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Germans !!!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Are there any Germans out there who know what spices go into sauerbraten seasoning ?  There are zillions of sauerbraten recipes on the web and I'm  sure they are all tasty but I want to make authentic German Sauerbraten using the right seasoning.  I know the method and everything else but I really would like to know what goes into that "sauerbraten seasoning".  I have the juniper berries, bay leaves and peppercorns but the only way I can get the "sauerbraten seasoning" is by sending for it and I'm pretty sure I could mix my own if I only knew what goes into it.

post #2 of 13

I use regular "pickling spice mix", by McCormick, available at most supermarkets.  Then I add in the juniper berries that I picked and dried from the tree overhanging my deck.  MMM...it's that time of the year again,  when I want to make hearty fare such as this.  Now,  if anyone would shoot an elk and bestow a couple nice roasts upon me,  it would be perfect.  Sigh,  Guess beef will have to do. 

 

Recipe for Pickling spice if you want to make your own:

 

2 cinnamon sticks, 2TBS black peppercorns, 1 TBS mustard seeds (I use the dark seeds), 1 TBS whole clove, 1 TBS whole allspice, 1 TBS whole mace, crumbled, 1 teaspoon dill seed and 5 bay leaves.  Also 1 small piece of dried ginger (optional),  and 1 TBS juniper berries.

 

This is the spice mix I used when we had our German restaurant (centuries ago),  and our clientele was predominantly Old World Germans.  My sauerbraten was a favorite,  so I guess I did something right. 

 

I would highly recommend "The German Cookbook",  by Mimmi Sheraton,  for other authentic recipes.  Have fun, eat well!


Edited by amazingrace - 10/10/10 at 12:15pm
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post #3 of 13

If, on a given night, there are 2,844,627 Germans eating sauerbraten, which recipe is the authentic one?

 

I'm not German and aren't sure whether you're interested in my way -- which combined the Luchow's recipe and the remembered taste of the sauerbraten at a German restaurant in Los Angeles (which also is no more) as its starting point -- or not. 

 

Authentic or not, it's quite good.

 

The marinade is onions, carrots, celery, cloves, juniper berries, bay leaf, fruit vinegar (like cider vinegar, e.g.), salt, pepper, and water.  We've found that jaccarding the meat and using a shorter marinade (4 hours to overnight), makes for more tender and better flavored meat works better than the traditional, several-day marinade. 

 

We brown the meat in lard, not oil or shortening.   

 

We thicken the gravy with gingernsaps instead of a roux -- although in the past, I combined both methods as did Luchow's.  The quality of the cookies is very important, and because they carry all of the thickening they must be very crisp.  

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 10/10/10 at 11:17pm
post #4 of 13

We thicken the gravy with gingernsaps instead of a roux

 

Is using a roux common?

 

I've looked at probably dozens of sauerbrauten recipes through the years, and can't remember any that didn't use gingersnaps for thickening and flavor.

 

Been years since I've made sauerbrauten, but I like the idea of using the Jaccard to hasten the process.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 13

The original question was regarding the spices,  the blend of which is probably as individual as the number of German cooks in the world.  Some of the formulas are well-guarded secrets, passed down from mother to daughter [or father to son, etc] with admonition to never divulge the specific ingredients or measurements.  

 

Discussion of techniques and recipes is a natural progression from that.

 

Yes,  as far as I could ever determine,  gingersnaps are a traditional ingredient found in every sauerbraten recipe I've ever encountered.  I typically bake my own gingersnaps,  to ensure consistency in the finished dish.  As BDL pointed out,  the cookies need to be of high quality.  You know,  if you're going through all the steps to make sauerbraten,  you might as well do it right.  As for the juniper berries, for best results,  smash them before adding them to the marinade, so that more of their pungent flavor is released. 

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post #6 of 13
The original question was regarding the spices,

 

So it was.  Cloves, bay leaves, juniper berries, salt, pepper, and whatever's in ginger snaps.

 

BDL

post #7 of 13

I never ate this, but I know the dish. I searched for a recipe in german, land of origin, and bumped onto a german site with around 200 recipes of this!

I took the most read post and here it is translated. I left the german words for the ingredients, also translated. Would like to hear you all break your tongue on the german hahaha!

Enjoy...

 

1,5 kg Rindfleisch - beef (in one piece, beef suited for stewing)

2 Zwiebeln - onions

1 Möhre - carrot

8 Wacholderbeeren - juniper berries

5 Piment Körner – allspice (AKA Jamaica pepper)

10 Pfeffer Körner – peppercorns

2 Lorbeerblätter – bay leaves

4 Gewürznelken – cloves

1 tbsp Saltz – salt

1 tbsp Zucker – sugar

0,5 liter Rotweinessig – red wine vinegar

2 tbsp Butterschmalz – butter or clarified butter

2 tbsp Tomatenmark – tomato paste

125 g saure Sahne – sour cream

1 Stück Schwartzbrot – 1 piece of "black" bread (probably german rye bread?)

 

Pout the vinegar with ¾ liter water in a pot. Clean veggies, cut in mirepoix, add to the pot with the spices, salt and sugar. Cook for 5 minutes on high fire and let cool.

