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    A FULL LIST OF THE RECIPES ON THIS SITE
    Thursday
    Dec032015

    Sauerbraten

    Wow. Hearty. German hearty. Something's got to get you through that central European winter. Here's a big roast for your holidays, perfect fare for a chilly night. Make boiled or mashed potatoes to go alongside. And pour more of that big red wine. Or beer. Yeah, lots of beer.

    If you haven't heard our podcast about this recipe, check it out in the media player at the top of the main recipe page, pulling down the menu at the center top until you find the one for sauerbraten. (Warning: Hitler jokes. Too soon?)

    If you'd rather find it and even subscribe on iTunes, click this link.

    Or click the link at the bottom of this page to hear the podcast directly in your browser.

    Okay, the recipe:

    Sauerbraten

    • 1 cup hearty, big, dry red wine
    • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
    • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • One 2 1/2- to 3-pound beef bottom round roast
    • 4 ounces thin-cut bacon, chopped
    • 1 1/2 cups frozen pearl onions (do not thaw)
    • 6 pitted prunes, quartered
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon dried sage
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground dried ginger
    • 2 cups beef broth

    1. Start by mixing the red wine, red wine vinegar, onion, carrot, bay leaves, juniper berries, peppercorns, 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, and the salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring occasionally. Set aside off the heat to cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes.

    2. Pour the red wine mixture into a large plastic bag you can zip closed. Add the beef, turn a bit to coat, and seal the bag closed. Store in a big bowl in the refrigerator for 4 (yes, four) days, turning the bag occasionally to make sure the meat takes a turn against all the aromatics.

    3. Heat the oven to 325F, positioning the rack in the middle of the oven or as close as it can get to the middle while still fitting in your big Dutch or French oven. Remove the meat from the marinade. Strain the marinade through a sieve and into a big bowl. Discard the solids, reserving the liquid.

    4. Set a Dutch or large French oven over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until crunchy, about 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon bits to a bowl.

    5. Blot the beef bottom round dry on paper towels. Add it to the pot and brown well on both sides, turning at least once, about 8 minutes. Transfer the meat to the bowl with the bacon.

    6. Add the pearl onions to the pot; cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the prunes, thyme, sage, allspice, ginger, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds to the pot. Stir well for about a minute. Pour in 1/2 cup of the reserved marinade liquid; bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Pour in the broth, then add the beef, the bacon, and any juices in their bowl, nestling the meat into the sauce. Bring to a full simmer.

    7. Cover the pot and slide it into the oven. Bake until the meat is fork-tender, about 3 hours. Transfer the roast to a large carving board and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before carving and chunking up to serve with the vegetables and pan sauce.

    Note: You can thicken the sauce, if desired. Set the Dutch or French oven over medium-high heat and bring the sauce to a full simmer. Add 3 to 4 finely crumbled gingersnap cookies, stirring until moderately thickened. Serve at once.

    Sauerbraten

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    Reader Comments (2)

    I just discovered this recipe. I've made a lot of sauerbraten over the decades, and have always been plagued by the memory of how the dish was presented at New York's Luchow's, a long-departed, historic German restaurant at which I am old enough to have dined when I was in my early 20s. The Luchow's sauerbraten was very dark in color, not quite black, but heading there. I don't know the reason for that; it certainly doesn't pertain to their published recipe in "The Luchow's Cookbook," which appeared in the 1950s sometime, and was not particularly good. All of this is to suggest that, while the Bruce/Mark recipe calls for "a hearty, big dry red wine," there are a number of fairly sinister dark -- to the point of being black -- red wines clanking around at liquor stores near you, that make a sauerbraten that is very intense in both flavor and appearance. I don't think they're much for drinking, but they make a visual statement, one can always dye things in them, and one can marinate their way to a very menacing sauerbraten. As the weather cools, I look forward to doing this particular recipe, which seems well-seasoned and well thought out.

    August 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJeff Austin

    Thanks, Jeff! That's the most thoughtful response I've seen in a while. I wonder, too, if the sauce wasn't thickened with blood, an old-school technique now much out of favor in the U. S. (although still a common practice in Europe).

    --Mark

    August 24, 2017 | Registered CommenterMark Scarbrough

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