Sunday, January 27, 2013

A German meal that brought back memories of Munich and the Hirschgarten

This is a very belated posting for a meal that Suzanne and I prepared nearly a year ago (February 2012!) but which we never got around to memorializing in our blog! I am half-German thanks to my Augsburg-born, Munich-reared mother, Maria Stoller Atkins, who is 91 years old and living here in Oxford, Miss. I studied and worked in Munich for four years when I was a young man, and I very much remember the wonderful meals I had there. Sauerbraten was always a special treat, so my half-Italian wife and I decided, “Let’s go for it!”

Our main reference was a little book published ages ago by Time-Life Books called Recipes: The Cooking of Germany. We had wanted to try this dish earlier, but things hadn't worked out. This time we made it work!

In preparing sauerbraten, we used the following:
-       3 to 4 pounds of round roast of beef
-       vinegar
-       onions
-       bay leaves
-       a teaspoon of whole spice
-       sour cream
-       2 to 3 strips of bacon

Our recipe book called for a half-cup of red wine vinegar, one medium-sized onion, and two small bay leaves.

With our sauerbraten we prepared old-fashioned German knödel (dumplings) and
red cabbage, which is de rigueur for so many German meals and always delicious. We also had rye bread.

With our meal we drank German beer. I tried all kinds when I lived in Munich, the beer capital of the world. My favorites were Augustiner and Hackerbrau, but they were all good. (If you ever go to Poland, by the way, try Zywiec, a wonderful beer. I digress!)

For our dessert we ate Apfelstrudel. Suzanne’s ingredients included the following: flour, two tablespoons of shortening, five cups of sliced apples, brown sugar, a half-cup of seedless raisins, chopped nuts (pecans), cinnamon, and butter.

The result was a German meal that was a bit heavy but tasted fine. It made me think about the good old days at the Weinhaus Neuner restaurant or at Hirschgarten, my favorite of all the Munich beer gardens.

Prosit! Guten Appetit! 

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