Thanks to the global pandemic, the biggest and most beautiful beer festival in the world has been canceled. In the spirit of the glorious gathering, we offer these Oktoberfest-worthy recipes, perfect for making Sept. 19 through Oct. 4. Check with your property owners association ahead of time if you’re going all-out with lederhosen, tents and a brass band.
Meat your match
The team of chefs at Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana shared this hearty recipe for cassoeula, a braised pork and cabbage dish from Northern Italy, influenced by Austrian and German cuisine. It has a strong, decisive flavor — the perfect accompaniment to an Oktoberfest-style brewski.
Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana – Cassoeula
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 rack of spare ribs
1 pound mild Italian sausage, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 small mild soppressata (dry salami), sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup onion, medium diced
1/2 cup carrot, medium diced
1/2 cup celery, medium diced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Ingredients (beef stock)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 savoy cabbage, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon lemon zest
12 sage leaves, torn into pieces
1 sprig rosemary
Salt and pepper
Directions  Heat 1/4 cup grapeseed oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add spare ribs, seasoning with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides. Remove ribs and place in a large Dutch oven.  In the sauté pan, add Italian sausage and season with salt and pepper and brown on all sides. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup white wine. Add sausage, pan drippings and wine to Dutch oven.  In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, heat 1/4 cup grapeseed oil. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté until translucent, then add to Dutch oven along with the soppressata.  Add the rosemary, sage, lemon zest and tomato paste. Place cabbage into Dutch oven, covering meat. Add 1/2 cup white wine and enough beef stock to almost cover the cabbage on top. Season again with salt and pepper.  Cover and place in 375 degree oven and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, occasionally skimming any grease that comes from the pork. Serve with creamy polenta or slices of hard bread.
Love is all you knead
Nothing says Oktoberfest quite like soft pretzels
(aka brezen) covered in salt. These soft and chewy delights are easy to make and are a fun (albeit very messy) activity for the younger set.
LOCAL Life Test Kitchen – Soft pretzels
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
4 1/2 cups flour
2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
Vegetable oil, for pan
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Directions  Combine warm water, sugar and kosher salt in bowl. Sprinkle active dry yeast on top. When the mixture begins to foam (about 5 minutes), add the butter, flour and mix until well combined.  Knead the dough with a stand mixer until it pulls away from the side of the bowl (about 5 minutes).  Remove dough from the bowl. Clean the bowl, dry, then oil it with vegetable oil. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover it with plastic and set in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about 50 minutes).  Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with vegetable oil. Set aside.  Bring 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in a saucepan. While the water is heating up, divide the dough into eight equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope. Holding the ends, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place on the parchment-lined sheet pan.  Place pretzels into the boiling water, one by one, for 30 seconds. Remove from water using a spatula. Return to the sheet pan. Brush the top of each pretzel with the egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown (about 14 minutes). Cool at least five minutes before serving.
Get the scoop
Elevate your dipping game beyond basic beer cheese or mustard sauce with this tasty recipe for Obatzda — a Bavarian cheese delicacy perfect for soft pretzels or as a spread on warm bread.
LOCAL Life Test Kitchen – Obatzda
4 ounces cream cheese
4 ounces Camembert cheese (Romadur or a similar cheese may be substituted)
1 1/4 ounces butter
8 spoonfuls dark German beer (dunkel)
1 large red onion
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 radish, sliced (for garnish)
1 flat parsley leaf (for garnish)
Directions  Peel onion and cut in half. Chop one half into small cubes and the other half into rings.  Mash Camembert cheese with a fork. Mix with cream cheese, cubed onions, butter, beer and paprika.  Garnish with radish, onion rings, parsley leaf, salt and pepper.
Fan the flames
Chef Pascal Vignau of Vineyard shared this hot recipe for flammekueche, also known as tarte flambée. The “flame cake” is a speciality of the historic regions of Alsace, Saarland, Baden and Pfalz at the French-German border region.
Vineyard Bluffton – Flammekueche
1 (5 ounce) ball prepared pizza dough
5 ounces smoky bacon, thick cut 1-inch wide
1/2 medium size red onion, cut pole to pole and slice the same way
2 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces sour cream
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground black pepper
Directions  In a large cast iron skillet at medium heat, cook the cut bacon until almost crisp. Remove bacon and place on a paper towel to dry.  Add onion to the skillet with the bacon fat and cook until soft. Remove and mix with the bacon in a bowl. Dry the skillet with paper towel, leaving a nice coating of bacon fat.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Mix the cream cheese and the sour cream. Add the nutmeg and pepper.  Roll the dough very thin. Place in the cast iron, rolling the edge if necessary. Spread the cheese and sour cream mixture carefully over the dough with the bottom of a spoon, making sure not to tear it. Sprinkle the bacon and onion over the top and place in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes. If not crisp enough, turn the oven to broil and finish to the desired doneness. Remove and serve.