by Lisa on April 21, 2011

Finally, a return to my 30 things to make while I’m 30.  Starting to run out of time, here – I’ll be 31 in only 4 months from tomorrow!  I have a lot of the recipes ready for blogging, but things have been a little crazy ’round here lately, and I’ll admit I’ve been slacking off a bit.  Thankfully, I have an afternoon off, and a long weekend to follow – so here I go.  Sauerbraten is a fantastic, slow-cooked German roast beef.  I will warn you if you plan to make this it’s important to plan far ahead, as it takes a week to marinate.  Yep, that’s right, a week.  When we finally got around to cooking it though – the dish was worth every marinating minute.  It’s sweet and tangy and complex all at the same time.  This recipe I got from my lovely mother-in-law who is a fantastic cook – it’s tough following in her shoes, but my husband seems to think I’m doing alright so far at least!  I love snagging her recipes and trying them out for him whenever I can.  I made a few minor changes, mostly related to what I happened to have on hand vs. what the recipe called for – but it came out great.  This sauerbraten would be lovely on a cool fall night with a delicious German beer – although it was similarly awesome when I made it this spring too.  I served it with Kartoffelknoedel – I just love saying that word – or traditional German potato dumplings, but it would also taste great with spaetzle or egg noodles or frankly I’d imagine on any other plain base.


From my mother-in-law’s personal recipe collection


For the marinade -

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cider vinegar (increase if needed in same proportion to the water)
  • 2 cups of water (increase if needed in same proportion to the vinegar)
  • 2 and 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12 whole peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 4-5 lb boneless roast, tied

On cooking day -

  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 additional cup water
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 additional cup water
  • 1/2 cup gingersnaps, finely crushed
On marinating day, place the roast into a deep dish that has a cover.  Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, and pour over the roast.  (If based on the quoted amount of water and vinegar your roast isn’t cover, it’s ok to increase the liquid but keep the same proportions – for example, if you need 4 cups of water, then use 2 cups of cider vinegar.)  Cover, and place in your refrigerator to marinate for 5-7 days, turning the roast twice per day.
On cooking day, remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry.  Set aside the marinade to use later.  In a large dutch oven over medium high heat, heat the oil, then brown the meat on all sides.   Remove the meat from the pan.  Add chopped onion, carrot and celery, and saute until vegetables are tender.  Return the meat to the pan, and add the marinade.  Cover and simmer on low heat for about 3 hrs, or until the roast is fork tender.  Remove the roast to a platter.  Add the bouillon cube and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil.  In the meantime, combine the flour and additional 1/2 cup of water together, and then slowly add to the boiling sauce.  Stir in the crushed gingersnaps until they dissolve completely.  Return to a boil for about 3 minutes or until thickened.  Serve the roast covered in the sauce over egg noodles or spaeztle, or if you are feeling adventurous, look up kartoffelknoedel!   Enjoy!

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