Leigh Goff

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Celebrating Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is the festival to end all festivals that is celebrated around the world but started in Munich, Germany for a royal wedding in 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to all the festivities held in fields just outside the city gates. And from there the world adopted this grand event. It runs from late September to the 1st Sunday in October. Be sure to include plenty of German music when you celebrate.

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Sauerbraten – Marinated Pot Roast
Boiled Potatoes
Red Cabbage with Apples
Rye Bread
German Red Wine – Spätburgunder which is German for Pinot Noir


Sauerbraten – Marinated Pot Roast
5 black peppercorns
4 whole juniper berries*
1 med. onion, sliced thin
½ cup (120ml) dry red wine
½ cup (120ml) red wine vinegar
2 cups (450ml) cold water
2 small bay leaves
4 lbs. (2kg) boneless beef roast, top or bottom round or rump
3 tbsp. (43g) lard or solid shortening
½ cup onion, chopped fine
½ cup carrots, chopped fine
½ cup celery, chopped fine
2 tbsp. (30ml) flour
½ cup (120ml) beef stock, if needed
½ cup (50g) gingersnap cookie crumbs
 

Use a mortar and pestle or a baggie and hammer to crush black peppercorns and juniper berries together.

In a medium-sized saucepan combine peppercorn mix, sliced onion, wine, vinegar, water, and bay leaves. Bring marinade to a boil over high heat. Remove pan from stove and let cool to room temperature.

 

Trim excess fat from roast. Set beef in a deep flat bowl or pot just large enough to hold it comfortably. Pour marinade over the top. Add more wine if marinade is not halfway up the sides of the meat. Turn meat to moisten all sides. Cover pan tightly with foil or cling wrap. Refrigerate for 2 – 3 days. Be sure to turn the meat over at least twice a day.

 

Preheat oven to 350° F (180°C).

 

Remove meat from marinade. Pat dry with paper towels. Strain marinade through a fine sieve set over a bowl. Discard spices and onion, but reserve marinade.

 

Melt lard in a Dutch oven over high heat until it sputters. Add roast and brown well on all sides. Adjust heat so as not to burn the meat. Transfer meat to a platter. Pour off and discard all but 2 tbs. (30ml) of fat. Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot. Cook over moderate heat until they are soft and light brown, 5 – 8 minutes. Sprinkle flour over veggies. Cook, stirring constantly 2 – 3 minutes or until flour begins to color. 

 

Pour in 2 cups (450ml) of reserved marinade and ½ cup (120ml) water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Return meat to pot. Cover tightly. Cook in the oven for 2 hours or until meat shows no resistance when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Transfer meat to a heated platter. Cover with foil to keep warm. 

 

Discard veggies. Pour liquid from pot into a measuring cup. Skim off fat. You need 2½ cups (570ml) liquid for the sauce. If you have more, boil briskly to reduce the amount. If you have less, add beef stock. Combine liquid and gingersnaps in a small saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes. The crumbs will dissolve and thicken the sauce. Strain sauce through a fine sieve. Keep warm on very low heat until ready to serve. 

To serve, carve meat into ¼ inch (.64cm) slices. Arrange on individual dinner plates or a large platter. In either case moisten the meat with a little sauce. Pass the remaining sauce in a gravy boat. 

*Rosemary is a good substitute for juniper berries. Use one fresh sprig. 

 
Boiled Potatoes
Tap water
1 lg. bay leaf
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Butter to taste 
 

Add potatoes to a saucepan that holds them comfortably. Pour stock halfway up the potatoes. Top off with water, covering potatoes by an inch (1.25cm) or so. Add bay leaf. Set a lid on top.

  You can do up to this point earlier in the day. Leave on the counter or stovetop until you are ready to cook.

  Bring pan to a boil over medium heat. Adjust the lid and heat so the water continues a soft/light boil, but does not spill over. Cook 15 – 20 minutes, then test for doneness. A fork will insert easily.
 

Drain potatoes and discard bay leaf. Sprinkle pepper over potatoes. Add butter. Stir carefully so as not to smash potatoes. 

Don’t have bay leaf? Add 1 tablespoon (20ml) or so of dried basil to the pot. When you drain the potatoes most of the leaves will be gone, but the good taste remains. 

 
Red Cabbage with Apples
2 – 2½ lb. (1 – 1.5kg) red cabbage
⅔ cup (150ml) red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. (30ml) sugar2 medium-sized apples, peeled and cored
2 tbsp. (25g) lard or bacon fat
½ cup (50g) onions, chopped fine
1 whole onion, pierced with 2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
5 cups (1.2L) boiling water
3 tbsp. (45ml) dry red wine
3 tbsp. (45ml) red currant jelly, optional 
 

Wash cabbage under cool water and then remove tough outer leaves. Cut cabbage into 4 pieces. Remove core. Shred easily by slicing each section into thin strips. 

 

Place cabbage in a large mixing bowl. sprinkle with vinegar and sugar. Toss with a spoon to cover the shreds evenly. 