Wash the meat and put in the liquid. It must be covered entirely by liquid. Cover and put away for 3 days in the fridge. Turn the meat each day.

Heat the oven to 200°C(hot air oven to 180). Take meat out of the marinade and dry. Season with pepper on all sides.

Sear the meat in a pot on all sides in butter. Pour the marinade through a sieve and preserve. Add the veggies to the pot. Add Tomato paste. Deglaze the pot with half of the marinade. Cover the pot and put in the oven for 2 hours. Turn the meat a few times during this time, add liquid if necessary. After 1 hour cooking time, add the bread (note; probably to thicken, this method is also used in carbonnade flamande).

Take the meat out. Get all cooking bits that are stuck to the side of the pot and put in the sauce.

Sieve the sauce and stir sour cream in. Serve cut in slices with sauce and "Thüringer Klöbe" (note; huh?, probably noodles?)

post #8 of 13

We used bottom rounds, and yes gingersnaps, & pickling spice some reisling wine and. Served mit spetzel un sweet sour red cabbage.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 

Wow, I think I hit the jackpot of information here.  Many thanks to all.  I'm well aware that there is no single "authentic" recipe for sauerbraten but now I have a pretty good handle on what is traditional with old time Germans.  I notice that certain ingredients show up repeatedly in different recipes so I take that as an indication that those are "authentic".  My theory is that sauerbraten was as much a "method" as a recipe and that it probably started thousands of years ago as a combination of an attempt to preserve meat and an attempt to make palatable some meat that had already gotten a little too ripe !  Also, the method was probably embelished over the centuries as sailing ships made spices from around the world available.

I'll keep an eye on this forum in case there are more replies.

post #10 of 13

I had to Google "ginger snaps" to know they are American cookies.

But... suddenly a bell rings. In our very own carbonade flamande, a lot of people use -instead of bread-  some slices of gingerbread covered with a layer of mustard, and put it halfway cookingtime above the preparation. Purpose is first of all to thicken the sauce and of course, there's the taste.

Maybe, just maybe, the original German recipe could also have used gingerbread instead of dark (rye)bread!! Gingerbread contains indeed powdered ginger and cinnamon.

post #11 of 13

In "The German Cookbook" by Mimi Sheraton,  she refers to the use of Elisenlebchuchen (Elise's Spice Cakes) as an alternative to gingersnaps.  It's interesting that this recipe does not call for ginger at all, although it does have many other spices commonly found in spice cookies.  Cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg,  as well as lemon rind and candied orange peel.  The main point to sauerbraten is the sour marinade, countered by the sweet sauce.  I'm not sure about posting the entire recipe, since it comes directly from copywright material. 

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post #12 of 13

All this talk about sauerbraten started my mouth watering.  Today I was in the market,  and bottom round was on sale.  I now have a nice roast marinating.  Tomorrow I'm baking ginger snaps,  and on Saturday we shall feast. Red cabbage, potato pancakes and hearty rye bread.  I thought about using the Jacard to hasten the marinade,  but decided against it.  Part of the enjoyment at our house is the anticipation.  Opening the fridge several times a day, seeing the roast there in the liquid,  and knowing that something good is going to happen but you have to wait, is [to me] like knowing what you're getting for your birthday,  and not being able to open it until the special day... it just adds to the excitement and the pleasure.   

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post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingrace View Post

In "The German Cookbook" by Mimi Sheraton,  she refers to the use of Elisenlebchuchen (Elise's Spice Cakes) as an alternative to gingersnaps.  It's interesting that this recipe does not call for ginger at all, although it does have many other spices commonly found in spice cookies.  Cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, nutmeg,  as well as lemon rind and candied orange peel.  The main point to sauerbraten is the sour marinade, countered by the sweet sauce.  I'm not sure about posting the entire recipe, since it comes directly from copywright material. 


See, I knew it would be gingerbread! "Lebkuchen" is german for gingerbread. In dutch it's called "peperkoek"referring to the spicy mildly peppery taste, in french it's "pain d'épices" which litteraly means herbbread.

 

Gingerbread is a very ancient product in Europe, and, as I said in my previous post, is used in some dishes to thicken the sauce and to give it a sweet and deep flavor. It completely dissolves when used in cooking. Gingerbread is still made commercially by a number of -more or less- artisanal producers and... small local bakeries.

 

Here's a good one made by a honey producer; http://www.meli.be/OnzeProducten/Infoproducten/HoningkoekRoyalSuiker/tabid/262/language/en-US/Default.aspx
 


Edited by ChrisBelgium - 10/13/10 at 5:34am
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