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Food: Recipes, cookbook reviews, food notes, and restaurant reviews. Unless otherwise noted, I have personally tried each recipe that gets its own page, but not necessarily recipes listed as part of a cookbook review.

Oktoberfest Sauerkraut for Potato Day

Jerry Stratton, August 16, 2023

Do you make mashed potatoes for National Potato Day? Crack open a can of beer and use up any leftover mashed potatoes in this sauerkraut-bacon casserole. Eddie Doucette recommended this for Oktoberfest, but if you’re willing to use the oven it’ll be good any time of the year. It might even be good made in a covered grill, but you’ll still want to broil it to get a nice golden crust on the potatoes.

Just thinking about that… I’ll bet it would be awesome made in a charcoal oven.

Oktoberfest Sauerkraut

Eddie Doucette’s Oktoberfest Sauerkraut

Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Eddie Doucette
Tempt Them with Tastier Foods: An Eddie Doucette Recipe Collection


  • 3-½ cups sauerkraut, drained
  • 5 slices meaty bacon, diced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds
  • ½ cup beer
  • 2-3 cups or so mashed potatoes


  1. Dump the drained sauerkraut loosely in a greased casserole dish.
  2. Sauté the bacon and onion lightly.
  3. Add the bacon and onion to the sauerkraut along with the caraway and beer.
  4. Toss lightly to mix throughout.
  5. Add enough beer or water to barely cover.
  6. Cover the casserole dish and bake at 375° for 25 minutes.
  7. Remove and top with mashed potatoes.
  8. Place under the broiler until golden brown.

I’m going to assume you know how to make mashed potatoes; if not, Doucette has a really nice recipe for Golden Mashed Potatoes which I’ve reproduced in Tempt Them with Tastier Foods. And of course there are mashed potato recipes all over the Internet. It’s not particularly difficult. The recipe is practically in the title: boil or bake potatoes. Mash them. For extra credit, whip in some butter, some milk and/or cream, and some salt.

In my interpretation of the recipe, you’ll need about two cups, but whatever you feel like: more potatoes is never a bad thing. But be careful if you make the mashed potatoes fresh for this recipe: I ended up eating about half of the mashed potatoes I made for the topping before I got around to using it as topping. I had barely enough left over.

Sauerkraut and chowder potato lunch: Oktoberfest sauerkraut with fish chowder and sweet pickled carrots for lunch.; soups and stews; casseroles; Better Homes and Gardens; carrots; potatoes; sauerkraut; Eddie Doucette

Great for lunch the day after with sweet pickled carrots and fish chowder.

The recipe also calls for “adding enough beer or water to barely cover”. I used all beer, because I hadn’t yet started drinking it. So I haven’t tested the watery version. It shouldn’t take that much liquid; in fact, in the future I’ll probably reserve the sauerkraut juice for this purpose.

If you don’t want to make mashed potatoes, Doucette also suggests arranging boiled potatoes on top of the sauerkraut and finishing cooking with the casserole cover on. Personally, I’d probably remove the cover in that variation too, just to brown the potatoes a touch. I’d probably also brush them with butter.

I found this recipe in the La Crosse, Wisconsin La Crosse Tribune for October 13, 1963. It’s a nice collection of recipes “as presented at the La Crosse Oktoberfest”, presumably Chef Doucette’s October 3-4 presentation at the Mary E. Sawyer Auditorium. There were “prizes, fun, surprises”; the highlight was that Eddie Doucette, “Nationally Famous IGA Chef Teaches You How to Prepare Bavarian Foods”. But if you were a country fan, or just enjoyed Weird-Al-style song parodies1, Homer and Jethro provided the musical entertainment. La Crosse’s full Oktoberfest ran from Wednesday, October 2, through Sunday, October 6. Sounds like it was a great event.

It’s certainly a very nice sauerkraut casserole. And the rest of the recipes from the presentation look just as good. I’ve already tried the beer pie crust with a macadamia cream pie back on Pi Day. It’s as flaky a crust as you could hope for, and like most of Doucette’s recipes, easy. The schaum torte is the same recipe Doucette provided for his “Just What Exactly is a Torte?” article. It produces a nice, fluffy meringue, even if my meringue skills aren’t quite up to the task of shaping it.

I’m definitely looking forward to the Kookoo Beer Cake. I may even have to try it with the crushed beer nuts.

If these kinds of recipes appeal to you, definitely download the free PDF or ebook of Tempt Them with Tastier Foods, or if, like me, you prefer to browse real books in the kitchen, buy the print copy.

In response to A home-cooking handful from Eddie Doucette: A glimpse at a long-lost 1954 Chicagoland television cooking show, including recipes. Some of them require creative interpretation.

  1. At the time, the famous song parodist would have been Allan Sherman, known in 1963 for Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.

  1. <- IGA Chef Eddie Doucette
  2. Potato Bread ->