Sauerbraten I

A famous German dish, Sauerbraten (zow-err-brah-tehn) is usually made with topside of beef. Serve Sauerbraten I with boiled potatoes or potato dumplings.

If lebkuchen, a type of German gingerbread is not available, any gingerbread or ginger biscuits may be used instead.

1 X 32 lb. topside of beef

1 pint water

10 fl. oz.

1/2. cups red wine vinegar

10 fl. oz.

½ cups red wine

4 garlic cloves, halved

2 medium-sized onions, sliced

1 celery stalk, trimmed and chopped

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed

1 X 2-inch strip lemon rind

6 parsley sprigs

SAUCE

1 oz. vegetable fat

6 slices lean bacon, rinds removed and chopped

2 medium-sized onions, sliced

3 medium-sized carrots, scraped and quartered lengthways

1 oz. butter

1 oz. flour

4 oz. lebkuchen, crumbled

2 oz. slivered almonds

Place the beef in a large mixing bowl and pour over the water, vinegar and wine. Add the garlic, onions, celery, mustard seeds, pepper, lemon rind and parsley sprigs. Set the bowl aside in a cool place, or in the refrigerator, to marinate for 3 days, turning and basting the meat frequently.

Remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry with kitchen paper towels. Strain the marinade into a large mixing bowl and discard the contents of the strainer. Set the marinade aside.

To make the sauce, in a large, flame-proof casserole, melt the vegetable fat over moderate heat. When the foam sub-sides, add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes or until it is golden brown and crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the cas-serole and place on a plate. Increase the heat to moderately high, place the meat in the casserole and fry it, turning frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes or until it is well browned all over. Remove the casserole from the heat and remove the meat from the casserole. Pour off the cooking fat from the casserole. Return the meat and bacon and add the onions and carrots. Pour in 1 pint of the reserved marinade and bring the liquid to the boil over high heat. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 to 22 hours or until the meat is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife and the juices that run out are pale pink.

Remove the casserole from the heat. Remove the meat and vegetables from the casserole and arrange them in a deep serving dish. Keep warm.

Strain the cooking juices and measure them. If the juices do not make up 1 pint add some of the reserved marinade. Set aside.

In a medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually add the cooking juices, stirring constantly. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Stir in the lebkuchen crumbs and almonds and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce over the meat in the serving dish. Serve immediately.

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