Oktoberfest in Germany begins Saturday, September 22, 2012, and ends Sunday, October 7, 2012...

Friday, September 30, 2011

German Sauerbraten

 I looked at several different Sauerbraten recipes and finally settled on one created by Alton Brown of Food Network.Com .   The one thing his recipe has in common with many others I viewed is the use of crushed gingersnaps as a thickener for the gravy.  I was skeptical about this but I decided if so many really good cooks use this method I should give it a try.   I also changed the marinating process as his called for browning the meat prior to marinating and I thought that seemed a bit backwards.  I also added and changed a few ingredients and must say we were very pleased (loved it!) with the meal.    Anyway, I have provided a link to the original recipe, which you might also like to try.   The following is my adaptation.   I hope you will give it a go and let me know your thoughts….

Ingredients   ~~   4 to 6 servings

2 cups water
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup red wine
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 bay leaves
8 whole cloves
12 juniper berries – bruised or crushed
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) top or bottom round roast - or your preferred cut
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
12 dark old-fashioned gingersnaps (about 4 ounces), crushed
2 Tablespoons sour cream
Salt and Pepper to season the roast
Fresh minced parsley leaves to sprinkle over each plate


In a large saucepan over high heat combine the water, apple cider vinegar, red wine, 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 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

When the marinade has cooled enough, pour into a non-reactive container and place in the refrigerator to completely chill.   Then place the roast into the chilled marinade and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 3 days.   If the meat is not completely submerged in the liquid, turn it over twice a day.   (I cooked my marinade in a stainless steel pot, so I just used the same pot to chill and marinate the roast in)

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

Then, pat the bottom round dry and rub with all over with vegetable oil.  Next, sprinkle with salt and pepper on all sides.  Now, heat a large pan over high heat; add the meat and brown on all sides, approximately 2 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, add the brown sugar to the marinade mixture and stir well to combine.  

Then, place the roast into a roasting pan and pour the marinade over it. 

Place the covered roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven and cook until tender, approximately 2-1/2 hours.  (check roast with a meat thermometer for your desired doneness)
  Remove the meat from the pan and tent with foil to keep warm. 

Now, strain the liquid to remove the solids then discard the solids.

Then, if you have a Fat Separator use it to reduce the grease in the liquid.  

Return the strained liquid to a pan and place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. 

Meanwhile, place gingersnaps into a plastic baggie and pound until they are crushed to a powder consistency.

Then, whisk in the gingersnaps and cook until thickened, stirring vigorously to break up any lumps.   When the liquid has cooked down and thickened with the gingersnaps, remove the pan from the burner and stir in the sour cream.

Slice the meat cross grain and serve with the sauce.

Enjoy !!

With Geraman Spaetzle noodle/dumplings:

With leftover vegetables cooked in beer:

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