Monday, September 10, 2007

guilty pleasures (culinary).

I noticed that pdb posted a picture of his tasty dinner sammich, so I'm going to have to put up a food picture of my own.

Here's what we have for lunch on occasion. It's one of the few culinary habits I brought over from Germany.

Behold, the mighty Currywurst.

Currywurst is the quintessential blue-collar lunch in Germany. You can get it at every Frittenbude (German "fast food" restaurants), and it's practically synonymous with working-class stiffs in the industrial Ruhr area. It doesn't look like much, and the list of ingredients makes the uninitiated shudder in revulsion, but the flavor combination is quite satisfying.

If you're a culinary adventurer, here's how to make your very own Currywurst.

First, find the right kind of sausage. You need Bratwurst, but not just any kind. For Currywurst, you need the fine kind, not the coarse kind that looks like someone stuffed ground beef into a skin. We tried out a bunch of different kinds, and the closest match to real German bratwurst I found so far is WalMart's deli bratwurst that comes in plastic packages of five. Our WalMart doesn't carry that kind anymore, but a very close second pick are Johnsonville Stadium Brats.

Second, you need to prepare the Bratwurst the proper way. It needs to be pan-fried in a little bit of oil, not just chucked on the barbecue. Fry it at medium heat until the skin is crispy, browned, and just starting to split. Fine Bratwurst is pre-cooked, so you can't undercook're just heating it up and imparting the proper texture to the skin. Put the whole thing on a plate, and slice it up into half-inch thick slices. Take a ketchup bottle and liberally douse your pile of Bratwurst slices. Then get some curry powder, and sprinkle a healthy dose of curry along the length of the ketchup-ed and sliced Bratwurst.

Serve with side dish...the proper choice here is french fries (mayonnaise and ketchup optional, but encouraged--a thusly adorned pile of french fries is called "Pommes rot-weiss", and will get you lots of street cred in the Fatherland.) In a pinch, you can substitute potato wedges, or any other crispy and fatty potato product. For a beverage, nothing goes with Currywurst like a cold Pilsner beer.

Jawohl! Now you, too, can lunch like a German steelworker!

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