Once upon a time, 30 years ago, when my husband was trying to impress me with his cooking skills and general sophistication, he cooked sauerbraten for a candlelit dinner. It was wonderful, or maybe the setting had something to do with it. I have attempted this dish once myself but somehow the flavour was different. Then, bingo, as I read some blogs last week I came across meatballs in sauerbraten sauce. I tried the sauce and really liked it. We had it with sausages and it really lifted that cheap meal.
How does it taste? It is a European version of sweet and sour; no pineapple or capsicum, no food colouring, lots of ginger. It tastes fruity, sour, sweet, and gingery. German/Austrian/Bavarian? Traditionally this sauce is thickened with crushed ginger snaps. Ha! If I had any ginger snaps I would be gobbling them with ice cream.
So today I made a fresh supply ready for some other boring meal that needs a rescue. This sauce is better than Gravox.
|This looks a bit like dog vomit, but that is my photography.|
I used some left over mixed fruit with the raisins.
The lumpy white bits are ginger.
1 onion, finely minced
1 cup beef stock
ground pepper ( maybe a few black peppercorns)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup raisins (or something similar)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice / red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon your favourite spices (I like ground cloves)
3 teaspoons fresh ginger (more is better, powdered is fine)
Optional extras : bay leaves, tomato paste, grated lemon rind.
Put all these ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves.
Thicken the sauce with some flour dissolved in cool water.
My photography skills are terrible. I assure you it tastes delicious. This quantity makes just about a cupful. I divided it into three containers, each one will do two serves.
If you did this whole thing correctly you would marinade a big piece of beef in the mixture for a few days, then cook it in a pot. Not roasted. The meat is taken out and the sauce thickened. I think it is served with apples and potatoes. A gorgeous boyfriend, candlelight, wine, soft music, and dreams of romance add to the meal. Sausages, TV news, water in a beer glass, and same bloke but much older still works for me.