German Potato ’n Beaniewurst Hash
German Potato ’n Beaniewurst Hash
When colder weather arrives in the Fall, we are inspired to cook and eat food from Germany: hearty potatoes, filling spiced sausages, tart sauerkraut, and stewed apples are just right for colder weather. German food may not be the prettiest, but it wins for comfort! As a whole, it is rich, hearty, and warming. A short growing season with harsh winters caused a lack of variety in the rural German countryside until very recently. Therefore German food has had a reputation for being narrow and even a bit boring. It's "stick-to-your-ribs" type food, and for a good reason: German winters are cold! Meat and potatoes build the foundation of a German meal, which inspired this recipe. "Wurst" is German for sausage.
We had no idea you could make a vegan version of sausage with beans before we started researching, so that's what we're doing for this recipe. To our delight, "sausage" made from beans is totally delicious, especially when paired with crispy hashbrowns seasoned to mimic German potato salad. Instead of the popular mayonnaise mix, German potato salad is tossed with a sweet and sour dressing and often served warm. Kids will have a blast making the "wurst" out of beans and crumbling it with their hands. Use the spice measurements as a guideline and let your kids smell them and then season the beans (with your help!) as they see fit. Confidence in the kitchen comes when we use our senses to add flair to what we're cooking, and that's when cooking truly becomes fun.
Happy & Healthy Cooking,
Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills
- pulse :
to process just short of a purée in smooth, rhythmic bursts of power with a blender.
- season :
to add flavor to food with spices, herbs, and salt.
- separate eggs :
to remove the egg yolk from the egg white by cracking an egg in the middle and using the shell halves, the palm of the hand, or a device to keep the egg yolk in place while the egg white falls into a separate bowl.
- Can opener
- Mixing bowls
- Immersion blender or potato masher
- Measuring spoons
- Dry measuring cups
- Spatula turner
- Food processor or box grater
German Potato ’n Beaniewurst Hash
- 1 15-oz can pinto or kidney beans
- 1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
- 2 tsp tomato paste (omit if allergic)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 C all-purpose flour + more for dusting (sub gluten-free flour)
- 1 egg, separated (sub baking soda + vinegar—more info below)
- 1/4 cup + 2 T olive oil (for frying beaniewurst + potato hash)
- 2 russet potatoes
- 2 green onions
- 1 1/2 T sugar
- 2 T white or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 pinch black pepper
Food Allergen Substitutions
German Potato ’n Beaniewurst Hash
- Tomato: Omit tomato paste in Beaniewurst.
- Gluten/Wheat: Substitute gluten-free flour in Beaniewurst.
- Egg: Substitute 1 tsp baking soda + 1 T vinegar for 1 egg in Beaniewurst.
German Potato ’n Beaniewurst Hash
drain + rinse + pulse
Drain 1 can of beans and rinse them under cold water. Drain and add the beans to a mixing bowl, then pulse with an immersion blender or mash by hand with a potato masher. The mixture should be slightly chunky.
measure + mix
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons poultry seasoning, 2 teaspoons tomato paste, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup flour to the beans. Mix well!
crack + separate + whisk + mix
Crack 1 egg and separate the yolk and the white (discard the yolk or save for tomorrow’s breakfast). Whisk the white and add it to the beans. Mix again. [crumble + pan-fry] With floured hands, take small pieces of the beanie mixture and crumble them to resemble small pieces of sausage. Next, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and pan-fry the beanie crumbles until crisp! Then remove the crumbles from the pan and set them aside while you make the rest of the recipe.
shred + squeeze + slice + mix
Using a food processor or a box grater, shred 2 russet potatoes. Add potatoes to a colander and, with clean hands, squeeze the liquid out of the shredded potatoes. They need to be as dry as possible to get crispy in the skillet! Next, thinly slice 2 green onions and mix in with the shredded potatoes. Transfer potatoes and onions to a mixing bowl. [pan-fry + flip] Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil in your skillet. Once the oil has heated, carefully add the shredded potatoes and green onions in an even layer across the skillet. Pan-fry for 4 to 5 minutes until the bottom of the potatoes is crispy and golden brown, then flip and cook on the other side.
measure + whisk + add + mix
While hashbrowns are pan-frying, measure and add 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 pinch of black pepper to a small mixing bowl. Whisk! Then add to the shredded potatoes in the skillet once they’re crispy and golden brown. Add the beanie crumbles back to the skillet, mix, and allow to heat through before serving.
