Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Whoah Nelly!!

Although I couldn’t conceive of eating horse meat, it is a common practice in many countries . . . not just as a delicacy but as an everyday food source.  It's said that the meat is lean, finely textured, slightly sweet, rich in protein, and tender. A large majority of the horses slaughtered in the United States are exported for their meat . . . Italy, Quebec and Japan are big consumers.

I don't want to get into any sort of ethical or moral debate on the subject.  But to me, it would be like eating Mr. Ed . . . no thanks.

Sauerbraten (sour roast) is considered by most to be Germany's national dish; although it varies from region to region the basics of the dish remain the same.   Sauerbraten was originally made with horse meat but today it is almost always made with beef and sometimes venison.  

Traditionally the meat is marinated for 2-3 days in vinegar and/or beer, spices such as cloves, juniper berries, allspice and peppercorns, bay leaves and onions and is then braised in the marinade for a long period, resulting in very tender melt-in-the-mouth meat.

Sauerbraten is served with boiled potatoes, dumplings or noodles . . . German style.

Yummy . . . sans Flicka

•           2 Cups Water
•           1 Cup Cider Vinegar
•           1 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
•           1 Medium Onion, Chopped
•           1 Large Carrot, Chopped
•           1 Tablespoon Plus 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt, Additional For Seasoning Meat
•           1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
•           2 Bay Leaves
•           6 Whole Cloves
•           12 Juniper Berries(1)
•           1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
•           1 (3 1/2 To 4-Pound) Bottom Round
•           1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
•           1/3 Cup Sugar
•           18 Dark Old-Fashioned Gingersnaps (About 5 Ounces), Crushed
•           1/2 Cup Seedless Raisins, Optional

In a large saucepan(2) over high heat combine the water, cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, onion, carrot, salt, pepper, bay leaves, cloves, juniper, and mustard seeds. Cover and bring this to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pat the bottom round dry and rub with vegetable oil and salt on all sides. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat; add the meat and brown on all sides, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side.

When the marinade has cooled to a point where you can stick your finger in it and not be burned, place the meat in a non-reactive vessel and pour over the marinade. Place into the refrigerator for 3 days. If the meat is not completely submerged in the liquid, turn it over once a day.

After 3 days of marinating, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Add the sugar to the meat and marinade, cover and place on the middle rack of the oven and cook until tender, approximately 4 hours.

Remove the meat from the vessel and keep warm. Strain the liquid to remove the solids.

Return the liquid to the pan and place over medium-high heat. Whisk in the gingersnaps and cook until thickened, stirring occasionally. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove any lumps. Add the raisins if desired. 

Slice the meat and serve with the sauce.  As you can see, mine didn't slice well . . . i just kinda fell apart . . . awesome!

(1)   In any recipe calling for juniper berries, substitute 1 tsp. of gin for every two berries.  Since you are using the gin for flavor, less expensive gin will do.   The alcohol in the gin will evaporate as the dish cooks, leaving behind only the flavor.

(2)   Marinate and cook Sauerbraten in a non-metallic pan, if possible.  The acidity will react with the metals and affect the flavor.

1 comment:

  1. I don't know, given that I'm not a fan of horses, I'd try it with horse meat. :D