Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Oktoberfesting with Corningware - Sauerbraten Stew

One of my favorite dishes is Sauerbraten... LUV IT!   Considering that Oktoberfest has been, well... "festing" over the last few weekend in Mt. Angel, OR and Leavenworth, WA, I decided it was time to get back in touch with my inner German.  Especially since I was not able to attend either celebration.

One of the big issues with Sauerbraten is it's size.  I cannot possibly under any circumstances consume 4 lbs of beef.  Sorry, not gonna happen.  Thus, unless I am actually having a dinner party, with a German theme, I hardly ever make it and must resort to ordering it at the Rheinlander to satiate my need.  It bugs me to order things in a restaurant that I am perfectly capable of making at home.  It seems to defeat the purpose of "eating out".  Should I not be ordering something new and exciting?  Something that I would not attempt at home?  Something made with strange exotic ingredients that I cannot get my hands on?  Sure!  But no, I order the Sauerbraten.  (sigh)

But all that ends tonight, for I have found a perfectly proportioned and perfectly delicious substitute for Sauerbraten.  It's a stew that, for all intensive purposes, IS Sauerbraten made in 1/24th the time in 1/4 of the portion, all covered in a thick unctuous gravy-like broth that SCREAMS Achtung, Baby! (No reference to the U2 album is intended)

Sauerbraten Stew

2 TB Olive Oil
1 1/4 lb Beef Stew Meat
1 cup chopped Onion
1 cup chopped Carrot
1 cup chopped Celery
3/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
3/4 cup Beef Stock
2 TB Sugar (or 4 tsp Honey)
2 Bay Leaves
Several Grinds of Black Pepper
Salt to Taste
8-10 Ginger Snaps

Corningware 2 1/2 quart Saucepan (P-2 1/2-B) and cover (P-9-C)

Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.
Heat Oil in 2 1/2 quart Saucepan set over medium flame.

Dry the Beef Stew Meat with paper towels (As Julia Child says, wet meat doesn't brown well)

When the Oil is hot, begin sauteing the beef in 3 batches to prevent over-crowding the saucepan.

As each batch is browned, move to a bowl. I'm using a 24 oz (725ml) French White Ramekin "F-24-B".

Add a little more Oil, if necessary, and dump in all the Vegetables.

Saute for a couple of minutes, then sprinkle with Sugar (or honey) and saute until translucent.

Add the Beef back to the Saucepan.

Pour the Red Wine Vinegar and Beef Stock over the mixture.

Add the Bay Leaves, several grinds of Black Pepper, and a good pinch or two of Salt.

Bring to a simmer, then cover and move to the oven for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place 8-10 Gingersnaps in a zip bag.

Crush them into fine crumbs with a rolling pin and set aside.

After the hour is up, remove the saucepan from the oven and add the Gingersnap crumbs.

Stir well, then recover and place back in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and stir the thickened stew.

Serve at the table in the Saucepan in a P-2 1/2-M-1 Platinum Cradle. (This last part is not really necessary, but if you've got it, why not use it?)

Ladle up a big bowl of Deliciousness.

Every spoonful a spicy sweet treat that mellows into a pleasant tart beefy flavor.  It's Oktoberfest in a bowl.  Now, where did I set my beer?

Where is your Corningware??

1 comment:

  1. I appreciate reading your recipes using Corning Ware. It has inspired me to try similar methods using my pieces so I can cook a meal, wash fewer pots and still have some to stick in the refrigerator for tomorrow's meal.


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