Oktoberfest recipes for Vail Valley cooks | VailDaily.com

Oktoberfest recipes for Vail Valley cooks

Sarah Mausolf
Vail CO, Colorado
HL pepis food PU 8-30-08

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” If you stopped by Oktoberfest in Beaver Creek last weekend, chances are you sampled some tasty dishes. Perhaps you fell hard for the gröstl, an Austrian saute, or devoured the German pork tenderloin.

Festival fare is just so darn good ” why not make it at home?

With Oktoberfest celebrations slated to continue this weekend in Lionshead, local chefs revealed the recipes for their favorite festival dishes.

So treat yourself to meals like the Pilsner-glazed half chicken from Pepi’s Restaurant in Vail.

And remember: This food goes best with a side of yodeling.

Most people arrive home from Oktoberfest soaked in beer. Thanks to this recipe, the chicken in the fridge won’t feel left out.

These instructions from Helmut Kaschitz, executive chef at Pepi’s Restaurant in Vail, call for glazing chicken in German beer. Kaschitz prefers to use a Pilsner because the bitter, hoppy brew mixes well with the meat.

Kaschitz first tasted this dish at Oktoberfest in Germany. He pairs the chicken with an uber-moist potato salad that uses beef broth instead of mayonnaise. The true festivarian takes this dish with a beer on the side.

“If you taste my recipe with a liter of beer or a half liter of beer, you feel like Oktoberfest,” Kaschitz said. “Every time I was there, that’s what we always ate.”

Half chicken with potato salad

Courtesy of Helmut Kaschitz, executive chef at Pepi’s Restaurant, Vail


1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds)

8 tablespoons butter

2 to 3 parsley sprigs

0.6 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoon pepper

2.4 tablespoons paprika powder

2-3 garlic cloves

16 ounces German beer (such as a Pilsner)

Mix the salt, pepper and paprika powder together in a bowl. Season the whole chicken with the mixture of spices by massaging them into the inside and outside of the chicken with your hands. Place the garlic cloves, butter and parsley sprigs inside the chicken.

Roast the chicken in a casserole pan in an oven heated to 350 to 375 degrees F for about an hour. After 40 to 45 minutes, pour in half of the beer. For a crunchy skin, pour the beer directly into the pan. For softer skin, pour the beer over the chicken.

Every 15 minutes, glaze the chicken with the beer sauce. A three-pound chicken typically needs to be glazed three times, for a total cooking time of about 90 minutes, or until the chicken’s temperature reaches about 165 to 170 degrees F. If the cook lacks a thermometer, he or she can stick the chicken with a toothpick to make sure the juices run clear instead of red.

Remove the chicken from the oven. Let it rest for 10 minutes and then cut it in half.

Serves 2.

Potato Salad:

2.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes

2 to 3 red onions, diced

1 cup Grey Poupon mustard

1/2 cup chopped parsley (or chives)

2 to 3 cups beef broth

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

2 cups canola oil

1 to 2 cups red wine vinegar

Boil the potatoes until they are softened (about an hour and a half). While the potatoes are cooking, heat the beef broth on the stove until hot (about 4 to 5 minutes).

To make sure the potatoes are done, stick a sharp knife into the potato. The knife should slide easily in and out of the potato without sticking.

Drain the water and start peeling the skin off the potatoes. Cut the potatoes in half and then in small slices, about 0.1 inches thick. Put the potatoes in a bowl. Add the onions (you can use leeks as well, if you want), mustard, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar.

Pour in the hot beef broth and mix everything together. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes until the potatoes soak up all the liquids. Taste it to make sure the salad is seasoned properly. Re-season a little bit if necessary. The salad should not be too dry. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 4 to 5.

Growing up in Germany, Gunther Schmidt ate this roasted pork tenderloin on Sundays with his family. Schmidt, the chef at the Alpenrose Restaurant in Vail, adds a spicy kick to this family recipe by stuffing the tenderloin with bulk sausage.

He pairs the meat with Pommes Croquettes, a potato dish that looks like an elongated tater tot. To make this recipe, the home cook needs some special equipment: Butcher’s twine to secure the meat and a pastry bag to pipe out the potatoes. A table fryer can be helpful for cooking the potatoes, though Schmidt includes directions for making them without a fryer.

