Sunday, January 04, 2009


“No winter lasts forever;
no spring skips its turn.”
~ Hal Borland

~ Icy Fingers
~ Perfect comfort food for a cold winter day ... but plan ahead since the key to great flavor depends on a long marinade.
4 lbs. thick round or rump roast
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper
2 cups dry red wine
1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
4 bay leaves
8 cloves
1 Tbsp. coarsely crushed peppercorns
1 Tbsp. coarsely crushed juniper berries*
1 Tbsp. mustard seeds
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (freshly grated best)
3 thinly sliced onions
1 cup chopped celery leaves
1 bunch chopped parsley
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced carrots
2 Tbsp. flour
4 tsp. sugar
3 cups strained cooking liquid
3/4 cup crushed gingersnaps
8 dried slivered pitted prunes (optional)
coarse salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
*(Penzeys Spices carries a wonderful variety of herbs and spices)
  • Rub meat well with salt & pepper. Combine wine, vinegar, water, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, juniper berries, mustard seeds, nutmeg, onions, celery leaves & parsley in saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, remove and let cool.
  • Place beef in deep glass or ceramic bowl. Pour cooled marinade over beef, tightly cover and refrigerate for 2-3 days, turning at least twice each day.
  • When ready to cook, remove meat from marinade (strain through fine sieve and reserve, discarding spices & onions) and pat dry.
  • Melt butter in Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown evenly on all sides. Remove to platter. Add onions, celery and carrots in same pan and cook until soft and lightly browned. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring constantly until flour begins to lightly brown. Pour in reserved strained marinade and bring to boil. Return meat to pot, cover tightly and simmer over low heat for 2-3 hours or until fork-tender. (Or bake in 350-degree oven for 2-3 hours until fork-tender).
  • Transfer meat to warmed platter. Strain cooking liquid through sieve and force vegetables through with wooden spoon. Skim off fat.
  • Melt sugar in saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until golden brown. Gradually stir in warm marinade and bring to boil. Reduce heat and stir in crushed gingersnaps, a little at at a time, and cook long enough for crumbs to dissolve and thicken the sauce (if too thick, add any remaining juices or water). Add prunes and season with salt & pepper. Stir in sour cream. Ladle part of gravy over thinly sliced meat and pass remainder in gravy boat. Great with braised red cabbage, spaetzle or potato dumplings. (8 servings)

Note: Can make ahead, cover and chill. Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Pour a bit of warmed gravy over sliced meat and bake for 15 minutes or until heated. Serve with additional warmed gravy.



3 lbs. medium potatoes

coarse salt & freshly ground pepper

2 organic eggs

1 cup flour

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

  • Cook unpeeled potatoes until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain, cool slightly and peel.
  • Put potatoes through ricer and spread on paper towels to dry well.
  • Turn potatoes in large bowl. Lightly toss with salt & pepper. Make a well in center and break eggs into it.
  • Sift 3/4 flour over eggs, add bread crumbs, nutmeg and parsley. Work with hands, blending until mixture is smooth and holds together.
  • Shape into approximately 18 egg-size balls. Roll in remaining flour.
  • Bring water to boil in large saucepan. Reduce heat and drop in one dumpling at a time to fit comfortably in pan. Boil gently, uncovered, 2 minutes after rising to surface. Transfer with slotted spoon to paper towel. Serve hot with Sauerbrauten.


Roses and Lilacs said...

Your icicle photos are so pretty. We had freezing rain last night so everything here has a coat of ice.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Hi, Joey! I have this quote written down, planning to use it in a future post, you beat me to the punch.

joey said...

We've shared lot of winter, Marie! But ... ice or no ice ... each day is getting ... yea ... lighter!

Only so many good quotes out there, dear Robin! (I think I've used this one before ;)

spookydragonfly said...

Don't you just love icicles?! Very pretty photos, Joey. Your dinner sounds, love, love dumplings. I wish I had your enthusiasm for cooking, though! Happy New Year!

Kerri said...

I used a Hal Borland quote too. He tell a good tale. Have you read any of his books?
The Sauerbraten sounds delicious!
Winter gives us some beautiful photo opportunities, but I'm longing for color!
Wishing you God's rich blessings and much joy for the new year, Joey.

beckie said...

Oh this sounds so yummy. Stick to your ribs kind of food for getting through the long winter. Still in the throes of winter here. Gloomy!

Mireille said...

Great , your photos of "icy fingers"...Here, in Provence, it's really cold, too...and even if for the moment, the garden is just white of frost, it's possible we will have snow on wednesday!!!!
I wish you a really beautiful year and lot of happinness, dear Joey....
All the best.....

Rose said...

Those icy fingers look lovely, though as winter marches on, I'm not so fond of seeing them:) We have a wonderful German restaurant about 45 minutes from here that we visit occasionally. Sauerbraten is often my choice of entree--much easier to order there than to make at home!

marmee said...

comfort food is a must during winter months for me. this sounds really good. i would like to try it.

Shady Gardener said...

Do you Make all these recipes? If so, I'd better "get on the ball!" ;-) Actually, my husband would LOVE it if I tried this! Thanks!!

Marysol said...

"No winter last forever."

Amen to that.

...Although, I must admit, your icicles are prettier than mine.

Brenda@View From The Pines said...

Just a day or two ago, I was outside in shorts enjoying a sunny wonderful day. Today it is rainy, cold and dreary. I'll take some comfort food (with a little dab of chocolate for good measure) and my sunny weather back! I know. I'm spoiled!

joey said...

Hi Kim ~ cookin' (besides all my other passions) is me! Happy New Year!

I've yet to read his books but love his quotes, Kerri. Blessings for the New Year also ... always delightful to connect with you.

Gloomy, yes, dear Beckie, but the days are getting longer ... love the bright sunlight that brings hopes of spring ;) Until then, we must comfort ourselves with good smells in the kitchen and a few tasty carbs to warm us through the winter :)

Dear Mireille ~ enjoy the snow (we have more on the way also). Soon it will be spring. So enjoy vacationing with you in your beautiful 'Piece of Paradise' ;) Wishing you Happy Gardening and a blessed New Year.

Hi dear Rose ~ the recipe is not as difficult as it looks, actually very easy ... once a year is a fine reminder of this fun comfort food. But it's fun to dine out at favorite spots ... enjoy!

Comfort food calls in the winter, dear Marmee. It's about good smells in the kitchen, one way of wrapping my arms around those I love.

Yes, I cook all these dear Shady! In fact, gearing up for a party of 50-60 to celebrate hubby's special 'Swingin' into Medicare' birthday! (I'm making everything and hope to live to tell the story! :)

You are most kind, dear Marysol ~ Icicles are icicles!

Thanks for the reminder of shorts and sunny days, Brenda! I do remember ... yes, I do ;) Until then, I rejoice in the days as they come (with comfort food, family, friends and camera near ;)

garden girl said...

Yum Joey, this sounds delicious! There's a nearby town named Franfort (established in the late 1800's by German immigrants,) that has a couple of nice German restaurants. I love the sauerbraten, but have never tried to make it at home. I think I'll give it a try - I bought a roast yesterday. Now I know what to do with it!

joey said...

A good 'stick to the ribs' hearty winter meal, Linda ;) Enjoy (you might not have to eat for a week:)