Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sauerbraten (German-style Beef Potroast)

DSO is a hunter; I know, HOW did that happen? While our property is filled with deer and wild turkey, these are totally off limits. If he wants to hunt, he has to go to his hunting club. I tasted venison twice and both times it tasted like old meat to me. It is a disgusting color, has almost no fat, and is not allowed in our upstairs freezer. That said, I have made venison sauerbraten for DSO in years past (I use rubber gloves so I don't have to touch that grey meat).  To his dismay, DSO has not gotten a deer for the past two years, so I haven't had to contend with cooking something I detest. That said, I did feel kind of sorry for him, so I decided to make him a "real" sauerbraten, something that's a bit labor intensive (just because you need to plan the days for the marinating), but very, very delicious.

Makes 8 - 10 servings
1 1/2 c vinegar
1/2 c red wine
1 c water
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp whole black peppers
4 bay leaves
4 onions, sliced
18 whole cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground mustard
3 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
4 lb boned rump roast
2 tbs flour
freshly ground pepper
1/4 c fat
1/3 c gingersnaps, crushed finely
1/2 c sour cream

Two to four days before serving:
In large bowl, make the marinade: combine vinegar, wine, water, sugar, 1/2 tsp whole black peppers, bay leaves, 3 onions, 12 cloves, 1 tsp ground mustard, and 2 tsp salt. Place meat in large ziplock bag and place bag back in a large bowl and pour in marinade. Refrigerate 2-4 days, turning bag each day.

On the day you plan to eat sauerbraten:
Remove meat. Strain marinade and set aside. Dry meat well with paper towels. Combine flour, 1 1/2 tsp salt, a few grinds of pepper. In hot fat in Dutch oven, brown meat well on all sides, about 15-20 minutes. This is a VERY important step, so don't rush it. Add 3/4 c reserved marinade (refrigerate the rest), 1 sliced onion, 1/2 tsp ground mustard, 6 cloves, 1/2 tsp whole black peppers. Simmer, covered, about 3-3 1/2 hours, until meat is fork tender, adding 1/4 cup marinade, if needed.

Remove meat to hot platter, slicing it first; keep warm. Strain drippings from Dutch oven into glass measuring cup. Let stand a few minutes to settle. Pour off all except the bottom 1/3. Return these drippings to the Dutch oven. Stir in crushed gingersnaps and rest of the marinade, stirring until thickened. Stir in sour cream, then add back the sliced meat (do not boil or sour cream will curdle). Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.
I'd forgotten just how wonderful a sauerbraten tastes. The few times I've ordered it out, it's been dry and stringy. Not so this with this one. The sweet-sour flavor of the marinade marries so well with the spiciness of the gingersnaps and the creaminess of the sour cream gravy. The meat was juicy and tasted even better the next day. Leftovers make wonderful hot sandwiches, too. This is just the meal for a cold night or for when you have company for dinner.


  1. I had a motherinlaw that made this all the time for my German fatherinlaw, she was Italian. I could never aquire a taste with that sauce using the gingersnaps.. boy you made it look alot more tempting hers was not a pretty site this looks great Happy New Year!

  2. I love venison! There might be something wrong with the hanging and butchering of the stuff you've had if it was grey - it should be a deep ruby red like the most perfect beef fillet. But this sauerbraten looks very good. I haven't had it for such a long time!

  3. This looks so good Arlene, I like to try new things, so this is going to be on the menu for the first of the year. I'll let you know how it went over! Of course I have to have purple cabbage with it, one of my favorites.

  4. Looks comforting...I'm a sucker for red cabbage.

    Happy new year!

  5. I grew up with a mighty fine sauerbraten - served every year on my father's birthday. Forget sauerbraten in the restaurants - they don't do it properly. You did!

  6. oh wow, i love this! what a comforting dish!

  7. yummy yum yum!!! can't wait to try it :D thanks!


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