Swiss sauerbraten recipe

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The quality of a pot roast depends on the grade of the meat. The most tender pieces are fine grain shoulder cuts from slowly grown free range or organic cows as well as cows raised by their mothers.
Suure Mocke, the Swiss version of Sauerbraten, is classically served with mashed potatoes, polenta, or cheese noodles, but it also goes well with a simple risotto.

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Preparation Time: 4 Hours 30 Minutes


  • 7 oz (200 g) parsnips
  • 7 oz (200 g) carrots
  • 7 oz (200 g) celery root
  • 2 small white onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • ½ bunch thyme
  • 25½ fl oz (750 ml) red wine
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 lb 10 oz (1.2 kg) beef shoulder
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 2¾ oz (80 g) Basler Leckerli (or another gingerbread with no glaze)
  • sea salt
How to Make It
  1. Peel and roughly dice the parsnips, carrots, celery root, and onions; peel and crush the garlic. Add the spices to a spice bag or tea filter and bind with kitchen twine or a metal clip. Add to a flat baking dish along with the thyme, red wine, red wine vinegar, and the chopped vegetables. Add the beef shoulder and let marinate in the fridge for 3–5 days.
  2. Remove the meat from the marinade, let drip dry and blot with a paper towel. Pour the marinade into a pot through a fine sieve. Let the vegetables, herbs, and spice bag drip dry and set aside; catch any liquid that drips off and add to the pot. Bring the marinade to a boil, skimming off any foam that forms on top. Lightly salt the marinated meat. Heat 2 tablespoons sunflower oil in a heavy Dutch oven or roasting pan and sear the meat on each side, about 10 minutes total. Ladle some hot marinade over the meat to deglaze the pan. Let the liquid cook down completely and repeat twice. Finally pour the remaining marinade over the meat, cover the pan, and stew for 3 hours, flipping occasionally.
  3. Heat the remaining sunflower oil in a frying pan and sauté the chopped vegetables for 10 minutes. Crumble the gingerbread and add to the meat along with the vegetables, herbs, and spice bag. Stew for another hour.
  4. Remove the roast from the pan and let rest on a cutting board. In the meantime, remove the herbs and spices from the sauce. Season the sauce with salt and cook down, if desired. Carve the roast into thin slices and serve with the stewed vegetables and sauce. Goes well with risotto.

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