Bratwurst, potatoes, cabbage, and carrots mingle in this hearty Slow Cooker Oktoberfest Stew that gets an extra pump of flavor from a good dose of German beer.
We’re going back to celebrating Oktoberfest for the rest of this week with a look at the beers that have made Munich famous.
German Beer Purity Laws
That’s right folks. You won’t get any sub-par beer here. Bavarians (those from the Southeastern region of Germany) are particular about their beer, and never so much so as when it comes to their Oktoberfest beer.
The Germans have a very strict set of guidelines called the Reinheitsgebot for their beer. The term means “Purity Order” and is sometimes referred to the German Beer Purity Law.
Instated in 1516, these rules specified everything from the ingredients (originally only water, barley, and hops) to the price. While the Reinheitsgebot is not strictly enforced today, many breweries still abide by the standards for purity and tradition’s sake.
To be called an Oktoberfest beer, the drink must abide by these laws, contain a minimum abv of 6%, and be brewed within the Munich city limits.
That’s pretty high for a beer. And often visitors to Munich for Oktoberfest forget about the higher alcohol content and find themselves out cold.
These not-so-rowdy revelers are often called “Bierleichen” or beer corpses.
Our Oktoberfest Stew
We’ve taken some traditional German flavors and slow simmered them in a beef and beer broth to create this easy and flavorful Oktoberfest stew.
The splash of vinegar added towards the end of cooking time really brightens the dish and gives it a faint sauerkraut tartness.
Slow Cooker Oktoberfest Stew
- 1 lb uncooked bratwurst, sliced into rounds
- 1 lb potatoes, cubed
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 ½ c beef stock (we prefer low sodium)
- 1 c light German beer
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ small cabbage, shredded (6-7c)
- In a 4 quart or larger crock pot, mix together sliced brats, potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions. Add beef stock, beer, bay leaves and pepper.
- Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-7 hours.
- One hour before cooking will be done, add vinegar and cabbage to the pot. Mix well, cover, and continue cooking for the final hour.
This is one of the recipes from the early days of Curious Cuisiniere. We’ve updated our pictures since we first made it, but we’ve left the original images here as a fun throwback and shout out to how far we’ve come. Enjoy!