Since we will be home for Christmas… why not have some of our favorite foods? ‘Tis the season — right? So, I have started my German-style roast. It will marinate until Christmas day and is a wonderful easy dish with great flavor and texture. We like to serve this roast rare and in thin slices. It does not dry out like many roasts, so if you are not a fan… this may be one that you like.
Here’s the recipe:
8-10 whole peppercorns
6-8 bay leaves, crushed
1 Tbsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
several cups of red wine (not too dry!)
4-6 pound quality beef or venison
1 red onion, sliced (can use a sweet onion like Vidalia or Walla-Walla instead)
1.) In a medium bowl, use a whisk to mix sugar, vinegar, water, salt, and one cup of red wine. Mix until sugar and salt dissolve. Slice onion and add to mixture.
2.) Place the roast on a chopping block (I like to have a chopping block just for meats) and poke deep holes in the meat. Make sure the holes are all over the meat! For this task, I like to use a two-prong meat fork but you could uses kabob skewers or whatever you can find.
3.) Pour half of the mixture into the bottom of your dish, crock pot, or giant Ziploc bag. Now add your roast and then pour the rest of the mixture over the top of the meat. Add red wine until the meat is covered.
4.) Place the peppercorns and crushed bay leaves in a spice bag. Make sure the strings are pulled tight and the knot is secure. Place bag in the marinate making sure it is fully submerged.
5.) Let the meat marinate for three days in the fridge (turning the meat three times daily), pull out of the fridge & do not bake until roast is room temperature, and then cook the roast however you like to do it. Remove the spice bag before cooking! I like to place it on a roasting pan in a 300 degree oven and cook it for a while then turn up the heat (450) and pull it out just as soon as the temperature in the center reaches about 115-120 degrees*. Basting every so often during the baking process is a good idea.
6.) Let the roast rest once it comes out of the oven (10-15 minutes). This makes it very easy to carve and the juices become more evenly distributed.
*NOTE: 120-125degrees is rare, 130-140 is med-rare, 145-150 for medium, 155-165 for well done. Taking the temperature of a roast is an inexact science because of thickness, fat deposits, and other factors. Sometimes it is best to simply cut into the meat to see how it looks. This may not be pretty or even Betty Crocker-approved but it makes for considerably less frustration! Also know that the temperature of the roast climbs a few degrees (5-10 usually) when you let it rest — so take it out of the oven when the core temperature is a little lower than the doneness temperature you are seeking!
Serve with mashed potatoes, apple red cabbage, and grilled asparagus (and lots of your favorite red wine or cider).