I stumbled upon a boneless beef roast for a decent price at the grocery store and thought I would make Sauerbraten (p. 478). Josh loves of Germany and I thought he would enjoy eating a (TJOC-version of a ) German meal.
I heated white vinegar, water, onion, bay leaves, peppercorn, and sugar in a pot:
I poured the marinade over the beef in a casserole dish and popped it in the refrigerator, where it sat, getting turned occasionally, for 4 days.
After the fourth day, I drained the marinade off of the meat, and browned the meat in a little vegetable oil. I then cooked it like beef pot roast. When the meat became "tender" (honestly, I didn't think it ever got particularly tender), I sprinkled brown sugar on top of the meat (it was less a "sprinkle" and more a "slather".
I cooked the meat for about ten minutes more and then removed the meat to a container (not a platter, we weren't doing anything fancy for dinner):
I was left with this:
I wanted to thicken the gravy but I didn't want it to be lumpy, so I added a little of the cooking liquid to the flour and then mixed it in:
I added sour cream to the gravy. And it was done! I sliced meat, poured gravy on the top, and put it on top of some riced potatoes (fortunately, I had some potatoes left over after the potato dumpling debacle that follows):
I didn't like it at all.
It's very possible I just don't like sauerbraten. I don't know--I've never had it before. It was certainly sour. I REALLY disliked the sweet sugary gravy and the meat was still tough. I won't be making this recipe again. Josh thought it was less horrible than I did but he didn't think it was very good either. For those of you who have eaten sauerbraten before, what is it supposed to be like?
I thought that I should make Potato dumplings (kartoffelklosse) (p. 335) to go with the sauerbraten since TJOC insists it's traditional. The recipe looked fairly simple, even though I'd never made dumplings before.
I boiled potatoes and riced them in to a bowl. I added two eggs (make sure the potatoes are cold at this point or you will end up with potatoes with chunks of cooked egg sprinkled throughout), flour, and salt:
I formed them in to balls and then dropped them in boiling water.
They totally disintegrated. Honestly, this is what was left of my potato dumplings:
While re-reading the "About Dumplings" section (or, perhaps, reading it for the first time), I now notice that it says not to let the water boil but simply keep the water at a light simmer. I'm pretty sure that was my main problem. I really can't judge this recipe since it was a complete disaster. I should probably try it again (we will see, I'm not very motivated to make it again, and I'm counting it off the list). If someone wants to do a guest post using this recipe, I would totally be up for it.
This brings to mind a question--When a recipe fails, probably due to something I did, should I still count it off or should I have to make it again? I would love to know your opinion on this.