Ever had it?
If you have, I have no doubt it’s one of your favorites.
It’s completely delightful.
A friend of ours in Montana told me about it probably a year or so ago. She said her mother used to make it and it was to die for.
Obviously I had to try it since I generally love German food and she said it takes several days to make so you know it’s good.
But please don’t be scared by ‘it takes days to make’! Seriously its easy to do, simple really, you just have to plan ahead. The process itself, though, has very little hands-on stuff.
You simply combine the marinade ingredients and allow them to cool, add the meat. Marinade for a few days and then put the meat and some veggies in a pan and bake it. Then make the sauce to serve.
No big deal.
Oh but that sauce. To. Die. For.
It has this incredible sort of pickly, gingery (you use gingersnaps in the sauce!) flavor to it. We all just slather it on, oh it’s so good. And the meat is tender and soft and just falls off the bone.
I made it for the first time for Christmas dinner. No one talked, we just sat around and devoured it. It’s perfect for such a feast, by the way. Since most of your prep is done days ahead and you can put in the oven hours before dinner it leaves you to sit and chat with friends and family while it fills your house with it’s amazing aroma.
You’ll be glad you made this one, trust me.
If you really want an authentic german experience you can make some potato dumplings to go with this. My friend, Jeanette, who grew up in Germany always used to bring potato dumplings to dinner when we would get together back in Ohio so last time I made this I went ahead and made some and oh they are so good with that sauce!
These are the ginger snaps I like to use by the way:
- FOR THE MARINADE
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, additional for seasoning meat
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 whole cloves
- 12 juniper berries
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 (3½ to 4-pound) bottom round (can use beef, venison, elk or goat all are delicious)
FOR THE SAUCE
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 18 dark old-fashioned gingersnaps (about 5 ounces), crushed
- Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes, remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature (I usually place it in the fridge to hurry it along).
- Once it is cool, brown your meat on all sides in a hot pan, using a bit of oil if necessary to keep from sticking.
- Once browned, place in the marinade (I like to put it all in a ziptop bag) and then put it in the fridge and marinade for 3 days. Turn over once a day.
- When you are ready to cook it, preheat your oven to 325˚.
- Add the sugar to the bag and mix around. Place the meat and liquid in a roasting dish or dutch oven, add about 1 cup more water.
- Cover the dish and cook until the meat is falling apart, tender, about 4 hours.
- Once cooked strain the liquid of any veggies and stuff (real technical there) into a saucepan.
- Place the liquid over medium heat until simmering then add the gingersnaps and whisk until smooth. If you don't have enough liquid left and it is super thick you can add some beef stock until it is a good loose consistency, this does dumb down the flavor quite a bit but it is still delicious.
- Shred up the meat and serve hot with the sauce.
Thanks for the recipe Alton Brown!