Oct 9, 2013 4:30 PM

Oktoberfest Celebration Hot Slaw

Technically Munich Oktoberfest ended on October 5th. But here in Tucson, it has hardly been cool enough to believe that October (and its promise of consistent coolness) was actually here. Oktoberfest was originally an agricultural or harvest fair. The idea of a weeklong celebration of beer, sausage, roast pork, sauerkraut, music and merriment sounds good to me and the nearly six-million plus visitors to the Munich "fair" each year. Oktoberfest is as much about the togetherness of the celebration as the beer and "wursts" and pretzels.

Tucson is a beer lovers paradise and several places pride themselves on the selection of seasonal and local beers that people like me look forward to all year. I found some gems, both in the bottle and on-tap that make me hungry for an authentic taste to pair with them. This recipe for a German Style Hot Slaw goes great with bratwursts, roast chicken, burgers and roast pork. There is a succulent almost sweet and sour not to this Hot Slaw that makes it irresistible. This recipe is nearly perfect in the delivery of the four flavor cornerstones that make up a truly satisfying bit of food: bitter, sour, salty & sweet. This versatile side dish might become your favorite "go-to" pot luck dish. But be prepared to make a lot. It is that good. This recipe is from Alton Brown's Good Eats: The Middle Years from Stewart , Tabori & Chang.

• 6 slices thickly sliced bacon, chopped
• 1 grated small onion
• 1 large green cabbage shredded
• 3 Tbsp appple cider vinegar
• 1 Tbsp brown sugar
• 1 tsp. Caraway seeds
• Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground pepper to taste

1. Crisp the bacon in a 12-inch straight-sided pan over medium heat. Remove and reserve the bacon. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat until semi-translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Pour in the vinegar and add the brown sugar, bring to a boil, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until reduced and slightly thickened. Pour the dressing into a small bowl.
3. Return the pan (and any bits of dressing still left in it) to medium heat. Add the cabbage and caraway and sauté until warm and slightly browned but still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the bacon and dressing to the pan and toss to coat. Taste, season with salt and black pepper, and serve immediately.


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