We've reached the end of our quarter cow we bought back at the end of October 2010, with only a few bigger pieces left. Our last chuck roast was saved especially for this meal, which K loves making in homage to his German heritage. I enjoy eating it, the slight sourness of the meat mixing nicely with the sweetness of the red cabbage he makes as well.
With only the two of us to eat an entire chuck roast, we invited some friends over to partake in a small dinner party, made almost entirely from local foods. It's FUN to us to try to source out local ingredients as much as we can!
It was a great excuse to break out our fancy wedding china, which has only been used twice in almost 5 years! (Note to self: use more often.)
In keep with our German-dinner theme, our menu looked like this:
Sauerbraten takes awhile to make, as it involves a marinade of about a week. K followed this recipe.
The meat is marinated in a broth of pinot noir, red wine vinegar, onion, peppercorns, mustard seed, coriander seed, bay leaves, juniper berries and allspice. Penzey's pickling spice is a perfect use for this!
The broth softens up the meat and turns it into a juicy and flavorful meal.
While you can buy a jar of red cabbage, I find our homemade cabbage turns out so much better. We follow the recipe in The German Cookbook by Mimi Sheraton, which uses a small head of red cabbage, minced bacon, sugar, apple, onion, vinegar, and red currant jelly or Preiselbeeren preserves. It's sweet yet savory!
You could use this beautiful cabbage to make a wonderfully natural purple dye!
We bought premade potato dumplings from Rolf's which made life so much easier and used apple slices we canned 2 years ago (time to use them!) to make the apple streudel for dessert. It came together so easily for once! And there's nothing like feeling like a "real grownup" when you use your fancy china.
Our china is Vintage Jewel by Lenox. I love it - it's not too girly and looks a little medieval to me.
A bottle of gewurztraminer and some friends and we had the makings of a great night!