In my new enameled cast iron Dutch oven, I made sauerbraten. I brined four pounds of the bottom rump of a cow in vinegars, wine, juniper, bay, peppercorns, and mirepoix for three days, flipping it twice a day, adding more wine as needed. I attended to my hunk of meat dutifully and it paid off. After draining and reserving the brine, I dried the beast and rub him down with olive oil and sprinkled him with flour, salt, pepper, and a bit of leftover brown sugar. Then, I browned that beefy chunk in the same pot (I LOVE ONE POT WONDERS!), golden and beautiful on all sides. I added the reserved brine in all it's tangy, bloody flavor back to the tasty bovine and cooked that monster (stovetop) for four hours.
Once the meat was perfect, and resting, and the whole place smelled of vinegar meaty delights, I sieved the broth (no longer called brine since it's been cooked) and, in the same pot, melted butter added flour and whisked until dark golden brown. I added the broth and whisked my little heart out--smashing lumps, creaming the gravy--and then, wait for it... I added smashed up old-fashioned gingersnaps to the gravy. What?!?!?! That's right. I beat those bad boys right in the gravy until they became creamy, sweet, sour deliciousness. Gravy Gravy Gravy Gravy!
Sauerbraten is only made once or twice a year for a reason--the reason being that I am NOT a stay-at-home mom and cannot usually attend to a hunk of beef for four days, ya heard? That and, I'm not much of a meat eater. Vegetables usually rule the roost around here.
This old world German delight was served with spaetzle and red cabbage and dry red wine as is customary in the old country, a country that I am not from. Prost!