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Tuesday, November 20, 2012




       If you love deliciously tender beef braised for hours, then sauerbraten is for you.  Go find a German grandmother and kiss her right now, because this recipe is amazing.  As a general rule, if Alton Brown has his name on a recipe, IT WILL WORK!!  I often type a recipe into a search engine with his name just to see what advice he has to offer. 
       Back to sauerbraten now.  It is a traditional German meal, as is schnitzel, and according to Wikipedia (and my German boyfriend) they are two of their national dishes.  So get crackin' and go make some sauerbraten! 
       Please take note that I doubled the recipe in the photos.  I was making extra to feed my hungry rabid co-workers.  Your pot should not be this close to overflowing if you just follow this recipe.  :) 

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, additional for seasoning meat
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 12 juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) bottom round
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 18 dark old-fashioned gingersnaps (about 5 ounces), crushed
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins, optional

  • Directions

    In a large saucepan over high heat combine the water, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, onion, carrot, salt, pepper, bay leaves, cloves, juniper, and mustard seeds. Cover and bring this to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

    Pat the bottom round dry and rub with vegetable oil and salt on all sides. Heat a large saute pan over high heat; add the meat and brown on all sides, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side.

    When the marinade has cooled to a point where you can stick your finger in it and not be burned, place the meat in a non-reactive vessel and pour over the marinade. Place into the refrigerator for 3 days. If the meat is not completely submerged in the liquid, turn it over once a day.

    After 3 days of marinating, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

    Add the sugar to the meat and marinade, cover and place on the middle rack of the oven and cook until tender, approximately 4 hours.

    Remove the meat from the vessel and keep warm.  Strain the liquid to remove the solids. Return the liquid to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Whisk in the gingersnaps and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps. Add the raisins if desired. Slice the meat and serve with the sauce.

    I was crushing the gingersnaps in the ziptop bag with a rolling pin.  I got bored
    and decided that a finer ground ginger snap might make a smoother sauce...  soooo........
    ..... so I threw the crumbled cookies into the vitamix.  It quickly pulverized
    the little gingery delights into a "gingersnap flour".  It made the sauce come
    together much quicker and was deliciously easy


           Here is the finished sauce made from the marinade/braising liquid and gingersnaps.  It was thick and beautiful.  Such an amazing recipe!  Next time I will try the full 5 days in the refrigerator, I stuck with three days and it was delicious enough. 

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