Slice apple into thin wedges. Melt lard or bacon fat in a large pot. Add apples and onions. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until apples are lightly browned. 

 

Add cabbage, onion with cloves, and bay leaf. Stir well while pouring in boiling water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat so cabbage does a slow simmer. Cover and cook 1½ – 2 hours, or until cabbage is tender. Check occasionally to be sure cabbage is moist. If it seems dry, add 1 tbsp. (15ml) or so of boiling water. When cabbage is tender there should be almost no liquid in the pan. 

 

To serve remove whole onion and bay leaf. Stir in wine and jelly. This recipe freezes nicely.


May you enjoy all the days of your life filled with good friends, laughter, and seated around a well-laden table!

Sloane

 

Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning author with a second passion in her life. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy.

Taylor’s cookbooks, Date Night Dinners, Date Night Dinners Italian Style, Summer Sizzle, and Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire are released by Toque & Dagger Publishing and available at all book vendors.


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Sloane’s Sizzling Summer Menu

from Sloane Taylor

Ready for some good down-home type cooking that’s finger lickin’ good but doesn’t splatter grease all over your stove? If so, then this is the menu for you.

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Oven-Fried Chicken

Mashed Potatoes

Corn

Spiked Watermelon

White Wine – Chablis

Oven-Fried Chicken 3 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless – legs and thighs work great, too Milk ½ cup (50g) flour 1 tsp. (5ml) dried thyme 1 tsp. (5ml) dried marjoram ½ tsp. (2.5ml) garlic powder, not salt 1 tsp. (5ml) paprika ¼ cup ((52g) shortening or lard ¼ cup (57g) butter or margarine 3 tbsp. (45ml) fresh parsley, chopped or 1½ tbsp. (20ml) dried Place chicken in a glass dish, cover with milk, and let sit for a minimum of 3 hours. This is a perfect way to use up milk when it is close to its expiration date. You can also marinade the pieces overnight. If you choose to go longer than 3 hours be sure to refrigerate the dish. I learned this tenderizing trick from a talented chef in Salzburg, Austria. Combine flour, thyme, marjoram, garlic, and paprika in a plastic or paper bag. Drain and pat chicken dry. Place pieces one at a time in bag and gently shake to thoroughly coat them. Lay chicken on a plate as you coat the remaining pieces. Set chicken in fridge for at least 20 minutes to set the coating. Preheat oven to 425° F (220°C). Add shortening and butter to a metal baking pan just large enough to hold the chicken. Place dish in oven until mixture is melted. Add chicken. Bake 15 minutes and then turn pieces over. Cook another 20 minutes or until juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife. REMEMBER – all meat continues to cook for 5 minutes or so after it is removed from the oven. Remove chicken from baking dish to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any oil. Transfer pieces to a clean plate. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. You can also make this dish on your grill. Set the grill on medium-high. Watch carefully so the chicken doesn’t burn. Mashed Potatoes Chicken stock, not broth 1 small russet potato per person, peeled and quartered 3 tbsp. (43g) butter Sour cream, a very large dollop ¼ cup (60ml) milk, at room temperature Freshly ground pepper to taste Parsley, snipped or chopped for garnish Preheat oven to 220° F (100°C). Pour one-inch (2.5cm) chicken stock into saucepan. Place potatoes in saucepan. Add tap water to cover by at least one inch (2.5cm). Cover pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower temperature to a strong simmer. Cook approximately 20 - 25 minutes. Potatoes are done when a fork inserts easily into a section. Drain potatoes. Stir in butter, sour cream, and pepper. Mash well. Drizzle in milk. Mash and continue to add milk until you achieve the consistency you prefer. Keep the saucepan warm in the oven while you finish preparing dinner. Canned Corn Sometimes it’s good to go easy and nothing is easier than canned veggies. 1 can of corn per 4 people ¼ tsp. (1.25ml) dried thyme Pinch of salt Freshly ground pepper to taste Butter Drain corn, then pour into micro wave safe bowl. Sprinkle on thyme, salt, and pepper. Lay pats of butter across the top. Micro wave for 3 minutes, stir and serve. Spiked Watermelon An adult pleasure that tops off any summer dinner, especially when you dine al fresco. ½ watermelon 2 – 3 cups (450 – 750ml) vodka Remove the seeds from the watermelon. Cut fruit into chunks or use a melon scooper to form balls. Place the cut pieces into a glass bowl. Pour vodka over the melon. No need to cover the fruit. You just want enough so all the pieces contact with the vodka. Stir gently. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for several hours. Serve melon from the bowl along with forks or long spoons. Sloane Taylor is an Award-Winning romance author with a passion that consumes her day and night. She is an avid cook and posts new recipes on her blog every Wednesday. The recipes are user friendly, meaning easy. Learn more about Taylor's cookbooks, Date Night Dinners, Date Night Dinners Sizzling Summer,Recipes to Create Holidays Extraordinaire, and Date Night Dinners Italian Style on Amazon. Excerpts from her romance books and free reads can be found on her website, blog, and her Amazon Author Page. Connect with Taylor on Facebook and Twitter.