I ran across this recipe and thought it would be great to try for Oktoberfest. Then I got busy and the next thing I knew it was November. Oops! Life has a way of moving too fast some months. Novemberfest is now a thing in our castle, especially with the discovery of this hearty soup! So much flavor and relatively easy to make (Call it rustic and skip peeling the potatoes!)
I found a sausage that looked promising: we try to avoid added msg and nitrates in sausage so we have to read a lot of labels at the grocery store. I wish they all avoided those things and we would have a bigger variety of meats to choose from! I sliced up the beef sausage and added it to a soup pot that was heated with a drizzle of olive oil over medium high heat.
The meat started to stick to the bottom of the pot pretty fast so I reduced the heat to medium. The recipe specified medium high but all stoves are different. You can eyeball what heat is best for you.
When the onion was browning and softened I added the sliced cabbage. I stirred well until it was all mixed and let the cabbage begin to brown and soften. I added the pepper, caraway, salt and garlic. I stirred until the garlic was fragrant and the pot was sizzling.
The potatoes went in next. I asked my P.S. to scrub and dice them for me. We decided rustic was best and left the skins on. We were having a hearty stew with beer in it- peeling the potatoes seemed too dainty. They were added to the stew along with the beer and chicken stock.
The recipe called for the chicken stock to be hot. I saw no need to heat it in another pot for extra dishes to wash. I poured the stock in straight from the container. Done. I let the stew come to a boil, then reduced the heat to medium low and put the lid on slightly askew so the steam cold escape. This would also let the stew reduce down a little for stronger flavors, I assumed.
After the 40 minutes of simmering I added the apple cider vinegar and the chopped parsley. I stirred, taste tested and added more salt and pepper to taste. My stew smelled and looked delicious.
We loved the flavors of the Oktoberfest stew. It was strongly flavored from the lager, as my P.S. had poured in the whole 12 ounce can. But the other flavors were equally strong and it was a good blend. We’d definitely love to eat this stew more often!
A robust, flavorful soup perfect for celebrating Oktoberfest.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 14 ounces beef smoked sausage; cut into bite-sized slices
- 1 1/2 onion; halved and cut into slices
- 1/2 head small cabbage; halved again, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
- Pinch salt
- 2 cloves garlic; finely chopped
- 1 cup German-style lager beer (or the whole can if you want stronger beer flavor)
- 2 russet potatoes; skin on, cubed (about 4 cups)
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley; chopped
Heat olive oil in a soup pot over medium high heat. Fry the sausage slices until browned and caramelized, about 4-5 minutes.
When the sausage is browned add in the sliced onions and cook another few minutes until they’re browned and softened.
Add the cabbage and cook until it is softened and takes on the flavors of the sausage and onions.
When the cabbage begins to turn golden, add the black pepper, ground caraway seeds, salt and garlic. Stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the cup of lager and stir the mixture to combine; allow the beer to slightly reduce for about 3 minutes or so.
Add the cubed potatoes and chicken stock, stir, and allow the mixture to come to the boil. Reduce heat to low and place lid on the kettle slightly askew to allow steam to escape. Simmer gently for about 40 minutes.
Turn the heat off and stir in apple cider vinegar and chopped parsley. Taste test and add more salt or pepper as desired.
Adapted from The Cozy Apron