My friend Shawn sent me a recipe for Sauerbraten. I’ve never had sauerbraten before and after reading the recipe, I am embarrassed to admit that I had always assumed it was a kind of sausage (you know, …braten …’brats on the grill and all that. Work with me here!) Anyway, as you may or may not know, sauerbraten is actually a big hunk of braised beef. So after going for so long with my misconception, I had to try this recipe.
Traditional sauerbraten is a beef marinated and braised in vinegar, wine, and spices. This recipe replaces the wine and vinegar with a Belgian lambic beer, which has a slightly sour aftertaste. This recipe takes a little planning in that the beef marinates for 3 – 4 days! I started it on the weekend and then cooked it for a weeknight dinner. In the interest of full disclosure, I could not find a lambic beer. So I used a domestic Belgian-style beer and added a ¼ cup of white vinegar to the marinade.
Also the recipe calls for pickling spice. I don’t have premixed pickling spice so (after a little research) I made my own with black and red
peppercorns, coriander, cardamom, cumin, juniper berries, and fenugreek. (…and yes I do have juniper berries and fenugreek in my pantry, I’m a food-geek, what can I say?) Lastly, I forgot to buy sour cream, so I didn't make the sauce, though it sounds delicious. We just ladled the juice over the meat.
Boneless Top Round Roast ($4.99/lb) - $14.42
Onions (3 lb bag) – $2.99
Garlic (1 head) - $0.69
Pickling Spice (2.6 oz, premixed) - $2.99
Total - $21.09
Sauerbraten with a Twist
For the Meat
24 oz Gueuze or Lambic
8 each garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 tbsp pickling spices
2 each yellow onions, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
2 each bay leaves
1 tsp sea salt
4-5 lb top sirloin roast
For the Sauce
¼ cup olive oil
2 each garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 each leek, washed and sliced
1 each bay leaf
2-3 tsp all-purpose flour
½ cup sour cream
In a stainless steel pot, bring sour beer, garlic, spices, onions, bay leaves and salt to a boil and
temperature. Place into either a large sealable container or Ziploc bag and add roast. Remove as much air as possible and seal, placing in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. At least once a day, flip the bag to distribute the marinade equally over the meat.
In a Dutch over medium-high heat, add oil and brown the roast (first removing from the marinade, patting dry and reserving the marinade) on all sides. After the meat has formed a nice crust, add onions, garlic, leeks, bay leaf and reserved marinade liquid only, discarding other spices and
Bring to a simmer and place into a 250 F oven for 4 hours. Remove the roast from the liquid, sprinkling with flour and whisking to prevent any lumps. Bring to a low simmer and thicken for about 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and add sour cream. Adjust seasoning. Slice the roast against the grain of the meat and serve with the sauce over buttered egg noodles tossed with chopped parsley, thyme and savory.