Germany's national dish of Sauerbraten is a sweet and sour beef slow marinated and cooked in what becomes a think gravy. Done right, the meat is tender and succulent with a unique flavour.
This meal takes some preparation. I based it on the recipie at Daring Gourmet It needs to marinate for at least a week before its ready to cook. So the previous weekend I picked up a nice 2kg chunk of beef rump from Stora Saluhallen and started the prep.
Slice up the veg and drop it into a large dutch oven or ceramic pot along with some red wine, red wine vinegar and water.
Bring it to the boil, then simmer for a while. Once that's done, add the beef to the mix and ideally, make sure it's covered. It was here I discovered my put was too small, so I moved to a larger one. If you can't cover the meat, make sure you turn it every day so it all gets a chance to marinate.
Cover and put the whole thing in the fridge for about a week.
Once you come back to it, you'll find the meat has taken on a lovely colour and the whole dish has a strong, almost vinegary smell to it.
Take the meat out, pat it try and then brown it well on all sides in a few tablespoons of oil. I had to cut my meat in half and to it in two separate sections due to the size.
Whilst the meat is browning, sieve the liquid from the vegetables and keep them separate.
Once browned, take the meat out to one side.
Return the veg and bacon to the pot and fry in the remaining oil. Slowly add in the flour and then return the liquid to the mix. It will turn into an unpleasantly coloured sludge at this point.
Bring to the boil and add in the ginger snaps, honey & raisins.
Mix well, bring to the boil and add the meat back. Cover and simmer for a couple of hours. One thing I would do differently is to not just simmer but regularly stir and turn the meat to ensure even cooking and to keep it moist.
By the end, you'll have a fairly thick vegetable slurry and a tender piece of beef. Take the meat out and leave it to rest. Cover it to keep it warm. Sieve the vegetables out from the liquid and discard them. Return the liquid to the pot and thicken with some cornflour paste.
Slice the meat into good-sized pieces.
Then serve with the gravy & a side dish. Anything heavy and carb-loaded goes well. I went for Kartoffelpuffer, potato pancakes. (though I should have cooked them longer)