Celebrate International Beer Day on the first Friday in August!
International Beer Day was founded in 2007 by bar owner Jesse Avshalomov in Santa Cruz, California and is now celebrated in over 80 countries worldwide. There are three purposes of this day; be with friends while enjoying a glass of beer, celebrate the brewers and servers, and savor different beers from around the world.
I’d like to add a fourth purpose for this auspicious day; enjoying delicious meals made with beer.
Remove sausage from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.
Place brats, beer, and onion in a saucepan. Cover meat with cold tap water by 1 inch (2.54cm). Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325° F (160°C).
Spoon sauerkraut into an ovenproof dish. Lay brats on top. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven. Turn sausage and then bake another 10 minutes.
Allow sausage to rest 10 minutes before you serve so the juices are reabsorbed into the meat.
Sauerkraut is best prepared a day in advance and then cooked with the bratwurst. This recipe substitutes some stock with beer to carry out today’s theme.
Preheat oven to 325° F (160°C).
Empty sauerkraut into a colander. Rinse under tap water several times. Squeeze out most of the moisture and fluff with a fork.
Fry bacon in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until crisp. Set pieces on a paper towel. Do not pour out grease rendered from the bacon.
Add onion to pan and sauté until translucent, 5 – 7 minutes. Do not brown onion, it will be bitter. Be sure to scrape in all the bits that cling to the sides and bottom of the pan.
Return bacon to saucepan. Stir in sauerkraut. Sprinkle thyme over the mixture. Mix well. Cook 3 – 4 minutes over moderate heat.
Stir in stock and beer. Cover and bake in the oven 30 minutes or until sauerkraut is tender, but still has crunch. This could take as long as 2 hours, depending on the brand you use. Add more stock, if necessary, to keep the sauerkraut moist.
If you make the kraut a day in advance, cover, and refrigerate.
This recipe from Germany is for four people. Don’t worry about the extra if you’re planning a romantic dinner for two. Scale back the amounts by half, but I have to tell you, this salad lasts four days in the fridge. It’s just as good then as on the day you first prepare it.
Drop potatoes into enough boiling water to cover them completely. Boil briskly until they show only the slightest resistance when pierced with a small, sharp knife. Don’t overcook or you’ll have mush when you complete the recipe. Drain, peel, then cut potatoes into ¼-inch (.64cm) slices. Place them in a bowl and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
Combine remaining ingredients except lemon juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in lemon juice.
Pour sauce over potato slices. Turn them about gently with a spatula or large spoon to coat them. Let the potatoes cool to room temperature, then serve.
May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with good friends, laughter, and seated around a well-laden table.