Let’s hear it for old-school recipes! Continuing with going around the world, let’s make a stop for an old German favorite, Sauerbraten — considered one of the national dishes. Surprise your crowd this weekend, and give their bellies and taste buds a jump-start with a new old flavor: beef, semi-sweet and semi-tart, and, without a doubt, terribly delicious!
This recipe, now revamped, was inspired from “McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection (1973 edition),” recipe card section “Do-Ahead Dishes.”
Cook with heart; eat with gusto. Buen Provecho!
This recipe serves six
Steps 1 (marinating meat):
(Three days before serving)
2 (about 3-pounds each) 7-bone chuck (bone-in)
1 large red onion, medium chopped
1 cups carrots (measured sliced)
2 stalks celery, medium chopped
2 teaspoons cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1½ tablespoon sea salt or gray salt (purchased on line from the King Arthur Flour Company)
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1½ cups cream sherry
1½ cups hearty red wine (i.e. burgundy, zinfandel, cabernet sauvignon)
In a large [non-reactive] bowl combine ingredients, mixing well. Refrigerate, covered, 3 days, turning meat occasionally.
(7-bone chuck can be purchased at your local San Jose Lucky’s store. And your choice of red wine at your local San Jose BevMo store)
Steps 2 (cooking meat & making gravy):
(Day of serving) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1/3 cup flour, for dusting meat (use leftover flour for later use with mushrooms)
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
20 ounces brown mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup whiskey (Maker’s Mark preferred) [for deglazing pan]
1/2 cup “roasted goop”
2 tablespoons golden-brown sugar
1 bottle of ale
1/2 cup all-purpose flour dissolved with 1 cup half-and-half
15 gingersnaps, crushed
Remove meat from marinade; reserve marinade. Wipe meat very dry with paper towels, coat with flour, and on the large burner, in a large fry pan, over medium-high heat, heat oils and brown meat on both sides. Transfer browned meat to a large Dutch oven and top with the reserved marinade. (Use the leftover oil in pan to fry mushrooms.)
In the fry pan, over same heat, add mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes; sprinkle the leftover flour (about 2 tablespoons) over the mushrooms and sauté another 3 minutes; add the whisky, turn off heat, and transfer mushrooms to Dutch oven. Lastly, scatter the “roasted goop” and sugar and pour ale over the meat, cover pot and bake in the oven for 2½ to 3 hours, or until meat is very tender.
Remove meat from Dutch oven and keep warm. Bring liquid to a simmer and slowly add the flour mixture and bring to a light boil; cook flour for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the ginger snaps, cook another 3 minutes. With a hand blender blend sauce until smooth. Adjust seasoning, and add water or milk if sauce is too thick.
Serve this up with mashed potatoes, noodles, steamed rice, or “Ultimate Mashed Cauliflower,” and serve ginger snap gravy on the side.