Thursday, February 18, 2010

Food of the Week - Sauerbraten

Next to Bratwurst this is probably the most known 'German' Recipe. By adding spices and putting meat into a high acid bath was a common way to ensure the days hunt was saved until a major event. Families could not go out hunting on Yule, so this was the result. 
It's one of my favorites no matter the time of the year, though often families will have this food during the holidays or Sunday family get-together.

The key to this recipe is to allow the roast to marinate for the full 3 days.
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon juniper berries, coarsely crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Sauerbraten Spice ( I have found them at Foods of All nations)
  • 4 pounds boneless beef roast, preferably bottom round

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 cups onions, diced
  • 2 1/2 cups carrots, diced
  • 1 1/4 cups celery, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup gingersnap cookies, crumbled
Combine all marinade ingredients, except the roast itself, in 2-3 quart saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Place the beef in a deep, non-reactive (glass or ceramic) bowl or pot just large enough to hold it. Pour marinade over beef. The marinade should be at least halfway up the sides of the roast. If necessary add more wine. Cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 days, turning the meat in the marinade at least twice each day.
Remove meat from marinade and pat completely dry with paper towels. Strain the marinade through a fine sieve and reserve the liquid. Discard spices and onions.
In heavy, 5-quart dutch oven, heat the butter until bubbling stops. Add the meat and brown on all sides, turning frequently, so that it browns evenly without burning. Transfer to platter and set aside.
For roasting, add the onions, carrots, and celery to the same pan you cooked the meat in. Cook over moderate heat until soft and light brown (5-8 minutes). Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes longer or until the flour begins to color. Pour in 2 cups of the reserved marinade and 1/2 cup of water and bring to boil over high heat. Return the meat to the pot, cover tightly, and simmer over low heat for 2 hours, or until the meat shows no resistance when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Alternatively, bake in 350 degree oven for 2 hours.
Transfer the roast to a heated platter and cover with foil to keep warm while sauce is made.
Pour the liquid left in the pot into a large measuring cup and skim fat from surface. You will need at least 2 1/2 cups for the sauce. If additional liquid is needed, add some of the reserved marinade.
Combine the liquid and the gingersnap crumbs in a saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently for approx. 10 minutes, allowing the cookie crumbs to dissolve completely and thicken the sauce to the desired consistency. Depending upon the amount of liquid, you may need to add additional cookie crumbs.
Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, pressing down hard with wooden spoon to force as much of the vegetables and crumbs through as possible. Return the sauce to the pan, adjust seasoning and allow to simmer over low heat until ready to serve.
Slice the roast, pour some sauce over slices on platter and pass remaining sauce separately.

This recipe was provided by Alexander Rhoads from Adel


1/2pound potatoes
1ounce bread crumbs plain
1large egg
2tbsp      butter
1x salt and pepper to taste

This refers to dumplings made from boiled potatoes which is the traditional Swabian method. Dumplings made from raw potatoes originated in Bavaria and reached Swabian kitchens relatively late.

Beat the butter and egg until fluffy. Add the cold, grated, boiled potatoes, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper, and knead well. Depending on how watery the potatoes are, flour may be substituted for the bread crumbs in order to get a dough that is neither too firm not to pasty.
Form dumplings, and cook in barely simmering salted water for 15 minutes. Be careful to not boil to rapidly or overcook.
Serve immediately, while still piping hot.