Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sauerbraten (German Pot Roast)

The husband travels to Germany on occasion and was craving some German Pot Roast also known as Sauerbraten! I looked at many different recipes and decide that Alton Brown wouldn't send me in the wrong direction.

I confess that I did make changes to the original recipe. I omitted the Juniper Berries as those were not available at Wegmans. I did not sear the meat prior to marinating. I also used the slow cooker on low for about 12 hours instead of cooking in the oven.

Many of the reviews said that there were too many gingersnaps and to use 1/2 the amount of sugar. I followed those tips however I think it needed the full amount of both (18 cookies instead of 10 and 1/3 cup of sugar instead of 1/4). The broth/liquid wasn't thick enough and it was very acidic/tangy. I did throw in 2 potatoes that were wilting on my counter tops as well.

I would also vent the slow cooker lid to reduce the liquid and help make it less soupy.

The slow cooker the meat became more pot-roast like instead of slice-able. Tender and yummy, just not what (I believe) it should have resembled.

This was served over fresh and homemade spaetzle!

Adapted from Alton Brown
Serves 2 1/2 very hungry adults

2 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, additional for seasoning meat
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
6 whole cloves (1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cloves)
12 juniper berries (optional)
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) bottom round (I used Chuck Roast)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
18 dark old-fashioned gingersnaps (about 5 ounces), crushed
1/2 cup seedless raisins, optional

In a large saucepan over high heat combine the water, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, onion, carrot, salt, pepper, bay leaves, cloves, and mustard seeds. Cover and bring this to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pat the bottom round dry and rub with vegetable oil and salt on all sides.

When the marinade has cooled to a point where you can stick your finger in it and not be burned, place the meat in a non-reactive vessel and pour over the marinade. Place into the refrigerator for 3 days. If the meat is not completely submerged in the liquid, turn it over once a day.

After 3 days of marinating, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Add the sugar to the meat and marinade, cover and place on the middle rack of the oven and cook until tender, approximately 4 hours.

Remove the meat from the vessel and keep warm. Strain the liquid to remove the solids. Return the liquid to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Whisk in the gingersnaps and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps. Add the raisins if desired. Slice the meat and serve with the sauce.

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