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German Pot Roast (Sauerbraten)

Sauerbraten is a German pot roast that can be prepared with a variety of meats – most often beef, but also from venison, lamb, mutton or pork.  The meat is marinated before cooking in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and seasonings.  This recipe calls for a Dutch Oven, which is a covered earthenware or cast-iron container for cooking casseroles.

2 kg beef eye of round
Marinade
500 ml red wine
375 ml red wine vinegar
3 large onions, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
1 bouquet garni (1 tbsp. pickling spices, 14 whole cloves, 8 whole black peppercorns, 10 juniper berries, 3 bay leaves, 3 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs parsley, wrapped in cheesecloth, tied with kitchen twine)
30 g butter
100 g bacon, finely chopped
Sauce
30 g butter
45 ml cake flour
30 ml sugar
125 ml golden raisins
6 ginger biscuits, crumbled
15 ml lemon juice
Salt to taste

Garnish
30 ml parsley, finely chopped
  1. Season the beef liberally with salt in large bowl.
  2. Bring the wine, vinegar, 1 of the onions, carrot, bouquet garni, and 4 cups water to a boil in a 4 liter saucepan.
  3. Place the beef in a dish of a suitable size and pour the marinade over the beef. Cover and refrigerate, turning once or twice a day, for 5 days.
  4. Remove the beef from the marinade and dry the beef thoroughly.
  5. Pour the marinade through a fine strainer into a bowl. Reserve 5 cups of the marinade as well as the bouquet garni.
  6. Heat 30 grams of the butter in a 8 liter Dutch Oven and fry the bacon until it renders its fat, about 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the bacon to a plate and set aside.
  8. Add the beef to the oven and cook until browned all over, about 25 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate and set it aside.
  9. Pre-heat oven to 160 ° C.
  10. Add the remaining onions to the Dutch Oven and cook while stirring until caramelized – about 18 minutes.
  11. Return the beef to the Dutch Oven with the reserved marinade and bouquet garni and bring to a boil.
  12. Cover the Dutch Oven with a lid and place it in the oven.
  13. Roast until the beef is very tender – about 2 12 hours.
  14. Transfer the beef to a platter and set it aside.
  15. Discard the bouquet garni.
  16. Pour the sauce through a fine strainer into a bowl.
  17. To make the sauce, return the Dutch Oven to medium-high heat and add the 2nd quantity of butter.
  18. Use a little of the liquid and make a paste with the cake flour before adding it to the sauce.
  19. Add the flour paste and sugar and cook, whisking constantly, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  20. Add the raisins, ginger biscuits, lemon juice and beef to the pot.
  21. Bring to a simmer, cover the Dutch Oven with a lid, and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.
  22. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  23. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  24. Slice the meat thinly and arrange the beef and the sauce on a serving platter.
  25. Sprinkle with bacon and parsley and serve.
8 to 10 servings.

Note

Leftover Sauerbraten can be combined with mustard and sauerkraut and used as a filling for sandwiches.

Recipe adapted from original recipe featured on www.saveur.com.