How you cook this dish is relatively minor in importance. It’s how you marinate it that counts. In northern Germany the beef is soaked in buttermilk. In Bavaria, they use beer. This recipe is a Rhineland marinade- wine, vinegar, carrots and onions. The result is a culinary conundrum – both smooth and sharp.
There is nothing tricky about cooking a good Sauerbraten. But there are no shortcuts - three days of soaking the meat.
Traditionally Sauerbraten is served with boiled potatoes and red cabbage. I prefer a simple green vegetable with Sauerbraten since red cabbage and Sauerbraten are both tangy. For festive occasions, Sauerbraten is served with German potato dumplings or potato pancakes.
1 packet CuisineMentor Bavarian Braised Sauerkraut Spice Blend
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups cold water
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced thinly
3 carrots, scrubbed and cut in large chunks
4 pounds boneless beef rump roast, trimmed of fat (see Notes)
3 Tablespoon olive oil
½ cup finely chopped carrots
½ cup finely chopped onions
½ cup finely chopped celery
2 Tablespoon flour
½ cup gingersnap crumbs (crush finely Gingersnap cookies)
With a kitchen mallet or heavy pot hit the CuisineMentor Bavarian Braised Sauerkraut Spice Blend packet several times to crack whole spices. Place muslin spice packet in a 2-3 quart saucepan stir in wine, vinegar, water, sliced onion and carrots. Bring this marinade to a boil over high heat, lower the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Place the beef into a deep crock or stainless steel or enameled pot just big enough to hold it comfortably and pour the cooled marinade over it. The marinade should come at least halfway up the sides of the meat, if necessary add more wine. Turn the meat to moisten on all sides. Then cover the pan tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 3 days, turning the meat over at least twice a day.
Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the spice packet, sliced onions and carrots, reserve the marinade.
In a heavy 5 quart pot, heat oil over high heat. Add the meat and brown it on all sides, turning frequently and regulating the heat so that it browns deeply and evenly without burning. This will take about 15 minutes. Transfer the meat to a platter, and pour off and discard all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the chopped carrots, onions and celery to the fat in the pot and cook them over moderate heat, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes until they are soft and light brown. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly for 2 or 3 minutes longer, or until the flour begins to color. Pour in 3 cups of the reserved marinade and bring to boil over high heat. Return meat to the casserole. Cover tightly and simmer over low heat for 2 hours, or until the meat shows no resistance when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Transfer the meat to a plate and cover with foil to keep it warm while you make the sauce.
Pour the liquid left from the cooking pot into a large measuring cup and skim off the fat. You need about 3-4 cups of liquid with the cooked vegetables. Pour back into pot. Stir in gingersnap crumbs. Using a whisk, cook and stir 10 minutes until gravy is smooth and thickened. Taste, add salt and pepper if needed. Strain sauce through a fine sieve, pressing down with a wooden spoon to force as much vegetables and crumbs through as possible (see note below for using a food processor). Return the sauce to cooking pot and keep warm until ready to serve.
To serve, remove string or netting, slice meat about ¼ inch thick, arrange overlapping slices on platter and coat with some gravy. Pass the remaining gravy in a sauceboat.Serves 6 - 8
If using a cut of meat that has string or netting, leave in place until ready to slice.For sauce, you can also use a food processor to puree the cooked vegetables rather than forcing through a sieve. The sauce will be a bit textured.
If you prefer, you may cook the Sauerbraten in the oven, Bring to boil ob high, cover tightly and cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 2 hours.
I also like using a beef chuck roast for making Sauerbraten. This is not traditional, but I find the cut to be moister.
Add ½ cup raisins to finished gravy, reheat.
Sauerbraten can also be made using pork, venison, or other game.
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