Hi, my name is Spud! That's my nickname, though. I'm actually a Potato!
“I'm sometimes a bit dirty because I grow down in the soil, but I clean up just fine. You may notice I sometimes have 'eyes' on my skin. That's where I sprout so new potato plants can grow. You can use the end of a vegetable peeler or a knife to remove those sprouts unless you're going to plant me! We are versatile, starchy vegetables that you can leave whole, slice, dice, shred, or mash and bake, boil, fry, grill, or roast!"
History & Etymology
- Potatoes are the foremost vegetable crop in the world! They are root vegetables native to the Americas.
- Scientists believe the first potatoes were cultivated about 8,000 years ago by hunters and gatherers near Lake Titicaca—high in the Andes mountains, on the border between Peru and Bolivia.
- Those first farmers obtained the cultivated potato by domesticating wild potato plants that grew prolifically around the lake. Over the following millennia, people in the Andes developed potato varieties for growing at different altitudes and in other climates.
- In 1532, the Spaniards invaded Peru searching for gold, but they took a different treasure back to Europe: the potato! Over the next 300 years, the potato became a staple crop in Europe and soon found its way to India, China, and Japan. China now grows the most potatoes worldwide.
- The potato has been a staple ingredient in the German diet since the 17th century when King Frederick was known to give seeds to citizens and demonstrate how to plant them for food.
- Famines occurred in the mid-1700s, and people in Germany realized the importance of potatoes because they could be grown in harsh environments.
- Where are most of the potatoes produced in the United States? In Idaho! Approximately one-third of all potatoes in the US are grown there.
- The potato was the first vegetable grown in outer space!
- President Thomas Jefferson was the first person to serve french fries in the United States (in 1802 in the White House).
- Potatoes are so popular that a plastic toy called "Mr. Potato Head" has been sold by Hasbro since 1952. Initially, they sold it as separate parts, like eyes, ears, mouth, hats, etc., that could be attached to an actual potato with pushpins. Due to too many ruined potatoes and new safety rules, in 1964, Hasbro added a plastic potato body with holes to insert the plastic body parts and clothing. The toy was the first to be advertised on television.
- The English word "potato" comes from the mid-16th century from the Spanish "patata," which may have been a hybrid of "batata" (sweet potato) from the extinct Taíno language and "papa" (potato) from the Quechua language.
- Potatoes are tubers and are members of the Nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and tobacco.
- The potato plant has a relatively short lifespan of anywhere from 80 to 150 days, determined by the variety of the potato. Furthermore, according to the International Potato Center in Peru, there are more than 4,000 varieties, with most found in the Andes Mountains!
- Potatoes do not grow from seeds like other vegetables and fruits. Instead, they grow from "seed potatoes," which sprout and form roots underground.
- During its first stages of life, sprouts form from the eyes of the primary tuber. First, farmers prepare the earth by tilling it in rows that form ridges. Next, they remove stones from the soil to help the potatoes grow in uniform, oval shapes. Then, the seed potatoes are planted and covered with dirt for protection.
- Seed potatoes are planted in the Spring so that the warmth from the sun can stimulate the plants to grow. First, roots form from the seed potatoes, and new shoots reach up through the soil toward the warm sun. Soon, green leaves grow on the shoots, establishing the potato plants. Then roots spread underground in the earth, and the potatoes grow from these roots. Potatoes are relatively easy to grow, even in harsh environments.
How to Pick, Buy, & Eat
- Choose potatoes that are smooth, plump, free from blemishes, cuts, and decay, and that don't give when you squeeze them.
- Potatoes start getting soft when they go bad, so choose firm potatoes at the grocery store.
- Smell potatoes before buying them: they should smell fresh and faintly of dirt since they grow in soil.
- Waxy potatoes are best for boiling and steaming, as they contain less starch and won't absorb as much liquid. Examples of waxy potatoes are Yukon gold, fingerling, Carola, LaRette, and Austrian Crescent.
- Medium-starch, all-purpose potatoes (red, purple, Onaway, and goldilocks varieties) work well when baked, roasted, fried, and used in soups and gratins.
- Russet potatoes are best for frying (such as in hash browns and french fries), as they contain less starch and will get crisper.
- Store potatoes in open or hole-punched paper bags (not plastic) to keep air circulating around the potatoes. Plastic bags can trap moisture and cause potatoes to rot quicker. Also, keep the bag in a dark, dry space. Chlorophyll will develop and produce a tell-tale green tinge if you store potatoes in too bright a place. If this happens, a toxic compound called solanine also forms, and it is best to toss any green potato in the garbage.
