Sour beef with piquant sauce and rib-sticking dumplings Sauerbraten: A lively gravy in this German-Viennese dish gets some zip from gingersnaps.


Vito A. Favarola of Jarrettsville asked if we could help her find a recipe for sour beef and dumplings.

Yes, indeed. Many answers arrived and tester Laura Reiley chose one from Sally J. Breig of Severn, whose recipe "came from a German-Viennese cookbook." Others who responded with similar recipes included Chris Wirchert of Laurel, Jean Nohe of Forest Hill, Lisa Resau of Baltimore, Beth Hunter of Timonium and Deborah Scott of Belcamp.

Breig's Sour Beef and Dumplings

Serves 6

3 pounds chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 medium onions, chopped

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1 1/2 cups water

4 bay leaves

3 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons pickling spices, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied

1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

12 gingersnaps

1 cup water


6 medium potatoes, peeled, cooked, mashed and cooled

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup cornstarch

2/3 cup flour

Place meat in a large glass bowl. Add next 6 ingredients and marinate in refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, stirring every day.

Dry meat well and brown in Dutch oven with oil. Add marinating liquid and simmer until meat is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Meanwhile, place gingersnaps in a cup of water. Let soften and strain into meat mixture just before the end of the cooking time. Cover and cook over low heat until mixture is thick. Serve with dumplings.

For dumplings: When potatoes are cool, whip in egg, well beaten, and salt. Add cornstarch and flour to make a soft dough. Break off pieces of the dough and shape into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Drop dumplings into 2 quarts of boiling water. Do not crowd dumplings while cooking. Cook about 5 minutes or until dumplings rise to the surface of the water. Carefully remove with a slotted spoon and drain over the water a few seconds. Put dumplings into a warm serving dish and serve with sauerbraten.

Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "The gingersnap thickener should be added judiciously, a little at a time so as not to over-thicken the finished dish. The dumpling recipe made heavy, rib-sticking potato dumplings, a nice foil for the piquant and slightly sweet sauce of the sour beef. I would not cook the meat for a full 2 hours. It begins to fall apart after 1 1/2 hours of simmering."

Recipe requests

* Dorothy Ruth of Baltimore writes: "Help! I need a recipe for rum buns made with a yeast dough. My sister is begging me to make them."

* Anne Rzeszut of Portage, Pa., who says she is a senior citizen, writes: "As a young girl, I remember eating pure white fudge that had Brazil nuts and green cherries in it. Thank you so much."

* Darlene S. Grubbs of Walla Walla, Wash., wants a chocolate cake that "uses [Nestle] Quik for the chocolate and uses buttermilk also."

* Frances Tschetter of Bridgewater, S.D., would like to have a recipe for green tomato jam.

* Faye Mager of Annapolis remembers the oyster bisque served at Hutzler's department store and would love to have a recipe for it "as well as the one for the hot fudge sundae sauce they served."

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278. If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes.

Pub Date: 6/10/98


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