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Sauerbraten“ is a typical German dish—I think. Maybe it's regional, but it seems that most regions have a variant. And that makes it really difficult to find a typical recipe. Potentially it doesn't matter, but it would be nice to get something representative.

I have one recipe in my ancient Time-Life cookbook „Die Küche in Deutschland“, a translation of a 1969 English language book whose title they decline to mention. In general the series isn't bad, but some of the details puzzled me, so I went looking elsewhere.

What a mess! Once again I came to the conclusion that it's really difficult to find a good recipe on the web. In the end I came up with this recipe from Chefkoch, which has its own strangenesses (“½ litre raspberry vinegar, preferably home-made”). And like the other recipe, it wanted the marinade boiled.

The quantities are always an issue, but in this case they're extreme. Time-Life shows its origins by using tablespoons and cups, and it wanted to brown the meat in fat before marinating, which seemed wrong to me. So I started with the other one—and it, too, wanted a tablespoon each of salt and sugar. The other quantities were even more unbalanced:

      Time-Life       Chefkoch
Meat       2 kg       1 kg
Wine for marinade       125 ml       750 ml
Vinegar for marinade       125 ml       500 ml
Water for marinade       500 ml
Marinade (total)       750 ml       1250 ml
Marinade (per kg meat)       375 ml       1250 ml
Marinate for       2-3 days       3 weeks

I'm sure that the spice quantities are different too, but since they go by count rather than weight, it's hard to say. In the end I went for the Chefkoch recipe and modified it to my liking (including considerably more spices) and with a view to consistency.

Ingredients

quantity       ingredient       step
750 ml       red wine       1
500 ml       vinegar       1
250 g       onion, sliced in rings       1
100 g       carrot, in slices       1
5 g       juniper       1
2 g       allspice       1
2 g       cloves       1
2 g       bay leaves       1
25 g       salt       1
25 g       sugar       1
1.4 kg       beef topside,lean       2
40 g       beef dripping       3
100 g       onion       4
100 g       carrot       4
100 g       celery       4

Preparation

  1. Slice onion and carrot as described, crush the juniper in a mortar. Put all ingredients in the liquid, bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Allow to cool.

  2. When the marinade is cool, add the meat and ensure that it's covered by the marinade. Leave in the fridge for some while.

  3. Following week: remove the meat from the marinade and dry. Brown in the dripping from all sides:


    https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20190629/big/Sauerbraten-4.jpeg
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  4. Cut carrots, onion and celery and fry in the remaining fat. This photo is missing the celery:


    https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20190629/big/Sauerbraten-6.jpeg
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  5. Put in 600 ml of the marinade, bring to the boil. Add the meat and bake in oven at 170° for up to two hours. I've found that that's pretty much the outer limit for beef topside, which comes out very tender.


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  6. Cut into thick slices in the kitchen and serve with red cabbage and dumplings:


    https://lemis.nyc3.digitaloceanspaces.com/grog/Photos/20190629/big/Sauerbraten-10.jpeg
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