Cologne grandmothers usually made their “Surbroode” from horse meat. Nowadays we marinate primarily beef in vinegar for sauerbraten and simmer until it melts in your mouth.
Although the version of Cologne with the raisin sauce is best known: Other country kitchens also swear on the harmony of sweet and sour. Each region gives this classic German Specialty through a variety of spices and ingredients its own style. But whether in Cologne, Munich or Vogtland – the stew takes time.
Sauerbraten was formerly a Sunday and Holiday Food. For it to be served, it had to be planned in advance. The meat does not take a direct route into the frying pan, but makes several days stopover in a marinate.
Sauerbraten is nothing more than a preservation dilemma from times when there was still no fridge. The marinade of vinegar, water or wine and flavorings such as cloves, bay leaves, juniper berries, peppercorns and vegetables also decides on the brittleness of the roast: acid dissolves the collagen fibers of the meat. The stronger the marinate, the less cooking time.
The sauce is the icing on the roast.
A Sauerbraten is not just sour. The counterpoint is the sauce. Therefore, not only the composition of the marinate, but also the sauce is the striking distinguishing feature of regional variations. About the recipe can not be argued, it is a family affair. The Rhinelander loves it especially sweet: Typical are sugar beet molasses and raisins. It is thickened with pumpernickel or Printe. Often are the raisins previously soaked in red wine or cognac and the roast is topped with toasted almonds.
The sauerbraten is traditionally served with red cabbage and dumplings. But nowadays it is also served with mashed potatoes or Spätzle. At least one of the side dishes should be able to absorb the sauce well.
A case for the court.
In a legal dispute in 2002 one region tried to secure the name “Sauerbraten” for their recipe alone, but the judge could not make a final judgement of quality.
But the small-minded lawsuit had at least a good culinary aftermath: Ever since the “Association of German Sauerbraten” invites each year to the Auerbach competition in Sauerbraten championship. In addition to the classic versions creativity is the center of interest. The spectrum ranges from marinades with Cognac or sour milk to beef with pork, lamb, venison or rabbit meat.
You like to try our version of the Sauerbraten? It is on the menu for our German Beer Fest every first Tuesday of the month.