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Sauerbraten - marinated horsemeat roast


I really don't know if horse meat is available in Britain - legally - but it is many other European countries, including Germany. When the present horse meat scandal dies down and you can find a supplier, you might be tempted to try this; a favourite of mine and a traditional dish from the Rhineland.

Cologne grandmothers usually made their “Surbroode” from horse meat. Nowadays we marinate primarily beef in vinegar for sauerbraten and simmer until it melts in your mouth. Although the version of Cologne with the raisin sauce is best known: Other country kitchens also swear on the harmony of sweet and sour.

Each region gives this classic German Specialty through a variety of spices and ingredients its own style. But whether in Cologne, Munich or Vogtland – the stew takes time. Sauerbraten was formerly a Sunday and Holiday Food. For it to be served, it had to be planned in advance.

The meat does not take a direct route into the frying pan, but makes several days stopover in a marinate. Sauerbraten is nothing more than a preservation dilemma from times when there was still no fridge. The marinade of vinegar, water or wine and flavorings such as cloves, bay leaves, juniper berries, peppercorns and vegetables also decides on the brittleness of the roast: acid dissolves the collagen fibers of the meat. The stronger the marinate, the less cooking time. The sauce is the icing on the roast.

A Sauerbraten is not just sour. The counterpoint is the sauce. Therefore, not only the composition of the marinate, but also the sauce is the striking distinguishing feature of regional variations. About the recipe can not be argued, it is a family affair.

The Rhinelander loves it especially sweet: Typical are sugar beet molasses and raisins. It is thickened with pumpernickel or Printe. Often are the raisins previously soaked in red wine or cognac and the roast is topped with toasted almonds.

The sauerbraten is traditionally served with red cabbage and dumplings. But nowadays it is also served with mashed potatoes or Spätzle. At least one of the side dishes should be able to absorb the sauce well.

Rhineland Sauerbraten

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Marinade • Water -- 2 cups • Red wine vinegar -- 1 cup • Red wine -- 1 cup • Peppercorns -- 1 tablespoon • Juniper berries -- 8 • Whole cloves -- 4 • Bay leaves -- 2 Roast • Horsemeat, rump or round -- 3 to 4 pounds • Salt and pepper -- to season • Oil -- 3 tablespoons • Onion, thinly sliced -- 1 • Carrot, cut into thin rounds -- 2 • Celery, thinly chopped -- 1 stalk • Sugar -- 2 tablespoons or to taste • Raisins, soaked in warm water and drained (optional) -- 1/4 cup

Method

1. Place all of the marinade ingredients into a large pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes then remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

2. Place the beef in a large, non-reactive container large enough to contain it and the marinade. Pour the marinade over the beef. There should be enough liquid to cover the roast by about two-thirds. If not, add an equal mixture of wine and vinegar until it does.

3. Set the roast and its marinade in the refrigerator and marinade for at least two and up to five days. Turn the beef once or twice daily.

4. Remove the roast from the marinade and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high flame. Brown the roast well on all sides. Remove the roast and set aside.

5. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pot and saute until the onion is cooked through and translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Return the roast to the pot and pour in the marinade.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover the pot tightly and simmer for 3 to 4 hours, or until the roast is fork tender. 6. Remove the roast and set it aside to rest while you make the sauce.

Strain the sauce through a fine-meshed sieve. Discard the soldis and return the liquid to the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir in the raisins, season to taste with sugar, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. 7. Slice the roast thinly and serve with its sauce and a side of blaukraut or apple compote and potato dumplings or spaetzle.

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