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Get your grill on this summer, German style

Tina Garon

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May 2nd, 2018

Did you know the German word for summer barbecuing is “grillen”? Or that “gericht” means “grill party?” You’re welcome. (Sie sind willkommen.)

Now that you’ve channeled your inner German, pick up some authentic ingredients and turn you summer barbecue into a wunderbar beer garden, aka biergarten. Think hot, juicy sausages, warm sauerkraut, cold ale for your super-satisfied family and friends watching you make it all happen from behind the grill, German style.

If you want to grill with true German authenticity, skip the hamburgers. Despite the name, Germans don’t enjoy them the way Americans do. Oh, and no buns, either. Sausages were meant to be eaten solo. Finally, if you have a choice, use a charcoal grill (gas grills are strictly verboten).

Here are a few German-inspired outdoor grill recipes to get you started.

 

Grilled German Sausage Medley with Grilled Veggies (serves 6)

 

For sausages

  • 1 pound sauerkraut, retain juices
  • 3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 4 fresh or 8 dried bay leaves
  • 1 bottle of beer, nonalcoholic is fine
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 pounds of favorite sausages, such as Bratwurst or garlic sausages

For vegetables

  • 3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
  • 6 ears of corn, cut in half with husks removed
  • kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • butter-flavored spray

To prepare sausages: In a deep aluminum baking tray, pour in the sauerkraut and juices, grainy mustard, bay leaves and beer. Stir the ingredients to combine. Add salt to taste. Drop in German sausages. Heat the grill to high heat. Place the tray with sausages directly over heat. Turn the sausages regularly and cook until the juices gently simmer. Use a cooking thermometer to make sure sausages reach a temperature of 140 to 145 degrees. Remove tray from heat and allow sausages to marinate in juicy mixture in tray until ready to serve. When ready, use tongs to transfer sausages directly onto grill with high heat. Turn occasionally and cook until sausages are browned all over, about two minutes.

To prepare vegetables: Heat grill to medium-high. Sprinkle zucchini and corn with salt and pepper. Spray each ear of corn with butter-flavored spray. Grill the vegetables until tender and gently charred on all sides. For zucchini, about 7 minutes total. For corn, rotate each one when dark spots appear, about 2 to 3 minutes for each side.

 

Yogurt & German Ale Chicken Skewers (serves 4)

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup favorite German ale
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red peppers
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika (or 1 teaspoon sweet and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into cubes
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • wooden skewers
  • vegetable oil, enough to brush the grill
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt, ale, red pepper, paprika, tomato paste, salt, pepper and garlic. Add the chicken cubes and sliced cherry tomatoes, then stir until fully submerged and coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Heat grill to medium-high. Remove chicken from marinade and thread onto presoaked wooden skewers. Brush the grill with oil to prevent sticking. Grill the chicken skewers on each side until cooked through, about 5 minutes for each side. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

 

German Potato and Lentil Salad (serves 4 to 6)

Potatoes and lentils are a popular combination in German cuisine, and this salad brings them together in a fresh and delicious way. The recipe is easy to make because the potatoes and lentils may be cooked together.

  • 1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickled pearl onions
  • 1 German dill pickle, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon beer vinegar or malt vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon German mustard
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, cover potatoes and lentils with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered until potatoes and lentils are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes. In a large bowl, combine with pearl onions, pickle and parsley. In a smaller bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over salad and toss well. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Roasted Red Cabbage Salad with Mustard Sauce (serves 4)

 

For sauce

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

 

For cabbage

  • 1 head red cabbage, cut into 8 wedges, with a piece of core retained in each
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • salad greens, for garnish

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together olive oil, mustard, honey, vinegar and salt. Set aside.

On a baking dish, drizzle cabbage wedges with olive oil and salt. Flip and repeat the same on other side to make sure wedges are completely covered.

Heat grill to high. Place cabbage wedges on grill and cook, flipping occasionally, until cabbage is slightly charred and core is tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove cabbage from grill and drizzle with sauce and oregano. Serve warm.

 

 

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