Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Now I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess than many of my readers aren't familiar with Saurbraten. This was something my grandmother made when I was quite young and that my mother also made when i was younger. It's another of Grandma H's recipes that I wanted to try for since it's a traditional German dish but also because it's my grandmother's recipe and according to the recipe card a recipe that came right from our German ancestors.
But I'm digressing, many of you have probably never heard of Saurbraten so from our good friends at Wikipedia here's a quick definition: "German, from sauer sour + Braten roast meat, is a roast from Rhineland, Saarland, Silesia, and Swabia. While Rhineland Sauerbraten is sweetish and contains raisins and lebuchken, Swabian Sauerbraten contains neither sweetening nor raisins. Sauerbraten was originally made from horse meat or venison, but today beef is more commonly used, except by traditionalists."
OK so traditionally made from horse meat sounds a bit shady, I'll give you that, but growing up we always had it made with beef and that's what my grandmother's recipe calls for and how I made it. What's great about this is that you can take a cheaper cut of meat since it will be tenderized by the vinegar and spices and then braised til it practically falls apart. Making it a very budget friendly main course.
3 lb rump roast
1 Tbsp whole spices (I used pickling spices since it's a whole spice blend that has many of the spices found in traditional sauerbraten recipes)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 onion - sliced
1½ tsp salt
⅛ tsp butter
1 cup (or more) vinegar (I used Cider Vinegar)
1 cup water
salt & pepper
1. Mix spices, sugar, salt, pepper & onions with water and vinegar in a non-reactive container with a lid.
2.Place roast in liquid. It should be covered completely, if not pour enough vinegar into the container to cover the roast. Let sit covered in the refrigerator for 1 week
3. After 1 week take roast out, brown it and braise in 1/2 water, 1/2 marinade until tender.
4. Thicken juices for gravy (i made a quick roux with flour and butter and streamed in the warm cooking juices whisking all along to make a nice gravy.
What came out of this was a deliciously tender just sour enough roast that even the boy, who doesn't like vinegar all that much, really enjoyed. Sauerbraten is traditionally served with spaetzle which would be very tasty, although I made pierogi as well braised red cabbage with apples, the sweetness of which really balanced out the sourness of the meat. It was a really hearty meal with some great well-balanced flavors, perfect for a Sunday night comfort meal. Enjoy!