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Moving here to the Cincinnati area has been an interesting experience. It really has been like adapting to a different culture. They say “please” instead of “excuse me” when they don’t understand something. You may hear the word, Y’all or not, but generally not. They have a love hate relationship with the Bengals depending on the season, and the whole city shuts down when it rains. Not when there’s snow and ice but just the rain, it’s a concept I don’t understand. LOL. But one thing I never realized was that Cincinnati was originally settled by Germans, and the amount of Germanic influence in Zinzinnati, I mean Cincinnati.
There are so many festivals that come around when the fall hits. That was a culture shock right there, I didn’t realize all these little and big festivals existed. Oktoberfest is a celebration of German culture, food, live music and dancing. Admittedly I have not had much experience with German food, so that prompted me to do some research about what exactly was German food, and how was it seasoned.
So much of cooking and eating, is about how well the food is seasoned. You can take the same pound of ground beef and turn it into Mexican, Italian, Greek or German depending on how you season it and what you put with it. Amazing huh? I guess that’s one of the reasons I love to cook so much. I am very much a creative person and it gives me an outlet, I can make and try new things and put my own spin on things. I read around the internets, recipes and other blogs and this is what I have gleaned, German food is rarely spicy, not heavily seasoned, and they like beer and sauerkraut. I was intrigued by the different spices not common in American cuisine, dill, marjoram, parsley, caraway seed to name a few, and I knew some of those would pair really well with a sauerkraut dish (here are some health benefits of sauerkraut and why you should love them). I bought some fresh dill and I already had some fresh parsley on hand, I just needed to decide what to make in order to highlight these delicious herbs.
The; more I began to research German food the more I realized the cuisines love of sausage and its love of beer. Now we aren’t really ones to have much beer around but I can be persuaded to try different recipes out with them. So while shopping at Walmart, I decided that I would make a sausage, sauerkraut and potato dish. I ran over and grabbed some Hillshire Farm Polksa Kielbasa and few other items I needed and I headed home. I was excited to venture into this new culinary avenue and see what we came out with.
When I got home I gathered all my ingredients together and readied myself to cook this dish. I chopped the sausage into even circles, and placed it into a skillet with 2 tbs of oil to brown on all sides. Once it was browned I added in the onion to brown and become translucent and followed that by the garlic. Once the garlic had cooked in the dish about 3-4 minutes I added in the chopped fresh dill and parsley with the sauerkraut. After peeling and dicing three potatoes, I added those in as well. Now here is something I never do, I added a whole can of beer to the mixture and stirred it to make sure everything was covered and combined. I placed the lid on the pan and cooked it until the potatoes were as tender as I wanted them.
I must admit that I was extremely skeptical. But I cannot deny that it smelled heavenly. I am not admittedly a beer drinker or lover, and I was worried that it would over power this dish. I was pleasantly surprised at the complexity of flavor yet the subtlety of all of those flavors and how well they seemed to work together. The potatoes were tender, but not mushy. Nothing was underseasoned or overseasoned. The beer that I was so worried about added a great complexity to the dish. Give Hillshire Farm® Polksa Kielbasa a try and see what great Oktoberfest recipes you can create! Visit Hillshire Farms for more inspiring sausage recipes.
- 1 package of Hillshire Farm® Polksa Kielbasa sliced
- 2 cups of sauerkraut with juice
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 tbs of chopped fresh dill
- 1 tbs of chopped fresh parsley
- 3 garlic cloves diced
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 can of your favorite beer
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 tsp of pepper
- In a sauté pan over medium heat place the oil and brown the sliced Kielbasa.
- Once browned, add in onions and cook until translucent.
- Stir in garlic and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add in herbs, pepper, and sauerkraut, stirring to combine.
- Add in all liquid and stir to combine.
- Cover and reduce heat to a simmer until potatoes have reached desired tenderness.