6 February, 2013 by shortcaked
True story: I am a fan of Germany. I like their soccer team. I like their beer, and I like variations on it even better. I like that they always sound angry, even when they’re not. I like their cars, though that could be because I own one. Going off that, I like the fact that Audi’s Superbowl ad this year basically says that Audi owners are fucking awesome.
Truth. Statham can vouch for this, even though he was slightly confused about his feelings towards Germany in Snatch.
I realize I’ve been posting a lot of sweet things lately; that has a lot to do with the fact that on the nights I cook, a lot of the time I don’t feel like making my family stop rushing around just so I can snap some pics of the finished product. But I think with a three-day recipe I can maybe make that happen. And so I introduce you to: sauerbraten.
Apparently it’s one of the national dishes of Germany, which I’m totally okay with because sauerbraten is greeeeat. Whatever anyone may have to say about Germany, I say PFF. They made me a nice car and they have good sense when it comes to marinated beef. I would eat this stuff every day if it didn’t take three to make properly (it should be noted that sauerbraten can be made in fewer days if you chunk the meat, but it’s not nearly as good and you should probably just put in the time from the get-go).
We steal our recipe from Alton Brown, who is largely the reason anyone in my house knows what sauerbraten is. Minor modifications are made, inevitably (what do you mean, we’re out of juniper berries? I just pulled some off the tree like yesterday, how–) but as long as the basics are adhered to, the flavour is still off the charts and the meat is still afsj;ldkgjeoaritsdf. (Translation: delicious.) There’s just the right balance between sweet and all the sour from the vinegar; the ginger snap sauce (which thickens up in about ten seconds) would literally be great on anything.
What would any good German-night in our house be without something to compliment the goodness of the sauerbraten, though? That’s just not done. Sides are required. EQUALLY GERMAN sides.
Allow you to introduce you to spätzle, my favourite food group. I read an article the other day about how spätzle was in vogue, so you may have met– but whatever, I’ll introduce you anyway. Spätzle is a German egg and flour noodle; the dough gets run through a crazy grater-like contraption directly into boiling water, then once the noodles are set they’re skimmed off and fried up in butter with onions, garlic, and a little salt and pepper. I think that last step is optional, but it’s one of those ‘but you would be insane not too’ kinds of optional. The dough is seasoned with a little fresh nutmeg, which gives you just the right amount of nutty spiciness.
Sauerbraten and spätzle were made to be friends, and I’m not just saying that because a German aunt sternly told me I should want them to be. The sauerbraten gravy coats the soft little noodles perfectly, so even if you don’t get beef-and-noodle in the same bite you’re still getting the flavours of both in every mouthful.
Want to try? Here’s our recipe. If you don’t have a spätzle maker, a potato ricer does an alright job; so does a metal colander and a wooden spoon to push the dough out through the holes.
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground nutmeg
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- Beat the eggs until foamy, then mix in the milk. Whisk in the salt and nutmeg.
- Add the flour in half-cup increments, mixing until fully combined in between each. The dough will be sticky. Very sticky.
- Load the dough into your spätzle maker or weapon of choice. Set your equipment over a pot of boiling water and push the dough through. After about 2-3 minutes the spätzle will start to float; pull them out with a spider or just strain the whole batch.
- In a large skillet, sauté the butter and onions until just softened. Add the spätzle and keep cooking until everything starts to crisp. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
- Optional/Awesome: mix your spätzle with some of the extra sauerbraten sauce. You’ll thank me.
Now, in case you’re thinking I’ve gone European, here’s a story for you. I drive an A4, so my daily driving situation is that of a little girl driving a little girl’s German car. Today on my way to work through the wooorst stretch of road between my house and there, I beat the pants off a guy in a Ram with Jason Aldean on.
And you were worried about me..why, now?