Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A German Meal for a German Girl

Sauerbraten and bread dumplings. Mmm ... My (mostly German) family has been making this meal for as long as I can remember. It's one of my favorites--it's rich, comforting and delicious. I even recently entered it in a local recipe contest, but, unfortunately, I didn't make it to the finals.

But lucky for me, my parents make it every once in a while, and they made it for Easter dinner

It's developed from two different cookbooks--the sauerbraten from a Betty Crocker cookbook and the dumplings from a Mader's (a Milwaukee restaurant) cookbook.

Here is the recipe, courtesy of my mom, and lots of photos of the meal. In addition to the sauerbraten and dumplings--with the gingersnap gravy, of course--we had asparagus and red cabbage.

Mountain Style Bread Dumplings

1 loaf bread (cheap, white bread)
1 tbs. onion, chopped
1 tbs. parsley, chopped
12 cup butter
1-1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
salt, garlic powder and pepper to taste
2 cups flour

Dice bread. Fry onion and parsley in butter and add diced bread. Fry until crisp and place in bowl. Mix milk, eggs and salt and pour over bread. Blend in as much flour as needed. Form dumplings and cook gently in salted water for 10 minutes. Serves 10-12 people (2-3 dumplings each).


3-4 lb. beef rolled rump roast (what we use), boneless chuck eye roast or bottom round roast
2 cups water
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 medium onion, sliced
6 whole cloves
4 peppercorns, crushed
1-1/2 teas. salt
1 bay leaf
3 tbs. vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
10-12 gingersnaps, crushed
2 tbs. packed brown sugar
1/3 cup water
3 tbs. flour
1. Prick beef roast thoroughly with fork. Place beef in 4 qt. glass bowl or earthenware crock. Mix 2 cups water, vinegar, onion, cloves, salt and bay leaf; pour over beef. Cover and refrigerate, turning several times each day (marinate at least 2-3 days; we usually do 4-5).

2. Remove beef from marinade; pat dry. Strain marinade; reserve. Heat oil in Dutch oven until hot. Cook beef in hot oil, turning occasionally, until brown, about 10 minutes. Remove beef and pour off fat. Heat 2 cups of the reserved marinade and 1/2 cup water to boiling in Dutch oven (reserve remaining marinade). Return beef to Dutch oven; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beef is tender, about two hours.

3. Pour liquid from Dutch oven into large measuring cup; skim fat from liquid. Add enough reserved marinade to measure 2 1/2 cups, if necessary. Return to Dutch oven (if liquid measures more than 2 1/2 cups, boil rapidly to reduce to 2 1/2 cups).

4. Stir in gingersnap crumbs and brown sugar. Mix 1/3 cup water and the flour; stir gradually into liquid. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. boil and stir 1 minute. Strain gravy, and serve with beef and dumplings.

For dessert, we had carrot cake from Simma's, a fantastic bakery not far from my house and where I grew up.

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