A slightly Americanized version of Sauerbraten, this roast has a couple of secrets for greatness. The recipe was told to me by Linda Little, a former restaurant owner. She cooks this roast yearly in October for extended friends and family.
Sauerbraten serves 6 - 8
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 7 hours, 50 minutes
- 1 lemon
- 1 quart of buttermilk
- 3 or more pounds of beef roast, either shoulder or rump
- 2 onions
- 2-4 carrots
- 2-4 sticks of celery or 1 cup chopped celeriac
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. whole allspice
- 1 tsp. whole peppercorns
- 1 tsp. whole juniper berries
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 - 2 bottles (750 ml) cheap red wine
- 1/2 c. gingerbread cookie crumbs (about 4 cookies, crushed)
- 1/3 c. catsup
- 1/3 c. raisins
Linda's recipe started like this, "Take 10 pounds of beef shoulder and..." I scaled it back for everyday consumption, but feel free to make large amounts for a buffet or social function because it just gets better on a grand scale.
Juice lemon and mix it with the buttermilk.
Poke holes in beef with a fork to help the marinade penetrate.
Place beef in a plastic or glass container and cover with the buttermilk mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours or so, turning once a day.
Discard the now pinkish marinade and wash off the beef.
Place it in a pot and add the quartered onions, chopped carrots and celery and the spices and salt. Pour the wine over the meat until almost covering.
Cover and simmer for 4-6 hours. (Linda likes to cook her big pieces overnight, but that's not necessary for the small pieces.)
When the meat is fork-tender, remove it from the pot. Cut it into serving pieces and place it in an oven-safe dish.
Pour the red wine broth through a sieve and collect the broth. Discard the solids.
Place at least 3 cups of broth in a pan and bring it to a boil. Add the crushed gingerbread cookies, the catchup and the raisins. Taste and adjust seasonings by adding vinegar, salt or sugar as necessary.
Cook for a few minutes and then pour over the meat to coat.
Cover the meat with foil and place in a 300°F oven for at least an hour. If the meat looks like it is drying out, baste it with the sauce.
- Notes: I used "HeavenScent" Windmill cookies, which are whole wheat flour and no sucrose.
- The success of this meal is not time-sensitive. This makes it perfect for a buffet or chronically late guests.
- I think you could substitute tomato paste, vinegar and a sweetener for the catchup, which was never very good in Germany, anyway.
- You may make a roux and add the broth to it to thicken the sauce, but I found that the gingersnaps thickened the sauce just fine after baking.
- Any leftover broth can be used in lentil soup. Linda puts catchup in lentil soup as well and swears by it.