My stepmother just had a birthday, and what better excuse is there for a party? Her parents were from Germany, and her mother would make her smoked pork chops every year. Last year we did the big choucroute garnie, but since it was just family–and a Thursday night–we went a little more low key. We still had one whole pig loin left from our partial 1/2 pig purchase from Mr. Bledsoe, so I cut that into chops and brined them in salt, brown sugar, mustard seed, juniper berries and peppercorns overnight. Then the Man cooked them on the grill to get a smoky flavor. I also picked up some supplies from the fabulous Morant’s Old Fashioned Sausage Kitchen, and also made a German style potato salad.
This is Morant’s.
Purveyors of all butchery and other goodies German, as well as sausages from around the globe. Fantastic. Can’t give it a higher recommendation.
I was short on time, so I stopped into the Harvest Foods market on Franklin and 26th Ave. Small, mainly Mexican market, but they had this awesome tiled entryway. I just loved it. The whole thing read: “Farmers Market, Inc.”
I bought some weisswurst–another family favorite, to cook in beer and cut up and serve with grainy mustard for an appetizer. After the beer bath, The Man put them on the grill for a bit for some color.
Cook it over low heat, and keep an eye on it, or it will explode, like so:
(we still ate it, it tastes just fine–especially after the grill)
Next up was the German-ish potato salad. Here’s what you need:
Boil some new potatoes. I obviously used red. It was all that Harvest Foods had, but I really like the Yukon Golds. Boil them with a good amount of salt in the water, about 1/4 cup.
The Germans apparently eat no green vegetables. I have searched in vain for an authentic German vegetable side dish recipe, but alas, there are none. I cannot eat a meal without some form of vegetation on the plate, it’s the mother in me. The solution? Add some green beans to the potato salad. It’s a ripoff of a salad my friend Beth made us for dinner one night. Thanks, Beth.
Anyway, trim the beans and cut them into thirds. Blanch them in salted water then cool them in an ice bath so they retain their crunch and color.
Cook a pound of bacon on a rack over a sheet pan in a 350* oven. Let cool.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain them and let cool until you can handle them. Cut them in half and either in half or thirds again, so they are bite-sized wedges.
Add the blanched and cooled beans and a chopped red onion.
Lightly mix in the olive oil, cider vinegar, mustard, the bacon-crumbled up, and salt and pepper to taste.
This is Morant’s above-average sauerkraut. It’s full of porky goodness. DO NOT be afraid of the sauerkraut. It is not the same thing as that crap sitting in tubs, out in the elements near hot dog stands. It’s not sour. Just try it. You’ll thank me. Just heat it up in a saucepan over low heat.
The succulent finished product.
This was totally easy. It was a THURSDAY, for Pete’s sake.
Oktoberfest is just around the corner—make it, get some good beer, and celebrate!
German-ish Potato Salad
4 lbs new potatoes, smaller preferably
2 cups trimmed green beans, cut into thirds
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
3/4 cup good olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup grainy mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Boil potatoes whole in salted water until fork tender. Drain and cool until you can handle them. Cut them into bite sized wedges.
Blanch beans until tender-crisp, drain and rinse in cold water until cool.
Combine beans, onions and potatoes in a large bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients while the potatoes are still warm.
Serve warm or at room temperature.