German Food - Beef Pot Roast (Sauerbraten)
What is Sauerbraten?
German Beef Pot Roast - (Sauerbraten)
Sauerbraten, which literally translates as "pickled roast meat", is one of the national dishes of Germany. It is said to have been inspired by Julius Caesar, who sent amphoras filled with beef in wine over the Alps to the Roman colony in Cologne. Many people believe that sauerbraten was invented by Charlamagne in the ninth century. In any event, it has a long history in Germany and there are many regional variations.
Basically, a boneless cut of beef is marinated from three to ten days in a mixture of wine, vinegar, onions, celery and spices. The meat is then removed and browned in oil or butter. Meanwhile the marinade is strained and brought to a boil before pouring it over the meat.
The combined ingredients are simmered for 2-3 Hours on top of the stove or roasted in a 300F oven. The meat is then removed to a platter and the sauce is thickened either with crushed gingersnaps or with cornstarch and water. Sweet cream or sour cream can be added at the end to adjust the flavor.
60 Minutes plus 3 days
4 Lbs. of Lean Rump Roast or Bottom Round Roast
2 Large Onions peeled and thinly sliced
2 Stalks of Celery cut into one inch pieces
2 Cups of Dry Red Wine such as Burgundy or Pinot Noir
1 Cup of Red Wine Vinegar
2 Cups of Water
2 Bay Leaves
10 Whole Cloves
10 Juniper Berries
10 Whole Peppercorns
10 Whole Allspice
1 Tablespoon Salt
¼ Cup of oil
1 cup of Crushed ginger snaps or
3 Tablespoons of Cornstarch mixed with ¼ Cup of Cold Water
1/2 Cup of sour Cream or Fresh Cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Place the beef in a deep non-reactive bowl or pot.
- Mix all of the other ingredients together and pour them over the meat. If the meat is not covered, you will have to turn it over in the marinade at least twice a day.
- Cover tightly with foil and store in the refrigerator for at least three days.
- After three days, remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels.
- Brown the meat on all sides in ¼ cup of oil.
- Meanwhile strain the marinade and bring it to a boil briefly.
- Pour the marinade over the meat in a Dutch oven or roasting pan and cook for 2-3 hours until the meat is fork tender but not falling apart. This can be done in a 300F oven or on top of the stove.
- Remove the meat to a platter and thicken the sauce with the crushed gingersnaps or with the cornstarch and water.
- Be sure to taste the gravy and adjust the salt and pepper level if necessary. If you didn’t use ginger snaps, you may have to add some sugar to balance the acidity.
- Finally, stir in the fresh cream or the sour cream just before serving
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