Sweet & Sour Pork
My mother-in-law remembers the wonderful aroma of her grossmudder's sauerbraten, marinating on a cold window sill for days. (We recommend the refrigerator.)
Marinate: place beef in a large glass or earthenware bowl and add remaining marinade ingredients. Cover and keep in refrigerator for 4 days, or even a week, turning once or twice daily.
Braise: remove beef from marinade and pat dry. Strain and reserve marinade. Heat the oil in a heavy Dutch oven or pot, brown meat on all sides. Pour strained marinade over meat. Reduce heat and braise the beef over low heat, covered, on the stovetop for 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Remove beef, cover, and let rest while making gravy.
Gravy: skim fat off marinade. Boil for 10 minutes, uncovered, to reduce liquid. Combine flour and water and mix into a thick paste. Pour a 1/2 C of the broth into flour paste and stir quickly. Let the broth in the pot cool slightly, then add flour paste back into pot, stirring vigorously to thicken (if the broth is too hot, it will clump the flour paste when you mix it back in). Add ginger and bring to a boil, stirring, to cook flour. Correct seasoning. Slice meat, arrange on a large platter, and ladle gravy over meat. Serve with buttery potatoes, boiled carrots, and applesauce on the side.
* Many recipes call for crumbled gingers snap cookies to thicken gravy and add flavor. Feel free to stir in a small handful, but reduce the amount of ground ginger to only 2 tsp.
Tips & Glossary
Beets: how to peel and cook beets is a matter of personal preference. You can cut off the tops, peel them with a vegetable peeler and boil them. Another method: leave on about 1" of the tops, wrap them in foil, and bake for 1 hour in a 350 oven. Cool and use rubber gloves, or handle with a paper towel, to prevent hands from turning...well, beet-red. The skins will slip right off. Most cooks say baking- then-peeling is the tastiest way to cook beets.
Ginger: dried ground ginger is far more potent than freshly-grated from the root. Sweet dessert recipes call for ground powder. If you wish to use freshly grated ginger, use 6 times the amount of ground called for in the recipe.
Nutmeg: use small whole nuts and store them, tightly covered, in a dry dark area. Grate what you need using the smallest grating edge or grind in a food processor. What a difference from store bought ground nutmeg!
Wurst: German sausages— more types than you can shake a stick at. Here are several:
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