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Course: Mains
Keyword: Beef, German, Make-Ahead, Sauerbraten


ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 3 days 5 hours
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus extra for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for serving
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 12 whole juniper berries
  • 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 (2-inch diameter), finely crushed
  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins, optional
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 3 days 5 hours
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • Combine the water, vinegars, onion, carrot, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the salt, pepper, bay leaves, cloves, juniper berries, and mustard seeds in a large saucepan set over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Pat the bottom round dry, then rub with vegetable oil and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt on all sides. Heat a large saute pan over high heat, add the meat and brown on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • When the marinade is cool to the touch, place the meat in a non-reactive vessel (like a 4-quart stainless-steel pan with a lid) and pour the marinade over it. Place in the refrigerator for 3 days. If the meat is not completely submerged in the liquid, turn it over once per day.
  • After 3 days of marinating, heat the oven to 325ºF. Add the sugar to the meat and marinade, cover, and cook on the middle rack of the oven 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 the sauce has thickened, 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any lumps and stir in the raisins. Slice the meat, season with additional salt and pepper, if desired, and serve with the sauce.
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