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German Rheinischer Sauerbraten

What's the big idea?

Sauerbraten - a roasted joint of beef that has marinated for three days in a mix of red wine vinegar and spices - is popular throughout Germany, but particularly so in the North Rhine Westphalia region.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 200ml red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1kg (boneless) beef roasting joint
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4-5 rashers of bacon, finely chopped
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 3-4 Lebkuchen - German gingerbread biscuits, or similar, crumbled
  • 100ml red wine
  • 125g raisins
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly

What To Do

  • Pour the red wine vinegar and 300ml water into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil
  • Grind the peppercorns, cloves, and juniper berries slightly. Add these and the bay leaves to the boiling liquid
  • Cook for 2 more minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool
  • Place the beef in a suitably-sized bowl. Pour the cooled marinade over the beef, so that the meat is completely covered in liquid
  • Cover tightly and refrigerate for 3 days, turning the meat daily
  • Heat the oil in a large flame-proof casserole. Add the bacon and fry for 5 minutes
  • Remove the beef from the marinade and pat dry. Place the meat in the casserole and brown on all sides
  • Add the vegetables to the pot. Reduce the heat slightly
  • Meanwhile, strain the marinade through a strainer or sieve into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil
  • Add about 1 cup of the hot marinade to the meat along with the crumbled Lebkuchen
  • Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook the meat for 2 hours. After the first hour, add the red wine
  • Once the meat is cooked, remove from the casserole, cover and keep warm
  • Strain the liquid and vegetables through a strainer or sieve. Return the liquid to the original casserole
  • Add the raisins, redcurrant jelly and season to taste. Allow the sauce to thicken (add a little cornflour if you wish to speed up this process)
  • Slice the Sauerbraten and serve with the sauce

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