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Richard in Cincy

Rec: Sauerbraten

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4785 posts
Joined: Dec 12, 2005

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Posted to Thread #5474 at 10:42 pm on Jan 27, 2007

3 cups water
3 cups vinegar (apple cider)
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup sugar
1 medium onion, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
1/2 parsley root, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tablespoon salt
Spices: These days I just toss a half cup or so (depending on size of roast) of Penzey's pickling spice into my marinade. But if you don't have that on hand:
1 tlbs black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
8 whole cloves
12 juniper berries
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
4 allspice berries
1 star anise
1 tsp. dill seed
1/4 tsp. each of ground cinnamon and cardamom
couple slices of fresh ginger

1 4-6 lb. roast beef or venison

1/4 cup lard (or bacon drippings)

Optional ingredients:
1-2 large Elisen Lebkuchen (or sub. graham crackers or gingersnaps, not the same, but hey), finely crumbled or browned flour
1/4 cup each of raisins and almonds (slivers or ground if using gingernsnaps)
1/3 cup sour cream

Combine marinade ingredients (everything up to the roast) simmer for 10 minutes. Cool. Pour over meat in a large crock or put it all in a large sealable plastic bag. If the meat is not covered by the marinade, add equal parts vinegar and water until it is covered.

Put it in the fridge and leave for 3-4 days. If the meat is covered with marinade, there is no need to rotate, but you can if you want to to redistribute the marinade flavors.

Remove meat, dry with paper towels (I then put it in the fridge on a rack for a couple hours to completely dry it.)

325F. oven.

Melt the lard in a large heavy casserole or dutchoven that will hold the roast and cooking liquid so that a lid will fit tightly. Brown the roast all over. Pour the marinade over the roast, cover, and put in the oven. Bake for 3-4 hours, depending on size, until tender.

Remove meat to platter, cover with foil, big lid, or something to keep warm Strain the cooking liquid and place in saucepan and return to a simmer. Whisk in the Lebkucken crumbs until the sauce is thickened. If using the browned flour, make a paste and gradually add liquid to pouring consistency, then add to the broth while whisking (stick blender!). Amounts depend on how much liquid you have and how thick you want the gravy.

Optional stir-ins when the sauce is done: raisins, almonds, and/or sour cream.

Slice meat, arrange on platter, pour a swath of gravy down the center. Pass the rest.

Serve with a potato (dumplings, riced, boiled, pancaked, etc), and Braised Red Cabbage. For big festive dinners, add a seasonal green vegetable and/or mushroom dish. Place a bowl of applesauce on the table to pass with the gravy, and garnish the platter with spiced pear halves (poached in water, honey, bay leaves, & black peppercorns syrup) filled with a cranberry sauce of your choice or red current jelly.

Adding all of the above would create a dinner suitable for a large feast day such as Christmas.

Note: if you're using gingersnaps instead of Lebkuchen and would like to have a more authentic taste, grind the almonds, then add to the gravy with a couple spoonfuls of honey, a tbls of finely minced candied citrus peel (grind it with the almonds), and 1/4--1/2 tsp of Lebkuchen spice (cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, cloves, allspice, mace, nutmeg, black pepper, ginger, and star anise). I've done this in a pinch and it comes fairly close, seriously use the stick blender on it though.

Enjoy!


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