bacon-and-beer-potato salad

Warm Creamy Potato Salad

I can’t decide which potato salad I like best!  This is the 3rd variation of German potato salad  I am posting. The base of this is the same as Warm Potato Salad with Beer– only the dressing is different!

This creamy one is really interesting as well because of the warm butter, beer mix you pour over the hot potato dice.  I think you will get a lot of people asking what is in this salad because unless you have seen the recipe it is hard to put your finger on on what you are tasting.

I like this one with Schnitzel because the creaminess offsets the dryness of the schnitzel cutlet.  You can keep it relatively calorie light by using light mayonnaise and light sour cream.

As you may know from my other posts my favourite new way to cook my potatoes is in my pressure cooker, 15-17 minutes for 12 whole medium size potatoes!  And no mushiness!  I feel like I am becoming a broken record!

Warm Potato Salad with Beer

Warm Potato Salad with Beer

This recipe is so delicious.  It lends itself to Oktoberfest season more so than summer.  Warm potato salad in summer just doesn’t feel right!

All German potato salads that I know of start by cooking your potatoes whole with skins on. That way they don’t get overcooked or mushy.  But today I just discovered that the way I like to cook them best is in the pressure cooker.  You may know from some of my other posts what a fan I am of my pressure cooker but today I became an even BIGGER fan!

I cooked 12 medium size potatoes in the pressure cooker, whole, skins on in 11 minutes.  It took the pressure cooker about 5 minutes to come up to pressure. Compare that to about 40 minutes on the stove top!  Because the potatoes sit on a rack above the liquid the skins didn’t even break open, let alone have the potatoes crack and get mushy in parts.  They were perfect!!  I am never going back to boiling on the stove!

The other key to a great potato salad is to mix the warm potato dice with a mixture of melted butter, salt and cider vinegar (plus my secret weapon ingredient below!).  The warm potato will absorb this mixture and it builds a depth of flavour that can’t be replaced with just adding a dressing at the end.   This works even for a salad you intend to serve cold.

I used a light beer, Corona actually.  You don’t want too heavy a beer to overpower the other flavours and a dark beer will throw the colour off and becomes unappealing.

This salad is so flavourful. It is good warm or at room temperature.  My husband would eat it cold as well but I am not sure I would!

Enjoy with Schnitzel or Sausages and Sauerkraut!

Sausage and Sauerkraut

You may also like my Warm Creamy Potato Salad! Check it out!

bacon-and-beer-potato salad

Red Cabbage

Slow Cooker German Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is such a good side dish-it is a little bit tangy and it really brightens up a plate!

I make it all the time. I serve it with German meals like Schnitzel and Rouladen but I also serve it at Christmas with my Madame Benoit’s Tortiere recipe.  In Quebec they often serve beets with their traditional tortiere, I think for the colour more than the tanginess.

Red cabbage is inexpensive, low in calories and high in nutrients.. talk about eating the rainbow!

I like to make mine in the slow cooker.  It is easy and lends itself to the long, slow cook.  You want to cook it long enough for the cabbage to get really tender.  You can do it in the oven as well in a covered casserole. In the oven I would cook it for at least 2 hours on 350 degrees and check to make sure it has water at all times.

Red cabbage freezes well and reheats well too. So… win/win all around!



Sausage and Sauerkraut

Slow Cooker Sausage and Sauerkraut

The Oktoberfest theme continues! We often have a houseful of weekend visitors during Oktoberfest.  The key to relaxed entertaining when you have multiple cottage or house guests is organization and smart selection.

You can put these ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours (or more since it is very forgiving!) and have self-serve as guests filter in at different times of the day or evening.  You can keep the Warm Potato Salad on warm setting in a slow cooker for a number of hours as well. And voila!  You have a casual meal that tastes great no matter what time your crowd comes in.  Or – you can keep a supply of sausage buns beside and serve Sausage and Sauerkraut on a bun with German mustard.

In my English Canadian childhood home my mom used to heat sauerkraut up on the stove in its brine and then serve it.  Yikes!  What we didn’t know then!

Then I met my husband!   His mother was an amazing cook.  I came to realize that after many years most of my holiday go-to recipes are German!  (Wait for the German Torte recipes to come!)

She never made her sauerkraut from scratch although many local Mennonite families do and sell it at the St. Jacob’s Farmers Market.  That can be delicious but I have no quarrel with regular store-bought sauerkraut from a jar or a can!

There are all kinds of sauerkraut variations too..

The base sauerkraut is the drained sauerkraut,  a couple of Tbsps of fat (bacon, pork, veg oil), about a 1/2 cup of liquid, black pepper. Never add salt to sauerkraut-there is enough residual salt from the brine.

  1. You can brown a boneless pork shoulder or butt roast with a diced onion and some oil and black pepper and then smother it with a couple of jars of  drained sauerkraut, 1/2 -2/3 cup of liquid (white wine, beer, apple juice, broth)  and let it simmer for an hour or two on your stove top.  You should be able to shred the roast with 2 forks when you are done and mix it evenly through the sauerkraut.  This approach lends a ton of flavour and makes the sauerkraut a substantial dish on its own.


2. You can add a couple of chopped, peeled apples to make a sweet sauerkraut.

3. You can add a teaspoon of caraways seeds to make it Bavarian style.


4. Cook it with sausages and add some  boiled potatoes to make a full meal.

There may be as many sauerkraut variations as there are German cooks!  But I love them all now!

Sauerkraut is good for you! It is low in calories and they say fermented foods are good for your digestive system.

Oktoberfest Schnitzel

Oktoberfest Schnitzel

We are coming up to Oktoberfest here in Kitchener-Waterloo which is always a fun time of year.  The city fills up with tourists and locals out enjoying the singing, dancing, festhalls and yes the beer!

The famous keg tapping takes place at noon on the Friday before Thanksgiving every year.  Oktoberfest officials complete in lederhosen (leather shorts) and jaunty feathered hats officially tap the keg of beer while polka bands play for the crowd. Vendors in dirndls prepare sauerkraut and sausages on a bun, or schnitzel on a bun.

And that is just the beginning!  The Festhalls – 17 official ones this year- are alive every afternoon and evening for 9 days with games, bands, singing, dancing. But the truth is every pub and legion halls gets in on the act with German food and bands.

The Oktoberfest parade takes place on Thanksgiving Monday every year.  The route is about 5 kilometers long and it takes about 1 1/2 hours to view in full.  There are floats and marching bands and Oktoberfest characters to animate the young and old along the route.

So, in honour of Oktoberfest I am offering up some of our favourite German recipes – Schnitzel, red cabbage, potato salads, and sauerkraut and sausages!

We have restaurants in Kitchener that have pages and pages of schnitzel varieties.  The traditional schnitzel is usually Wiener Schnitzel (ie from Vienna) and is made with veal. In a restaurant they can literally cover the entire plate.  These will make medium size cutlets.   In my husbands family, as in many German families, we always use pork for our schnitzel.  In a grocery store in this region a schnitzel cut would most likely be an escalope from pork leg.  I cut my own using a pork center loin roast (so boneless and very lean except for the fat cap).  I remove the fat cap and then slice it about 1/2″ thick, then pound it to 1/4″.

My mother-in-law used to use pork tenderloin slices and then pounded the slice to 1/4″ which made for a rather small but tasty, tender schnitzel!

Serve your schnitzel with lemon slices to drizzle over the cutlet. This goes well with Slow Cooker Red Cabbage and Warm Beer Potato Salad or Creamy Warm Potato Salad.