Guinness Stew, Sauerkraut Roast, And Soft Pretzels: NWPB Staff Recipes For Oktoberfest

For a touch of sweet, Sueann Ramella adds homegrown apples to her Sauerkraut Pork Roast. Photo used courtesy of Sueann Ramella.

Oktoberfest food. It’s the wurst.

Silly puns aside, Oktoberfest in Munich is all about beer and good things to eat with beer. Pretzels, sauerkraut, beef, Spaetzle, and yes, many kinds of wurst. Bratwurst, currywurst, plockwurst, leberwurst, and weisswurst, which is best eaten for breakfast with a morning hefeweizen. 

Every beer tent at Oktoberfest has its own take on traditional food. So here are a few (non-traditional) offerings from the NWPB tent, submitted by NWPB staff. 

Sauerkraut and Apple Pork Roast – Sueann Ramella, Program Director

Sueann enjoys the complimentary flavors of sour of the kraut and sweet of the apples in this simple pork roast recipe.  It goes delightfully with a sturdy stout or hefeweizen. If you choose a larger roast, throw in the apples halfway through the roasting process.

  • Use a pork roast of your choice, salted and peppered for searing. Place it in an oven safe roasting pan.
  • Dump a 32 oz jar of sauerkraut into the pan.
  • Add 3-4 peeled apples, quartered. I use red delicious apples from my tree. It’s honestly a delicious apple – not the mealy ones you had at school lunches. The flesh of the apple needs to be firm to hold up during roasting.
  • Add 1 small/medium diced onion.
  • Add ½ tablespoon granulated garlic powder.
  • Add ½ tablespoon of onion powder.
  • Cover and roast at 350 degrees for 25 minutes per pound.  
  • Check internal temperature. Once it hits 145F  – then take it out and let it rest for 10 minutes or so then cut up and enjoy!


Irish Beef and Guinness Stew – Thom Kokenge, NWPB News Host

There’s no greater comfort food than a hearty stew. And Irish Beef and Guinness Stew might be the king of them all!

Though this stew takes time to cook, it’s straightforward to make, and your patience is rewarded with beef so tender you can eat it with a spoon.

  • Prepare your ingredients
    • Mince 4 cloves garlic
    • Chop 2 onions
    • Peel and chop 3 carrots (half-inch pieces)
    • Chop 2 celery stalks (also half-inch pieces)
    • If your 6 oz bacon (or speck or pancetta) isn’t diced, do it now.
    • Cut 2.5 lb boneless beef chuck into 2-inch chunks. Pat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper
    • Now that you are done chopping and cutting, set aside your knife and pour yourself a Guinness Beer. 
  • Brown the beef 
    • Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in a heavy based pot on high heat. Add beef in batches and brown them well all over. This is key to flavour. It’s not just the browned beef itself, also the brown bits left on the bottom of the pot (fond) adds extra flavour to the sauce.
    • Remove onto plate and repeat with remaining beef.
  • Sauté flavour base 
    • Use the same pot. Reduce heat to medium.
    • Cook garlic and onions for 3 minutes until softening, then add 6 oz bacon. When the bacon is browned, sir in carrots and celery. 
  • Cook off flour and tomato paste
    • Add 3 Tbsp flour to the flavor base and stir for one minute to cook it off. Add 4 Tbsp tomato paste and stir well. 
  • Add liquids
    • Open a new Tallboy can of Guinness Beer (14.5 oz) and pour it into the pot. Alternatively, if you have bottles of Guinness, pour one bottle (11.5 oz) and about a third of another into the pot, then add the rest to your own glass.
    • Add 3 cups of beef broth. If you want to taste more Guinness, use chicken broth instead. 
    • Mix well, then add 2 bay leaves, and 3 springs of fresh thyme (or sub 1 tsp dried thyme). Return cooked beef to the pot.
  • Simmer
    • Cover and reduce heat so the stew is bubbling gently. Simmer for 2 hours until beef is tender, then simmer for a further 30 to 45 minutes uncovered to let the sauce reduce a bit and for the beef to become “fall apart tender”.
    • Skim any fat off the surface. Remove bay leaves and thyme, and add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Serve over creamy mashed potatoes. Enjoy!


Dodhia Pretzel Recipe – Anjuli Dodhia, Music Director

Using yogurt in this pretzel recipe makes them soft and fluffy, just the way we like it. And yes, there’s beer in these pretzels too. 

  • Use a kitchen scale to measure, and mix together the following: 
    • 850g all purpose unbleached flour
    • 20g Salt
    • 25g Sugar
    • 200g Yogurt
    • 50g Unsalted butter, softened
    • 20g Olive oil
  • Slowly pour in 400 g lukewarm water and 75g of beer, and mix
  • Cover with a damp cloth and let sit in a warm area for 3 to 4 hours
  • On a working surface, break a 2-3 inch ball from the dough, and elongate the ball into a rope about 10 inches long and about ½ to ¾ inch diameter. Then fold the rope into a pretzel shape. Basically, make a loop and cross the tails so they reach the loop again. Pinch a bit in all places where the two ropes intersect. It’s OK to dust a little flour on your surface if the dough is too sticky – it may be hard to manipulate in which case, just oil your hands when you make the ball / rope.
  • Put all the pretzels on a baking sheet and store in the coldest part of your fridge. You want the surface to get cold and a little hard. Leave them overnight.
  • Next day, remove pretzels from fridge
  • Take a potful of water (about a gallon), add 75g Baking Soda and bring to boil
  • Turn on oven to 450F
  • Add one pretzel at a time to the water, boil for 10-15 seconds on each side, and remove on a kitchen towel to absorb the water. Repeat with all pretzels
  • One a shallow dish, put salt and any seeds you want
  • If you want to use egg, stir it in a bowl, and brush lightly on the pretzels
  • Gently press the boiled pretzels on the salt/seeds to embed them into the surface
  • Put them back on the backing sheet and place in oven. Bake 15 mins, or until they are golden brown
  • Enjoy the fruits of your hard work.

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