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Sauerbraten is a slow marinated and slow cooked beef roast that has become one of the national dishes of Germany. Marinated for anywhere from 2 – 5 days in a thick vinegar and red wine sauce with pickling spices, cedar berries and ginger, then cooked over low heat for at least 3 hours, the beef comes out incredibly tender. This recipe rounds out our slow-cooked beef cuisines from different cultures and with a variety of flavor profiles. We have the French beef bourguignon recipe, using mushrooms, carrots and distinctly French flavors. Then there’s our Indonesian beef rendang recipe using coconut, lemongrass and lime and lots of Southeast Asian spices.
For our sauerbraten recipe, we slow cook the beef in its own unmistakably German marinade using cedar berries, then add ground gingersnaps and reduce the sauce at the very end for a richly flavored gravy. Your patience will pay for itself with every tender, juicy, sour and savory bite.
In a small prep bowl, whisk together ginger and salt. Use your fingers to rub ginger salt seasoning over the rump roast. Place roast in a medium or large heatproof bowl.
Peel and chop the onions.
Chop scallions and separate the whites from greens. Set both aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine the following:
red wine vinegar
scallions (whites only)
Bring to a boil over high heat. Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour simmered marinade over roast and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer rump roast into a large resealable plastic bag, then pour the marinade in over the beef. Zip the bag closed, squeezing out any excess air as you do so.
Refrigerate roast for 3 days, turning the bag over twice per day.
Strain the marinade into a sieve set over a bowl and reserve for later. Discard any whole pieces of seasoning that didn’t strain through. Remove beef from the bag and pat it dry with paper towels.
Into a small bowl, whisk salt and pepper into flour. Sprinkle seasoned flour over the beef.
Heat oil in Dutch oven or deep, heavy skillet over medium-high. Place your roast in the skillet and brown on all sides (about 10 minutes). Pour marinade into the skillet with the beef. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 3 – 3 ½ hours, or until the beef is very tender.
Use the back of a spoon or potato masher to crush gingersnaps into a coarse powder. Set aside for later.
When beef is done cooking, remove to plate or platter for slicing.
Strain cooking juices into a sieve set over a heatproof bowl. Discard any solid pieces and pour liquid mixture into a medium sized saucepan.
Bring the strained cooking juices to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in crushed gingersnaps and sugar. Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens into gravy (about 5 – 10 minutes).
Slice the roast to your desired thickness and serve with gravy drizzled over the top. Sprinkle scallion greens over top. Optionally, garnish with a couple sprigs of parsley or thyme.