Marinated beef roast with sweet and sour sauce recipe


There are several versions of sauerbraten in Germany, and all are made from marinated beef that is braised in a sour marinade. The version found in the lower Rhineland of western Germany is a bit different than some of the others, in that it uses wine as well as vinegar in the marinade, along with raisins to provide sweetness that counteracts the sourness of the marinade. This would traditionally be thickened using gingerbread (you can omit the roux from this recipe and thicken with gingerbread instead, for a more traditional version) and served with potato dumplings and red cabbage.

  • Yield: 12 portions (6–7 ounces/portion) + sauce


For Making the Marinade
  • 1.5 cups Red Wine
  • 1.5 cups Red Wine Vinegar
  • 6 cups Water
  • 1 lb Yellow Onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp Black Peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 tsp Juniper Berries, crushed
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 6 lb Beef Top or Bottom Round, fat trimmed to ¼ inch
For Braising the Marinated Beef
  • 2 oz Lard
  • Marinated Beef, removed from marinade (strained and saved) and patted dry
  • 8 oz Yellow Onion, diced small
  • 6 oz Carrots, diced small
  • 4 oz Celery, diced small
  • 2 oz Flour
  • 2 cups Veal Stock, cool
  • 4 cups Reserved Marinade, cool
  • 4 oz Raisins
  • 8 oz Sour Cream
  • Salt, to taste
How to Make It
    For Making the Marinate
  1. Combine the red wine, red wine vinegar, water, onion, spices, bay leaves, and salt in a small pot, and bring mixture to a boil over a high flame.
  2. Once the mixture has come to a boil, remove from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  3. Place the marinade in a sanitized container just large enough to hold the beef roast and marinade (about 6 qts), and add both the beef and the marinade; cover, label, and place in refrigerator for 3 days, turning the meat occasionally.
  4. For Braising the Marinated Beef
  5. Preheat the oven to 325 degree F.
  6. Remove the beef from the marinade, straining the marinade through a chamois or cheesecloth and reserving the liquid.
  7. Pat the moisture from the surface of the beef, and set it aside.
  8. Heat a large saute pan or a small braising pan over a medium-high flame, and add the lard.
  9. Once the lard has gotten hot, add the beef round to the pan and sear on all sides until the roast has developed a deep brown color (be careful not to burn the fronds in the pan, as they will provide much of the flavor).
  10. Once the beef has been seared, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
  11. Add the small diced onions, carrots, and celery to the pan with the remaining fat; lower the flame slightly to sweat the vegetables until they are tender.
  12. Turn the heat up on the pan, and allow the vegetables to brown slightly before adding the flour to make a blond roux.
  13. Once the roux has colored, add the cool veal stock and marinade, stirring vigorously with a whisk as you do so to avoid any lumps.
  14. Add the raisins and then the beef roast; cover with foil and a tight-fitting lid, and place in the preheated oven. Roast for 2–3 hours, or until the beef becomes very tender.
  15. Once the beef is very tender, remove it from the oven and place the beef on a cutting board; allow it to cool before slicing.
  16. Strain the resulting sauce from the pan through a sieve, and press some of the vegetables through the sieve along with the sauce.
  17. Return the sauce to the stove and adjust the consistency via reduction or thinning using the remaining reserved marinade (if you are adding the marinade, make sure to bring the mixture back to a boil, ensuring that the raw marinade has been sanitized by cooking it).
  18. Once consistency has been adjusted, temper in the sour cream; adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  19. Slice the roast into ¼-inch slices, and serve with sauce.

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