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Sauerbraten

This classic German braised dish is made with beef roast marinated in wine vinegar and studded with onions, bay leaves, peppercorns, and juniper berries, then bathed in a sauce thickened by gingersnaps and lightened with sour cream. Serve with noodles or spaetzle.

Yield: 6 servings

1 cup Red wine vinegar
1 cup Red wine
2 1/2 cups Onion, chopped
3 Bay leaves
6 each Juniper berries, crushed
1 Boneless beef pot roast, rolled and tied
to taste Sea salt
to taste Black pepper, freshly ground
1 1/2 cups Carrots
1 1/2 cups Celery
1/8 teaspoon Ginger, minced
2 tablespoons All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Beef stock
1/2 cup Gingerbread cookies, crushed
3/4 cup Sour cream
1 teaspoon Black pepper, whole
1/4 cup currant jam or to taste

Combine vinegar, wine, 1 cup onion, 2 bay leaves, peppercorns, and juniper berries in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let cool. Dress the roast with the mixture and marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning periodically.

Remove meat from the marinade, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper. Strain marinade and reserve, discarding solids. Heat oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Brown meat on all sides. Remove meat from pan and pour out all but about 2 tablespoons of fat. Add remaining onions, carrots, celery, and ginger. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add flour and cook about 4 minutes until it begins to color.

Add reserved marinade, stock, and remaining bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and stir to scrape off browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the roast to the pan, cover, and cook in a 325 F oven until fork-tender, about 2 1/2 hours.

Remove meat from pan when done and keep warm. Skim the surface fat and reduce the liquid over high heat to about 3 cups. Stir in crushed cookies until sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and currant jam.

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