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I’m just a German-American girl, living in a Paleo world…

This is the post excerpt.

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Between bier, pretzels and schnitzel, eating like a German can be challenging when you’re trying to eat Paleo.  It’s even more difficult if you eat Paleo because you have an auto-immune disease, like I do (all you fellow Hashimoto’s sufferers, raise your hand).  My quest to eat Paleo and still be true to my roots, and my cravings, starts here and I’ll be posting recipes and tips.  Yes, I do cheat occasionally–it’s all about deciding whether the swelling, joint pain, and intestinal distress is worth the culinary party in my mouth.  But even on special occasions I try to eat clean.  Welcome to this blog and I hope it helps you, whether you have health issues like me, or you just want to feel better about what you eat!

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Sauerbraten, Part II

By now, your roast has been marinating anywhere from three to five days depending on your taste and schedule.  Now, it’s time to cook.

Ingredients for gravy

  • 1 T ginger powder (optional)
  • 3 T tallow
  • 2 T arrowroot powder
  • 1 T honey
  • .5 c golden raisins

Instructions

  1. Remove the roast (carefully) from the bag and place in the slow cooker.  
  2. Empty the remaining contents of the bag (i.e., the marinade/brine) into the slow cooker over the meat.
  3. If you can set your cooker to low, set for eight hours.  If you have a multipurpose cooker like I do, you can make rice and steam vegetables, but you can only slow cook at one temperature–high–so I set it for five hours.
  4. After cooking, remove the meat and set on a platter, allowing the meat to rest.
  5. Strain the liquid in the cooker.  If you’re relatively lazy like me, you can toss the veggies and spices, but if you want, remove the bay leaves and ginger and set aside to serve with the meat.  Skim as much of the fat from the top as you can.  If you like, put the liquid in the fridge to cool.  The fat will solidify at the top and it’s easy to remove.  Add the ginger powder if you want and mix well.
  6. In another, small pan, heat the tallow over medium heat until it’s melted, than add the arrowroot powder and honey, wisking continuously for about five minutes.
  7. Add the tallow mixture to the strained liquid.  Bring to a boil than reduce the heat to medium low and let it cook down until it’s at your desired thickness, anywhere from twenty minutes for an au jus-type sauce to an hour if you like it more thick and creamy, stirring regularly.  Add the raisins and cook a couple more minutes.

And now you’re finally ready to plate your meal.  Place some slices of meat on the plate, spoon the gravy over it, and serve with boiled potatoes, red cabbage and a bottle of hard cider.  Prost!

Rusty-approved Sauerbraten

Sauerbraten is a traditional German pot roast that can be made with any number of different meats with, ahem, horse being traditional.

Meet my horse, Rusty:

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Yeah, not gonna happen.

Germans LOVE pork but most versions I’ve had, have been made with beef.  If you have any venison, lamb or even mutton on hand, have at it.  At it’s most basic, sauerbraten (“sour roast”) is a tougher cut of meat marinated for a lengthy time in wine, vinegar and spices so that by the time it’s cooked, it’s as succulent and tender as filet mignon.  Back in the day, not a lot of people had access to the best cuts of meat.  They also didn’t have refrigeration, so pickling your meat was a good way to make it keep longer as well as tenderizing it.  It’s also made with refined sugar  which is a big no-no in the Paleo world.  A sweet substitute is–you guessed it–honey.  I would suggest using raw, organic, non-GMO honey.  Some regional variations call for using crushed gingersnaps when making the gravy, but adding a small bit of ginger root to the spice bag will add a nice touch of ginger, and arrowroot powder is a good substitute thickener for the gravy.

Another difference between my sauerbraten and the one my mom used to make is a slow cooker.  I’d love to spend the entire weekend nesting and cooking, but I rarely have two and a half hours to sit around waiting for meat to roast in the oven, so the slow cooker has been my salvation.  I also make a large roast because sauerbraten is time-consuming to prepare (it’s traditionally a centerpiece of holiday meals) and I’d rather make a lot of it and freeze it than go through the time and preparation more frequently.

So here is Part I of my recipe for Rheinishcer Sauerbraten, a popular regional variation from the Rhineland:

MARINATING/BRINING THE ROAST

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 pound beef roast, rump or bottom round, or chuck
  • 3 cups water or beef broth (I prefer beef broth, but didn’t have any on hand)
  • 1.5 cups red wine vinegar or red wine (I prefer red wine because, wine)
  • 1.5 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 t mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1 one-inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • sea salt
  • ground pepper

Preparation:

  1. Rub the roast with sea salt and ground pepper.  Set aside.
  2. Place the rest of the ingredients in a medium to large pot over a medium-high flame.
  3. Cover and bring to a boil.
  4. After the mixture has been vigorously boiling for about a minute, remove from heat and allow to cool at room temperature for a least 30 minutes.
  5. Place the roast in a 1.5 gallon plastic Ziploc bag, carefully empty the contents of the pot into the bag, carefully squeeze out as much air as you can, and seal the bag.
  6. Place in the refrigerator (preferably in a shallow pan to catch any possible leaks).
  7. Let sit for 3-5 days, flipping the bag once daily so that the entire roast marinates thoroughly.

WARNING:  Open some windows when heating the vinegar-based brine.  It’s pretty pungent if you’re not used to it.  It will dissipate pretty quickly once you’ve turned off the heat.

UP NEXT:  Slow cooking or roasting, and makin’ the gravy!