This roast is worth stepping outside your comfort zone in the kitchen: “It’s a hearty dish,” Schmidt said. “The pork loin is very tender.”

Stuffed roast pork tenderloin Rhein PFalz

Courtesy of Chef Gunther Schmidt, Alpenrose Restaurant, Vail

1 pound Pork tenderloin

1/4 pound bulk sausage

1 teaspoon mustard

paprika, to taste

pepper, to taste

sauerkraut, about 1/2 cup per slice of meat

Cut the filet lengthwise in butterfly fashion. Sprinkle with a little paprika and pepper. Spread sausage across the top. Roll and close meat together by tying it with butcher’s twine. Heat olive oil in a skillet on high heat. Place tenderloin in the skillet and brown about two minutes each side. Place the tenderloin in a sturdy roasting pan, like a cast iron pan, and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Remove the twine and slice the tenderloin into one-inch portions. Spoon about 1/2 cup of sauerkraut on a plate. Place the meat slices on top of the sauerkraut.

Serves 4


Pommes Croquettes

Courtesy of Chef Gunther Schmidt, Alpenrose Restaurant, Vail

4 medium-sized peeled potatoes

3 egg yolks

3 whole eggs

salt to taste

white pepper to taste

pinch of nutmeg

bread crumbs, enough for breading

Cut the potatoes and boil them for about 45 minutes until they are cooked through. To test if the potatoes are cooked, cut them with a knife. The knife should release easily. Drain the potatoes and dry. Put the potatoes in a mixing bowl and smash them or put them through a fine food processor until they are smashed but fairly firm. Add three egg yolks, salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Mix well with a whisk or food processor.

When the mixture is cool enough to handle, place it in a pastry bag without a tip. Pipe the mixture onto a floured sheet pan or cutting board. Pipe it into several long rows. Cut into 2-inch long pieces. To bread the potatoes, dust them with flour. Mix three eggs in a bowl to make an egg wash. Dip the potato pieces in the egg wash, then roll them in bread crumbs.

Deep fry the potatoes using a French table fryer. To deep fry without a table fryer, fill a cast iron pot with 4 inches of oil. Heat the oil to 325 degrees F. Fry the potatoes until they are golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Didi Mader, owner of Stubenbach restaurant in Austria, introduced gröstl to this weekend’s Oktoberfest in Beaver Creek. His family members made this dish when they were cleaning out the refrigerator at the end of the weekend. They tossed all kinds of leftovers into a skillet, mixed them with herbs and, voila, dinner.

“They used everything: Pork, beef, sausage,” Mader said.

This particular dish is a Tiroler Gröstl, named after the Austrian state of Tirol. The Beaver Creek Chophouse served this recipe in a tent at Beaver Creek’s Oktoberfest, where chefs made it with prime boneless short rib instead of leftover meat. Jay McCarthy, corporate chef for the Chophouse, said the meal is good at night or in the morning.

“This is something you want to have late at night, after you’ve been drinking, or you can serve it in the morning with fried egg on top,” he said.

Tiroler Gröstl

Courtesy of Didi Mader, owner of Stubenbach restaurant in Austria, and Jay McCarthy, corporate chef with the Beaver Creek Chophouse, Beaver Creek

2 onions, chopped finely

1 pound of cooked meat such as prime boneless short rib; or leftover roast, smoked meats, sausage or cold boiled beef

4 boiled potatoes or 1 1/2 pounds cooked pasta or 16 cold cooked dumplings, or a mixture of those items

1/4 cup of fat such as vegetable oil, lard, duck fat or clarified butter

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons marjoram

2 tablespoons chopped parsley or chives

4 eggs (optional)

Heat a skillet and add the clarified butter or oil. Cook onions on medium-high heat until clear. Add the potatoes and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes. Add the meats, salt, pepper and herbs and cook until meat is heated through (about 10 to 15 minutes).

Fry the eggs separately. Divide the gröstl into four portions and serve a fried egg on top of each.

Serves 4

High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.

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