Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sauerbrauten, a taste of Germany

Sprechen sie deutsch? Yeah, me neither. Foreign languages just aren't my thing, but foreign foods...those are right up my alley. 

This weekend, while visiting my parents and trying to map out the rest of my life, I decided to hold a hostile take-over of their kitchen. My father was all for it as he got to eat one of his favorite meals. I was all for it because I love German food.

However, I am not sure my mother is going to forgive me for this one. The vinegar smell is going to take a few days to leave the house. It may take longer to leave the refrigerator. I'm not sure the box of baking soda is going to be able to work quick enough. I blame my mother for this though. She would not allow me to marinate the meat in a plastic container with a lid and none of her bowls from the 1960's have lids. The plastic wrap simply did not take care of keeping the odors in. 

So here is my word of warning, if you are disgusted by the smell of vinegar, find somebody else's kitchen you can hijack for this dinner. It is delicious, but far from a pleasant aroma. 

Sauerbraten (Slow Cooker)
Modified from Family Circle January 2010
Serves 4-6

1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup dry red wine
2 clove garlic, crushed
10 whole cloves
10 juniper berries (if you can find them in your area)
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. mustard seed
3 ½ lb. roast beef
3 whole carrots, cut into fourths
3 stalks celery, cut into large pieces
1 medium onion, quartered
3/4 cup water
20-30 crushed gingersnaps (optional-the Americanized version)

Combine vinegars, red wine, and spices in a large bowl. Place roast in the bowl, cover and refrigerate at least overnight, up to 3 days, turning every 8 hours.

Place vegetables in the bottom of the slow cooker, place roast on top, and pour in the marinade. Add enough water to bring liquid at least halfway up the roast. Cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours.

Remove roast, place on a platter and keep warm. Strain the liquid from the slow cooker into a saucepan, discarding the vegetables and spices. Stir in the crushed gingersnaps or thicken using another preferred method.

Serve with German-style red cabbage and potato dumplings. 

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