- Potatoes, with their skin, are rich in carbohydrates and a good source of energy. In addition, they have a high content of vitamin C and potassium, and protein that is well matched to human needs.
- One cup of cooked potatoes contains 32 percent of the daily value of vitamin B6. This vitamin is a major antioxidant (antioxidants help clear the body of harmful substances). We need B6 for our brains and hearts, helping us learn and focus better, keep our moods up, and keep our brains sharp. Vitamin B6 is also required to make all new cells in the body, which happens every minute of our lives!
What is Wurst?
- "Wurst" (pronounced "Vorst") is German for "sausage." It's believed that making sausage was an early way to use as much meat from the animal as possible and preserve the meat. Sausage makers typically ferment the sausage, meaning it's cured and treated to last longer.
- Germany is known for its different kinds of sausages. Recipes for sausages vary from northern to southern parts of the country, and each region considers its version to be the best! There are over 1,500 different wurst, or sausages, in Germany!
Let's Learn About Germany!
- The central European country of Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is known as "Deutschland" (DOYCH-lunt) in the German language. It is a federal parliamentary republic with a president, a chancellor (the head of the government), and a legislature.
- Germany has over 83 million people in an area of 137,847 square miles, a little smaller than the U.S. state of Montana.
- The capital and largest city in Germany is Berlin, but only since 1990 when East and West Germany reunified. Before that, East and West Germany were divided by the Berlin Wall, built after World War II to keep Eastern citizens from fleeing to the West. The Berlin Wall kept the two sides of Germany separated for 28 years. The wall finally crumbled in November 1989, and you can see segments of the original wall in many places in Germany and other countries.
- Germany was the first country in the world to adopt Daylight Savings Time. This was done in 1916 during World War I to conserve fuel.
- Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Germany, and the German Football Association is the largest single-sport league worldwide. Motorsports are also big in Germany, with three well-known German carmakers heavily involved, BMW, Mercedes, and Porsche.
- Hamburg, Germany, has the most bridges in the world. The city has more than 2,300 bridges!
- In Germany, undergraduate university education is free, even to international students. Although a few programs are taught in both English and German, a student would need a firm knowledge of the German language to attend most universities. Germany also has a vocational education system that combines learning with company apprenticeships.
- Germany is known for its sausages, and some, like "bratwursts" or "brats," are popular in the United States. Over 850 million "currywursts" (curry sausages sold on the street) are eaten in Germany per year! Bread, cheese, and beer are also significant parts of German cuisine.
- During World War II, Coca-Cola syrup could not come into the country due to a US trade embargo with Nazi Germany. This resulted in the company's German division inventing Fanta soda, what we now know as an orange soda. However, the modern version was developed in Italy in the 1950s. They initially made the early German version with whey (the liquid left after making cheese), apple pomace (the pulp left from making apple juice), and beet sugar.
- The Autobahn is a famous access highway in Germany. It is over 8,000 miles long, and many parts have no enforceable speed limit. People travel from around the world to drive fast cars on the Autobahn. It's illegal to run out of gas on this highway!
What's It Like to Be a Kid in Germany?
- In Germany, often both parents work, and every child under three can go to daycare. Kids can start kindergarten from 3 to 5 years old.
- On the first day of first grade, parents give their children a giant cone filled with toys, candy, and school supplies. The school cone is called a "schultüte," celebrating an important rite of passage in their young lives.
- Popular sports for youth include football (soccer), handball, and gymnastics. Kids primarily participate in a sport through a sports club, and there are thousands of sports clubs in Germany for almost every sport.
- German kids can visit one of the biggest zoos in the world, the Zoologischer Garten Berlin (Berlin Zoological Garden). Although its size isn't the largest, it houses the most animal species worldwide. The zoo opened in 1844 and its aquarium in 1913.
- There are several amusement and theme parks in Germany, and if kids are familiar with stories from the Brothers Grimm, families can drive the German Fairy Tale Route (Deutsche Märchenstraße) that runs 370 miles. The route passes through scenic nature parks and charming villages, and several places on the way relate to the fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood's house, Sleeping Beauty's castle, and the Pied Piper's town of Hamelin. Speaking of castles, you can also visit the Neuschwanstein Castle in the Bavarian Alps, which may have inspired Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle.