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Sauerbraten is a dish that is traditional from the Rhineland and the Bergisch region. This one is a bit of a twist on the traditional, and the sauce is so good, you will probably find yourself soaking bread in it to finish it off. It was traditionally done with horse meat, but it is more commonly done with beef now. We prefer it with roe deer, which is a small type of deer from the region but it works well with beef and horse too. It has to be done well ahead of time and it is better the longer it sits but it is not very much work for the great result. It goes well with potatoes or dumplings and red cabbage or broccoli rabé. I have taken some ideas from several recipes I found online.
- 50 g carrots
- 50 g celeriac
- 100 g onions
- 300 ml full-bodied red wine
- 30 ml balsamic vinegar
- 30 ml red wine vinegar
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries
- 3 cloves
- sea salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 800 g venison (something from the leg) or 800 g beef roast or 800 g horse meat (these don't have to be one whole chunk of meat, we usually do this with two pieces with the deer)
- 30 g lard or 30 g clearified butter
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 20 g apple butter or 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 liter beef stock (beef with beef or horse, game with deer) or 1 liter game stock (beef with beef or horse, game with deer)
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder (not drink mix, plain cocoa powder)
- 2 tablespoons cold butter
- Peel and cube veggies in about 1 cm pieces.
- In a big container with a lid, mix wine, vinegars, and spices (everything up to the sea salt), adding a pinch of sea salt and pepper.
- Add meat and veggies and put in refrigerator or other cool place at least 3 days and up to 10 days.
- Take out the meat and pat down with a towel.
- Heat lard or clarified butter on high heat in a lidded pot that is large enough for the meat, veggies and sauce and sear the meat on all sides.
- Pass the marinade through a colander, keeping both.
- When the meat is seared on all sides, remove and add the veggies and spices and shortly roast.
- Add the tomato paste and apple butter, mix and allow to caramelize for 2 minutes.
- Add the marinade and stock.
- Put the meat back on, put on lid and braise it on low heat for 1 1/2 - 2 hours (when the meat has reached 60°C/140°F).
- Remove meat and keep warm.
- Pass the liquid through colander and cook on medium-high, reducing sauce by half (about 20 minutes).
- Add cocoa powder and butter and salt and pepper to taste.
- Carve meat into slices and serve with sauce on top.