Longtime friends of mine will know that I get a real kick out of organising parties and cooking for friends. I get particularly excited when there’s a theme, and the planning and executing is pretty well as much fun as the gathering itself.
Recently Mr J-M celebrated his birthday, and while we spent the night of his birthday proper enjoying a Japanese meal in Manchester, I wanted to throw a wee party the weekend following.
Mr J-M is a translator of German, and spent a few years living in Germany in his salad days. I should perhaps call those currywurst days because he is a huge fan of a beer and a brat and some sauerkraut and curry ketchup on top. (Who isn’t?) We’ve really enjoyed some delicious vegan currywurst from the splendid Get Wurst at Grub here in Manchester, so I decided to throw a beer + brats party and really go to town with the German food theme. Prost!
I’m quite keen on a bit of extreme organisation when it comes to most things, and this was no different. I used Notion to set up a project board of stuff to buy + do before the party. I found the recipes listed below in advance and added them to my list. (Btw I’ve switched to Notion from Trello and I bloody love it. It’s free but with ace premium features and if you want free $10 credit to spend or not spend then sign up with this link. This isn’t a sponsored post I just really actually used Notion to plan the party and I think it’s great!)
So what makes a good beer + brats party? A combination of props and just the right recipes and condiments is the answer. Make sure to scroll to the end to download the printable bierhalle and bratwurst/currywurst signs at the bottom of the post!
The first step was to find the right sausages for the job, sausages that would satisfy the numerous omnivores in attendance, and given I was not so confident in my seitan-making skillz I decided to delegate the responsibility to Tofurky. I purchased a huge honking pile of Tofurky beer brats from The Vegan Kind who delivered them to my door in a secure and cooled package. Very handy!
The next step was to find a currywurst (sauce) recipe, and for this event I decided to try my hand at soft pretzels as well. Step in German vegan recipe-maker extraordinaire Seitan is my Motor, as well as Love & Lemons and The Kitchen Maus; I mixed and matched these recipes a wee bit, particularly as I didn’t trust myself with food-grade lye in the kitchen (or any grade lye for that matter) so I decided to go a little less authentic and use a baking soda bath for my pretzels.
- Love & Lemons Vegan Soft Baked Pretzels
- Seitan is my Motor Laugenbrezel
- Seitan is my Motor Currywurst (sausage and sauce recipes)
- The Kitchen Maus Homemade Currywurst (sauce recipe)
I managed to kick Mr J-M out of the house on Easter Friday, and on that day I baked his birthday cake (a ginger cake using this recipe), a blueberry cheesecake, and my beloved soft pretzels.
Now, while I’m known for being fairly competent when it comes to baking cakes, bread (along with other yeasted bakes) has always been my nemesis. I lose interest in complex or multi-stage recipes quickly so although these pretzels look like someone beat them with the ugly stick, they were incredibly tasty and I was incredibly proud of myself for baking them successfully.
Next came the condiments. I knew we had wholegrain mustard already in the pantry, but I decided to pick up some super hot Polish mustard as well, both as sides for the pretzels.
Now, whether my guests chose bratwurst or currywurst, I knew that pickles were the important next step. I picked up a huge jar of sauerkraut and an equally huge jar of pickles (which were sliced, ready to top the wurst).
Finally, Ikea to the rescue with these delightful crispy onion bits.
I made the currywurst sauce on the afternoon of the party, and I then threw it into our slow cooker and left it on the ‘keep warm’ setting on the table, ready for the guests to arrive. I set up a bratwurst/currywurst station: bread buns, condiments, pickles, etc. Much delicious wurst was eaten by all.
The final step was the funnest: decoration. I went low-key this year, with DELIGHTFUL sausage-string bunting purchased from eBay (look carefully in the garden shot) and some signage I created myself. There are links to download the printable PDF signs below. (Side note: holy crap our front door needs a clean….)
Download the signs here:
And so here ends my guide to hosting a vegan beer + brats birthday party, perfect for summer evenings and lots of fun. We made sure we had a few non-alcoholic beers in the fridge for those who weren’t drinking booze (or, yanno, for the kiddos so everyone can join in the fun!)
How about you, readers. Have you ever sampled the delights of currywurst? Do you enjoy a bit of party organisation?
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