Prost! This year marks the 184th Oktoberfest celebration. Officially, Oktoberfest takes place in Munich and draws in more than six million people each year for 16 days. Celebrations are modeled after the festival all over the world, however, including in Raleigh and Cary.
No matter where it’s celebrated, there are a few common Oktoberfest staples: lively music, big steins of beer and mouthwatering food such as smoked sausages, roasted meats, sauerkraut and pretzels. At its core, Oktoberfest is about coming together and having a good time—music, games, amusement rides, beer tents, and a traditional Bavarian fair are staples.
We asked John Korzekwinski, owner of German-inspired restaurant J. Betski’s, to share some easy recipes for a DIY Oktoberfest meal. Schnitzel is a traditional dish, often served with potato or cucumber salad.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups bread crumbs, finely ground
1 pound boneless pork loin, sliced into four 4-ounce portions
3 eggs, beaten
Currant or Lingonberry jam
4 lemon wedges
- Add flour and bread crumbs to two separate shallow pans. Place each pork loin slice between two sheets of plastic wrap.
- Using a meat mallet, pound cutlets on a cutting board to approximately 1/8 inch thickness. Then, coat a cutlet with flour and submerge in the beaten egg mixture. Bury the cutlet in bread crumbs until thoroughly coated. Lay cutlet on a platter and repeat with remaining cutlets.
- Heat ¼ inch canola oil over medium-high heat in a saute pan. Add a cutlet and move the pan gently in a back-and-forth motion, keeping the bottom of the pan flat on the burner.
- Cook cutlet for 3 minutes per side. When cooked, drain on paper towels and repeat. Sprinkle cutlets with salt and chopped parsley and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve with jam, cucumber and potato salads.
2-3 pounds fingerling potatoes
1-1 ½ tablespoons salt
3/4-1 cup diced red onion
2-3 tablespoons diced cornichons
1½ cups beef stock
1½ teaspoons caraway seeds
Pinch of savory (optional)
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons canola oil
Chives and parsley
- In a large pan, cover potatoes with cold water. Add salt and bring to a boil. Turn down to simmer and cook until tender but not mushy, about 10-12 minutes. When potatoes are cooked, drain and cool.
- For the vinaigrette, heat beef stock to a boil, add vinegar, honey, mustard, caraway seed, 2-3 ½ tablespoons of salt to taste, and a pinch of white pepper. Whisk in canola oil.
- Slice the cooled potatoes down the middle, lengthwise, then cut crosswise into approximately ½ inch slices. Add vinaigrette to the potatoes, coating them thoroughly and reserving the rest to add later. Garnish on a plate with the chive and parsley mix.
2 ½ -3 pounds cucumber
Juice of 1 lemon
1 ½ – 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh dill
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon fresh chive
1 ¼ cups sour cream
¼ minced white onion
- Thinly slice the cucumber. Sprinkle sliced cucumber with salt and drizzle with lemon juice.
- Let sit for 30-45 minutes, then press the cucumbers in a colander to remove as much liquid as possible.
- Combine approximately 1 teaspoon of salt with sour cream, white wine vinegar, chopped herbs, onion, and sugar. Mix dressing with cucumber.