|oh yeah baby !!|
This past Sunday, the decision was made to do a Sauerbraten - sort of a happy early Oktoberfest :). I love German food...I am German (well 1/4 anyway), but it's not just that. It's happy memories of my childhood, yes..even though its only one quarter, it's a quarter I identify very strongly with - and food-wise, something I did get to see in action quite often (though I SO wish I had taken better notes !) . Sauerbraten is basically a pickled roast - marinated at least three days, though Oma had a system where she'd marinate it for two weeks. Bit scary, that :). However long you marinate it, when you're ready to cook it, you basically go pot roast style - brown the sides, then cook. On top of the stove works fine, but we usually bake it in the oven...then take it out and thicken the gravy with gingersnaps. Rotkohl (red cabbage) and Kartoffelkloesse (German potato dumplings) are the usual accompaniments around here - Mark loves red cabbage, and the dumplings were one of Oma's specialties. It's taken me a while to perfect them - I think having her potato ricer is key :). We call them "footballs", since that's what my mom called them growing up - who the heck can say "Kartoffelkloesse" ? . (According to my sister everyone in Germany calls them footballs, but that's a story for another time :) )
Mark is definitely the master when it comes to Sauerbraten. The Martins were already well versed in German food even before I married in, courtesy of some Austrian heritage. I just pitch in where assigned :). He usually does the red cabbage as well...but the footballs are all mine :)
Sauerbraten , Martin style
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 cups water
2 large onions, chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
6 carrots, chopped fine
8 peppercorns, 8 whole cloves, and 8 whole allspice berries - cracked in mortar and pestle
1/4 tsp mustard seed
5 lb bottom round roast
Mix all marinade ingredients, then place in ziplock bag. Poke holes in roast, place in bag, and marinate for at least three days in fridge, turning at least once a day.
Brown all sides in pan. Bake in covered pan (we use stoneware, but a heavy pan with foil will do) with 2 cups of the marinade liquid - 350 for 30 minutes, then 325 for about three more hours.
Gravy - strain remaining marinade into saucepan, and simmer on stove for 30 minutes. Put in blender with 8 - 10 gingersnaps (or use immersion blender), then return to saucepan for another 10-15 minutes, until nice and thick.
Rotkohl (Red Cabbage)
1/2 pound bacon
1 head red cabbage, chopped.
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Saute bacon in Dutch oven. Remove and saute onion in fat a bit, then add rest of ingredients. Add bacon back in and simmer for about three hours. Salt and pepper to taste.
Kartoffelkloesse (German potato dumplings)
Makes about 9. Easily doubled.
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup potato starch
dash of nutmeg, shake of salt
9 croutons - usually I use a slice of good German wheat bread pumpernickel, cubed up and sauteed in a little butter
Peel and boil the potatoes until done, then run though a ricer (or mash well, if you don't have one) Let cool a bit, then mix in the egg, flour, potato starch, nutmeg and salt . Take some in your hand and form each dumpling around a crouton - it should come together almost like making a good heavy snowball. If it't hard to work with or starts falling apart, just add more potato starch to the mixture.
Take a large but sort of shallow saucepan, fill about 2/3 way halfway with water and bring to a boil. Drop the dumplings in - don't crowd the pan, if you can't fit them all you're much better off using two pans. Lower the heat to a simmer and simmer them about 20 minutes.