, Chuck explained that you really just need to keep the onions in the pan for a really really long time. It seems like a lot of people are spending a lot of time talking about onions.

3. saute it (sausages): after the sausages boil for a while, put them into a hot pan to crisp up the casings.

4. heat it: I opened up a can of sauerkraut and put it in a saucepan to heat up. My wife only likes certain brands of sauerkraut, so I have to make sure I get the right kind.

takes 3 beers to fill

5. pour it: no october meal of german sausage would be complete without beer, so I poured some into my mas, which I received as a nice gift from a friend who spent some time in Bavaria.

beer. great with pretzels.

I’m told that the rule with one of these huge glasses is that, once you take your first sip, you’re not allowed to put it down until you’ve drank enough to lean it back on its handle without spilling any beer. This means that, everytime you get a full one of these, you have to start out by chugging about 1/3 of it, which comes out to about 1 entire beer.
6. eat it: I also managed to put together a batch of pretzels for this evening. Because no Octoberfest-inspired meal would be complete without pretzel. This time, I made pretzel rings.
The beer and the pretzels were perfect together. I had about half a dozen beers and about as many pretzels. The more I drank, the more enthusiastically I would proclaim to my wife that we, like, totally need to go to real Octoberfest in Germany to have beer and pretzels. Also, I hear the ham is pretty good in Bavaria.

beer, sausages, onions, kraut, potatoes, and roast potatoes

The sausages, well, we weren’t quite as entusiastic about those. I really liked the knockwurst. It had a very strong bologna flavor to it, but in a good way like how bologna used to taste awesome to you when you were six. My wife didn’t quite like it though. And after a while, my palette kind of got tired of the single notedness of the flavor.
The thuringer was similarly really good and then got boring, too. It was a lot more aggressively seasoned than the knockwurst. And my understanding is that it is typically eaten these days as late night food after a night out at the bars. I liked the flavor of it quite a bit and could see why late night revelers would look forward to this. And it made me wish I had a puffy white hot dog bun instead of onions and sauerkraut. I guess not all German sausage goes good with kraut.
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