Early fall in Germany means Oktoberfest. So get together and celebrate with delicious savory food like stuffed potato skins and cold flowing beer!
• 4 russet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
• Canola oil
• black pepper
• 2 Bratwurst sausage links, sliced into circles
• 2 large onions, quartered and sliced thinly
• ½ cup lager
• 2 tablespoons melted butter
• ½ cup gruyere & white cheddar cheese blend, grated (you can use just gruyere if you can’t find the blend)
• ½ cup sauerkraut
• freshly cracked black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400°, and line a baking sheet with foil; place a wire rack over the baking sheet.
2. Place your potatoes into a large bowl, and drizzle a bit of oil over them, plus a couple of pinches of salt and pepper; rub the oil/seasoning into their skins.
3. Place the potatoes onto the wire rack set over the baking sheet, and bake the potatoes for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until tender when pierced with knife; remove from oven and allow them to cool just until they can be handled.
4. While the potatoes bake, place a large, non-stick pan over medium-high heat; drizzle a small amount (about 1-2 teaspoons) of oil into pan, and add in the bratwurst slices in a single layer; allow the brat slices to brown on that first side for about 3-4 minutes, then flip the slices and brown on the other side, until completely cooked through; drain in a paper towel-lined bowl, and set aside for a moment.
5. Drain the grease from pan leaving about 1-2 tablespoons (you may not have much to drain, depending on how fatty the brat slices were), and with the heat still on, add in the sliced onions plus a pinch or two of salt and pepper; allow the onions to caramelize to a deep golden-brown, for about 20-25 minutes on a medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
6. While the onions caramelize, chop the cooked brat slices into small bits.
7. Once the onions are caramelized, add the chopped bratwurst bits back into the pan with the onions, and stir to combine; add in the lager, and allow the beer to reduce for a moment and become glossy and just slightly thickened; turn off the heat, and check to see if any more salt or pepper are needed, and set aside keeping the mixture warm.
8. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half lengthwise, and carefully scoop out most of the flesh leaving about ¼ – ½” border of potato; reserve the flesh for another use.
9. Brush some of the melted butter onto the inside of each potato (and add a couple of pinches of salt and pepper), as well as onto the skins, and place back on the rack, flesh-side up; place under the broiler to brown for several moments, and once inside is slightly browned, flip the potato and crisp the skins for a couple of moments.
10. Fill each crispy potato skin with the brat/onion mixture, and sprinkle with a little of the grated cheese; return under the broiler to melt the cheese for just a few seconds; then, finish the skins by topping with a pinch or two of the sauerkraut and a twist of the pepper, and enjoy while hot (with a good lager, if desired)!