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Sausage and Peppers in honor of Wurstfest

November 8, 2011

We spent some time this past weekend at a wonderful event called Wurstfest, a ten day salute to sausage and, frankly, all things German. Wurstfest takes place in a small town outside of San Antonio called New Braunfels and it truly surpassed my expectations, if one can have expectations about an event saluting sausage. The food was a plenty and the music was a riot. The polka band did their fair share of remixing classic tunes. I think my absolute favorite was “If you want to play in Deutschland, you gotta have a tuba in the band.” The crowd was full of people decked in their finest German attire, but the highlight had to be the man with a “I’ll polka your eye out” t-shirt.

What kind of food blogger would I be if I didn’t share some stories about my food escapades? I shared a few photos on Sunday and now it’s time for the details. Upon entering the main food market at Wurstfest your senses are bombarded by the sights and smells of sausage. Please note: this is meant to conjure a pleasant image. We literally didn’t know where to start so we decided to take a quick strategic loop before committing to any purchases. We clearly take our food festivals seriously. Not sure whether the reconnaissance style approach is due to being a military family or a foodie family? Whatever the case may be, we soon discovered we wanted way more than our bellies could handle.

While there were some not so obvious options (who would order grilled chicken at a sausage festival?), we knew our journey would not be complete without the sausage sampler on a stick. The traditional hot and sweet were incredibly tasty, but my favorite was the sweet that seemed to have just a touch of cinnamon. Who saw that coming? As a lover of all things sauerkraut (my dad taught me to put it on my pizza at an early age), we decided to follow up our sampler with a sausage and sauerkraut pita. Ah-mazing! Then came the deep fried sauerkraut balls, funnel cake, and whoopie pie. Oh my…

A few things I wish I had the stomach capacity to try on top of all that: sausage tacos and sausage nachos. I wish I could say there is always next time, but sadly we are leaving Texas in a couple of days and won’t be going back. Sounds like I’m left with some recipes to try to create on my own…

In honor of Wurstfest, I had to share one of my favorite sausage recipes. I apologize that I’ve shared this recipe before, but it’s just that good.

Sausage with Peppers and Onions
Yields: 6 Servings

3 tablespoon olive oil
3 pounds Italian sausage links
3 Red bell peppers (sliced)
2 Green bell peppers (sliced)
2 large Red onions (sliced)
3 Garlic clove (chopped)
2 12-ounce bottle Beer
1 6-ounce can Tomato paste
3 tablespoon Fresh oregano (chopped)
3 tablespoon Fresh cilantro (chopped)
2 tablespoon Hot sauce
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)

1. Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Cook sausage until browned on all sides. Remove sausage from pan, and set aside.
2. Pour in 1 bottle of beer to deglaze the pan, scraping up any blackened bits from the bottom. Place the red peppers, green peppers, onions and garlic in the pan. Stir in the remaining beer and the tomato paste. Season with oregano, cilantro, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Cover, and simmer until onions and peppers are tender.
3. Slice the sausages into bite size pieces, and add to the peppers. Cover, and simmer until sausage is cooked through.

Kate’s Thoughts

I halved the recipe since it was just for my husband and I. I ended up using 1 1/2 beers because the liquid reduced too much before the peppers were fully cooked through, but I would not expect this to be a problem had I cooked the full-scale recipe. Thankfully my husband was more than willing to drink the half beer I had left over. Also, the hot sauce does add a little heat to the overall flavor but you could use hot AND sweet sausage if you wanted even more heat. I loved this recipe and would absolutely recommend it!

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