We all know Germans love beer, but did you know that they actually celebrate most of Oktoberfest in September? Or that they’re big fans of mustard? (Ketchup and mayo not so much.) The German word for mustard is Senf (pronounced “zenf” and capitalized because it’s a noun–they’re a zany people). They use a lot of Senf on many delicious varieties of Wurst (pronounced “voorst”) which they then wash down with plenty of Bier (you guessed it). But now you may ask, “Where does broccoli come into all of this?” That’s the California piece of this tasty equation, which while it seems an unlikely match for beer and hot-sweet mustard, the three come together in a way that will surprise and delight your taste buds. So, this recipe is dedicated to my two nieces whose dad is German and whose mom (my sister) is a native Californian. Like those two brilliant, gorgeous gals, the combination turns out to be super (same meaning in both languages, but pronounced “zooper” in German).
This dish goes nicely with Wurst (brats, Polish sausage, kielbasa, etc.), pork, fish, lamb, or beef. Add some German potato salad and you’ll suddenly have a strange compulsion to wear Lederhosen and start yodeling. Hey, we all have to go a little crazy sometimes. And if you’re looking for a great place to buy Wurst and other European delicacies, check out the European Deli & Bakery on Grand Avenue near Route 66 in Glendora. You can’t miss it—just look for the pretty mannequin in traditional Polish dress with a passel of sausages hanging from one hand. Really.
- About 4 cups of fresh broccoli, washed and cut
- 1 bottle of your favorite ale
- 1/3 cup hot-sweet mustard
- Fresh ground pepper and kosher salt to taste (both optional—it’s plenty flavorful without them)
Putting it all together
Wash and cut up the broccoli to desired size pieces. Pour the ale into your pot then whisk in the mustard. Add the broccoli and cook on medium heat until it’s done the way you like it, but not too crisp. I recommend cooking it until it’s soft enough to soak in the beer-mustard broth. Taste it to see if you want the pepper and/or salt and that’s it, unless you’d like to thicken the sauce to serve over the broccoli. In that case, remove the broccoli to a serving dish and reduce the beer-mustard broth over medium heat to the desired consistency, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Guten Apetit!
Serves 4 to 5