Slow Cooker SauerbratenEstimated Cost:  $14.00

Prep Time:  30 minutes

Slow Cooker Time:  8 hours

Marination Time:  2 days

Serves:  8

German for, I think, “sour roast”, Sauerbraten is essentially a German pot roast.  Sauerbraten can be prepared from a variety of meats, including beef (most commonly), venison, lamb, mutton, and pork.   In my opinion, Sauerbraten’s secret is that it is marinated for several days in a mixture of vinegar and/or wine, water, herbs, spices, and seasonings.  Far be it for a simple Irishman to know the secret of what is considered one of the national dishes of Germany. I can tell you, however, that it is delicious, and this recipe makes it oh-so-easy to prepare.

2 cups water
1 cup red wine
1 cup cider vinegar
1 lemon, sliced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (how to)
10 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
2 Tbs. salt
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
4 lb. boneless beef chuck roast
2 cups onions, chopped
2 cups carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, sliced
8 gingersnap cookies, crushed

1. In a large saucepan, heat water, wine, vinegar, lemon, 1/2 cup of the onion, garlic, cloves, bay leaves, sugar, salt, and peppercorns, over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Allow mixture to cool and pour into a large resealable plastic bag. Add beef roast, coat with marinade, squeeze out excess air, and seal bag. Marinate in the refrigerator 2 to 3 days, turning every 12 hours or so.

2. Place remaining 1/2 cup of onions, carrots, and celery in the slow cooker. Remove roast from marinade and place on top of the vegetables in the crock.

3. In a large bowl, strain the marinade from the plastic bag; discard the strained bits, retaining the juice. Pour 2 1/2 cups of the juice over roast; refrigerate and reserve remaining juice.

4. Cover and cook roast on LOW for 8 hours. Turn slow cooker off. Transfer roast to a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil. Strain cooking liquid from the slow cooker back into the large bowl with the remaining juice you reserved in step #3. Return the strained vegetables to the slow cooker.

5. In a large saucepan, heat about 3 cups of the reserved juice and the gingersnaps over medium heat, adding reserved juice as needed, until gravy is thickened, about 10 minutes.

Mike’s comments:

Don’t let the multiple stages of straining intimidate you. The actual work-time in the kitchen for this recipe isn’t that great. Although it takes a few days to make, the majority of that time is spent in the fridge marinating or in the crock pot slow cooking.

Serve Sauerbraten with the same type sides you would any pot roast. Mashed potatoes or spätzle are two of my favorites.