Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Cook's Blessings: Sauerbraten (German Sour Pot Roast)

I seem to be on a kick lately with recipes from my family's past.  Tonight I made something I have never had before: sauerbraten.  This is another recipe that we lost when my grandmother died, and I have been trying to find something to replace it.  I originally saw this recipe in a collection of recipes from a church in Baltimore, so I'm hoping this is pretty close to the original.  My mom says it has been so long though, she doesn't remember if it is the same!

Coming from someone who has never tried it, this roast is something completely different.  You definitely have to like sour things, because it's sour.  Oddly beefy and tender, yet sour.  I'm still not sure what to think. It definitely helps putting the gingersnaps in the gravy, and I'm thinking maybe even some cream wouldn't hurt.  I think I could get used to this...

Sauerbraten (German Sour Pot Roast)
Adapted from the 1965 edition of The Cook's Blessings by Demetria Taylor

1 (3- to 3½-pound) beef rump roast
1½ cups red wine vinegar
1½ cups water
1 large onion, sliced
½ lemon, sliced
6 whole cloves
6 juniper berries
3 bay leaves
6 peppercorns
1½ teaspoons salt
1½ tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons oil
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
2 teaspoons sugar
8 gingersnaps, crushed very finely

Place the meat in a large deep bowl.  Combine the vinegar and next 9 ingredients; pour over the meat.  Cover; refrigerate 36 to 48 hours, turning meat twice each day.

Lift meat from bowl; pat dry with paper towels.  Rub lightly with flour.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over moderate heat; brown the meat well on all sides.  Put the meat in a large Dutch oven.  Strain the vinegar marinade and add 2 cups to the meat.  Cover and simmer for 3 hours.

Melt the butter in a skillet; blend in the flour and sugar.  Add the remaining strained vinegar mixture; cook and stir until thickened.  Add the mixture to the meat.  Simmer for another ½ hour or until the meat is tender.  Stir the gingersnaps into the gravy; stir until thickened.  If the gravy is lumpy, run it through a blender to smooth it out.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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