Monday, June 24, 2013

Sauerbraten from Paleo Cupboard

After I received my Tropical Traditions Rump Roast, I asked on the blog's facebook and twitter page for suggestions as to what I should make with it.  A friend of mine, who isn't a paleo eater, suggested Sauerbraten.  To the internet I went, and found this recipe from Paleo Cupboard.  She uses a bottom round roast, but Sauerbraten is traditionally made with rump roast as well, so I figured it would work.  

The recipe's sauce calls for honey.  I commented on the original recipe about excluding the honey and the author thought that it would work.   

The first instruction is to prepare the vegetables.  I quartered the onions, peeled and roughly chopped the carrots and quartered the lemons.  

Next, I prepared the spice bouquet.  At the dollar store recently, I found this "stuffing sack" which essentially had a piece of cheesecloth and string just big enough for a spice bouquet.  Knowing I'd be making this recipe, I couldn't pass it up.  

I laid out the spices and herbs in the middle of the cheesecloth and then carefully tied them up with the supplied string.  The parsley isn't pictured as it took a little folding with two hands to get it in the bouquet, but it's in there.  

In a 12 inch deep saute pan, I combined the vegetables, spice bouquet, broth, and vinegar over medium-high heat per the recipe instructions.  

While the marinade vegetable mixture was coming to the boil, I seasoned the beef with salt and pepper.  

What a pretty pieces of grass-fed beef.

After the marinate mixture came to the boil and cooled, I placed it along with the beef in a 2.5 gallon plastic storage bag.   A 1 gallon bag won't be large enough.  I put the bag in a large mixing bowl before putting it into the refrigerator for 3 days.  The recipe says to turn the meat a couple of times a day.  Any time I went into the refrigerator, if any amount of time longer than 2-3 hours had passed, I turned the meat in the bag around.  

At the end of three days, the meat was ready to slow cook.  The recipe calls for 5 slices of bacon to use crumpled as garnish and for fat to brown the marinated beef.  When only 4 slices would comfortably fit in my pan, I decided 4 would be enough.  

Here is the meat when I took it out of the marinate to dry.  I browned the roast in bacon fat on all sides before placing it in the slow cooker.  

I carefully added the vegetables and liquid marinate to the slow cooker with the beef.  I turned the slow cooker on low for 8 hours.  

Here is what I had when it was done.  

The meat was tender, and fell apart easily.   

I then carefully strained the vegetables from the cooking liquid/marinade.  

Behold a prototype of my extra large straining cloth.
It was then time to prepare the sauce.  I mixed the arrow root with bacon fat in a 2.5 quart sauce pan.  Be careful when you add the arrowroot to hot bacon grease as it will splatter hot grease at you! I set a timer for 5 minutes while stirring the pot waiting for it to brown a bit.

Not brown yet!
Once it browned, I added strained liquids to the pan, brought it to a simmer.  I set a timer for 10 minutes.  After that amount of time, I didn't think the sauce had reduced really at all, so I set a timer for 5 minutes more.  Still, really no significant change.  I decided it was done.  

Here is assembled dish.

Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients: I've been trying to find my invoice from ordering the rump roast as I know it was on sale at Tropical Traditions when I bought it.  You should be able to find everything else you need at your "big box" grocery store.  

Preparation & Cooking Time: There are really 3 phases of active preparation for this recipe.  The first is preparing the meat to marinate.  It took me 40 minutes to prepare the marinade.  Part of that time is waiting on the marinate/veggies to cool enough to place in a plastic storage bag with the meat.  The meat then marinates for 3 days in the refrigerator.  At the end of that time, it took me 15 minutes to prepare the the meat for the slow cooker.  I cooked the Sauerbraten for 8 hours on low in my slow cooker.  The third phase is preparing the sauce which took me 20 minutes.  

Grand total active preparation time:  1 hour 15 minutes.  The stated preparation time is 20 minutes. 
Total Cooking time:  8 hours.  The stated cooking time is 9 hours.  I'm guessing some of what I consider preparation time that includes cooking she just considers cooking time.  So really, it took me 5 minutes less time to prepare the recipe than she did.  

Before making this recipe, if you use the print function off the website, you might want to spend some time reviewing the recipe before you get started.  

Clean Up:  Even with three stages of preparation, the clean up isn't terrible.  I think it feels less because you aren't cleaning everything up at once.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs Up!  Once you get all of the components of this recipe combined, its quite tasty.  It definitely lives up to its name and has a sour taste.  The recipe gives the option of throwing out the vegetables you marinated and cooked the roast with, but I don't recommend that you do especially if you exclude the honey.  To enjoy this dish, you really need to combine all of the flavors or it will be just meat with a slightly sour flavor.  The vegetables and bacon bring a sweet balance to the dish.  

My only issue was that the meat was pretty dry  by itself.  The picture on the Paleo Cupboard website looks so juicy.  Perhaps its the different cuts of meat, but at least according to this website, rump roast is supposedly more fatty and tender which one would assume would make for a juicy cooked roast.   Perhaps her slow cooker is smaller than mine?  Would that even make a difference? 

Regardless, this Sauerbraten was a great change in flavor for me.  The next time I make this, I'll try a bottom round roast and invite company.