Monday, September 24, 2012

Beef Short Ribs "Sauerbraten" – Oh, Snap!

I had heard that some sauerbratens were finished by thickening the sauce with ground gingersnaps, but had never tried it since it just sounds so wrong. It certainly doesn’t seem very German. Cookies in a sauce? What’s next, laughing in public?

Anyway, I’ve had a lot of “do something German!” food wishes lately, and since I’ve wanted to post another short ribs recipe, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to go full cookie. The results shocked and amazed me. This was comfort food at it's finest.

The 24-hour marinade ensured the succulent rib meat had that signature tanginess, and those little cookies not only gave the sauce a beautiful texture, but also added a great spicy sweetness. I am now officially in favor of using cookies to finish savory sauces.

With cooler weather on the way, it’s time to rediscover the simple joy of slowly stewed meat, and what better way than with this delicious take on a German classic? I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

For the marinade
3 lbs short ribs, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2/3 cup cider vinegar
2/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups water, plus 1 cup cold water at end to cool marinade down
2 bay leaves
9 whole cloves
12 juniper berries
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
*Marinate at least 24 hours
Then stew with:
1 chopped large onion
1 chopped carrot
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup water
1 cup chicken or beef broth
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup crushed gingersnaps
salt and pepper to taste

View the complete recipe


Adriana @ FoodCocktail said...

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! That's all I can say after watching this video.

Anonymous said...

Fried cabbage? Is that braised with butter? Or something different?

Chef John said...

Yes, just cooked in a little butter.

Doc Simonson said...

Ausgezeichnet! Es sieht lecker aus, mein Freund!

chefchipdes said...

Mmmmm! I prolly shouldn't have licked the monitor.

chefchipdes said...

Mmmmmm! I prolly shouldn't have licked my monitor.

Anonymous said...

Chef John, You mad me smile. "ueberwunderbar" is a new one to me. I would say "unglaublich koestlich". Tolles Rezept and great video! Thanks

Axel14222 said...

In Germany, sauerbraten is marinated sometimes with buttermilk or wine or even beer as well as vinegar. I'm not sure if they use ginger snaps but they have Lebkuchen which is gingerbread. The recipe which I've been using for decades is from a TV Guide cookbook. I use cider vinegar and water in equal amounts, put all the vegetables and spices in the marinade and discard same before cooking. I marinate the meat, usually a top round roast for up to 8 days. I like the idea of using short ribs and a much quicker marinade. Thanks Chef.

Berit said...

Chef John, We Love You!!!

Came today for advice on handling butternut squash prep (just googled and watched the beginning of your recipes featuring it) for someone else's recipe, stayed for the Sauerbraten! I'm happy about summer's wane if it means I can watch you make stuff like this. Now, to buy the short ribs. :D

Chibby said...

Yay,food from the motherland!My grandfather's 100% German

Anonymous said...

Achtung Chef!

dis looks zer deliouez!

give mir some now dumpkopf!

Shim Farm said...

Lecker...sehr lecker! Had you made potato dumplings with that, it would have made things really authentic.

Now I have a craving for sauerbraten with braised red cabbage and kartoffelkloesse ('tater dumplings).

Tomorrow I'm calling Mutti and getting all of those recipes down on paper for posterity.

Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Asian Malaysian said...

Was always both facinated and terrified by this recipe since I read about it in Ruth Reichl's "Tender to the Bone". This video has increased both emotions.

Anonymous said...

In fact, we Germans use a special gingerbread for those kind of dishes: Saucenlebkuchen
Real Sauerbraten was traditionally cooked with horse meat! But today no one would actually do that. In Western Germany people prefer their Sauerbraten more sweet (with raisins!) wherease in the rest of Germany people prefer it to be mour sour and tangy

Axel14222 said...

This recipe taught me 2 things. First, how beefy and delicious short ribs are , and Second, that my sauerbraten recipe isn't the only one in town.
I marinated my ribs for 2 days and used about a cup of crushed ginger snaps
Fortunately, a local grocery chain has short ribs on sale for $3.99/lb. I'm stocking up. It's going to be a long , but delicious winter.
Also, I nominate "lecker" as a perfect German adjective to describe this sauerbraten.
Thanks Chef!

AFB said...

Thanks Chef John for another delicious looking recipe!
I'm definitely gonna try this soon. Could I use a crock pot for the second day of the process? I'm thinking I can soften the mirepoix in the pan the first day, save it separately, and reuse the pan to brown the meat. Then the second day I just dump the two containers (beef+marinade and mirepoix+butter) in the slow cooker.

Chef John said...

Yes, that will work!

Mariam R Khan said...

well I used a Dutch Oven and skipped the marinating - this was not Saur-b, I think I don't get it - but I did take the clove off the clove, and just use one... so I must have amalgamated some braised beef recipes to get all the goodness in one! Maybe can put pic in MY Google blog.
Did it today. was fast. Didn't remove lid or watch and it reduced miraculously.

Unknown said...

I religiously watch your youtube videos. I came to watch your Mom make hey lime pie and stayed for the sauerbraten (my Mom's name is also Pauline).

Funny note about sauerbraten. It wasn't until the late 1800s when the Pope stepped in to stop Germans from cooking sauerbraten with..... horse meat. Yes my Ohma always soaked it, the beef roast not horse meat, with ginger snaps. She would start it midweek and let is marinate in the celler for Sunday dinner. Schmekt gut

Unknown said...

I use cloves instead of juniper berries … and along with a decent red wine, I use brown sugar in the gravy too; I prefer to serve it with Spaetzles.