Friday, October 13, 2017

Kaiser Wiener

Well it's October so you know what that means, pumpkin spice everything! Well, yes, but it's also Oktoberfest! So, I'll be putting out a couple recipes celebrating classic German flavors that go perfectly with a cold pint. Let's start off with something I actually came up with last year, that I affectionately call my Kaiser Wiener.

My goal was to come up with a dish that contained as many prototypical German things as I could, and, outside of using a pretzel roll, I think I've done pretty well.

This recipe calls for a slightly obscure dried meat called speck. Speck is a smoked German version of prosciutto. Like prosciutto, it is great raw with cheese or wrapped around melon or asparagus, but when it's fried it cooks up like bacon. If you can't get your hands on speck you could use prosciutto, but I'd recommend very thinly sliced bacon.

The ingredients listed below are per serving so you can scale easily for any size gathering. Also, it is a one skillet method that minimizes clean-up.


1 club roll
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 German style bratwurst
1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
¼ c speck, cut into thin strips
1 tbsp German mustard
¼ c sauerkraut, well drained*


Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat for a few minutes until water sprinkled on the surface boils and skitters away. Butter the inside of a club roll and toast, butter side down, in the skillet until lightly brown and toasted. Lightly frying in butter helps create a moisture barrier that will help maintain the integrity of the roll when wet toppings (ie. sauerkraut) are introduced.

Set the toasted buns aside and then brown the bratwursts in the skillet until lightly browned on all sides and heated through. Evacuate from the pan.

Pour in the oil and then add the speck. Fry the speck for 3-5 minutes until lightly crisped and browned before removing from the pan and draining.

To assemble, spread mustard on the inside of the bun, layer on the sauerkraut, place on the bratwurst, and cover with the speck. Serve with a nice cold pint of amber and enjoy!

*When I say well drained, I mean I wrapped the sauerkraut in paper towels and squeezed it out. Anything less and you get a very soggy roll even after it has been lightly fried in butter.

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