Today I want to introduce you a bit to our Bavarian/Franconian cuisine. As I mentioned in some posts before, Franconia (where I am actually from) is the northern part of Bavaria and our cultures and cuisines are as good as alike.
But there is one dish - the Franconian Sauerbraten - that is very special here in Franconia. Sauerbraten is a marinated pot roast dish that is known throughout Germany but recipes vary from region to region.
This recipe is a traditional Franconian one and I hope to guide you through it with no problems. Who knows ... maybe you'll be cooking it, too, someday to show off ;-)
Of course, you can go to the supermarket and buy some ready-made sauce but this recipe does not contain any of those ingredients. Everything is made fresh from scratch.
Therefore, you need to decide in advance on which day you want to eat Sauerbraten because you need to marinade the beef four or five days beforehand.
Here are the ingredients you need for the marinade (which later will be used for the sauce):
After 4 or 5 days in the marinade and in the fridge, you take out the beef and sieve the vegetables. Then you prepare the following ingredients:
Step 1 & 2: Let the vegetables drain well and keep the rest of the marinade in a bowl. Dab the beef with some paper towel.
Step 3: Stir-fry the beef on each side in some vegetable oil for about 2 till 3 minutes. Then take it out of the pan again.
Step 4: Now put the vegetables into the pan and let them braise.
Step 5: Add the rest of the marinade and the tomato paste and stir well.
Step 6: Put the meat back into the pan and add the sugar and the cranberries.
Step 7: Crumble the Soßenlebkuchen (maybe you can find it in a German supermarket or a gourmet food shop) or the pumpernickel and add it. If you use the pumpernickel, don't forget the syrup. Just add as much as syrup as you like, depending on how much sweetness you want to add. And add just as much pumpernickel as you need to thicken the gravy a bit more.
Step 8: Stir all the ingredients well into the gravy and let the Sauerbraten simmer for about 2 hours on a pretty low heat. You can let it simmer in a pan with a lid on your cooking plate or in your oven.
As side dishes, I chose Knödel (potato dumplings) and red cabbage. I was a bit lazy, so I just bought some fresh Knödel dough and red cabbage as you can see in the pictures below.
Just put the red cabbage in a pot, add 200 ml currant juice and two sliced apples. Let the juice first boil up a bit and then let the cabbage simmer on low for as long as you want to (depending how soft you want your cabbage, I let mine simmer for about 2 hours). Almost at the end, you should add some black pepper and salt. Be careful though not to add too much.
I used two glasses of red cabbage which is almost 1 kg. That is why I used 200 ml juice and two apples. If you want to make less cabbage, then use less juice and apples :-)
This is how you roll Knödel :-) Maybe you can find some dough in a German supermarket or the like. If not, you can probably google how to make German potato dumplings. I will probably upload a recipe with step-by-step instruction pictures at some point.
And by the way, this little thing I put in the middle of the Knödel in the second picture is a bread crumb. To be honest, I don't know why we put them in the Knödel but my mother said it is important for the Knödel not to fall apart while they are being cooked in the water.
Here is the result :-)
I added some extra cranberries on the plate. I didn't sieve the vegetables out of the gravy again but you can do that of course if you want to. If you leave them in the gravy, however, make sure that you don't eat the juniper berries and the bay leaves (doesn't taste that great ;-) ).
I hope you enjoyed this post/recipe/dish :-) I would be thrilled to get some feedback.