The Perfect Sausage Platter

Happy Oktoberfest, readers! One time, I went to Prague. I asked for a real Czech meal, and ended up with a plate piled with more meat than I’ve ever seen in one place. And you know what? I respect that the Europeans have a healthy love of meat, especially once it gets a little cold outside. In France, they call this sort of dish a choucroute garnie (literally, “dressed sauerkraut”). In Germany, they just call it a sausage platter. We called up Sylvester Schneider, owner of Zum Schneider Bavarian Bierhaus in NYC, to get the scoop on how to put together a good platter of meat at home. Turns out, it’s simple:

Sausage platter

Don’t Overthink the Sausage

Forget “healthy” options like turkey sausage and embrace the meaty deliciousness. “You can’t go wrong with the traditional Bavarian sausage combo of a smoked bratwurst, a wiener and a weisswurst or bockwurst,” says Schneider. Look up a German butcher in your area for the most authentic versions.

Add Savory Extras

Tangy sauerkraut is a must (“It should be tart, but not pull your cheeks together like biting into a slice of lemon.”) and so are a couple mustards so guests can make the sausage as spicy as they like. “We always include one mustard that’s sweet and grainy to complement the weisswurst and a lighter, spicier one with some horseradish in it for the wieners and bratwurst,” says Schneider. He likes Hengstenberg mustard, which is widely available in the U.S.

Include a Starch

Bread, potato salad or pretzels are a necessary accompaniment to the rich, fatty meat. For the bread, look for a dense, grain-heavy vollkornbrot like Mestemacher (you can find it at Whole Foods or health food stores). For pretzels, hit the web if your German butcher doesn’t have any recommendations—we like the look of Wolfgang’s Bavarian Pretzels.

Photo by Jonathan McPhail Photography, courtesy of Zum Schneider.

The Perfect Sausage Plate
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