Rach prepares a German classic with a slowly cooked round of pickled and brined beef seasoned with a variety of herbs and veggies. Ground ginger snaps and the pickling mixture are included in a sassy sauce to accompany the meal.

Note: Plan ahead! This recipe calls for the meat to marinate for 3 days.


  • 1 beef round roast (3 1/2-4 pounds), brought to room temperature
  • Vegetable oil, to coat
  • Salt and pepper or Montreal seasoning

For the brine:

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup cloudy cider
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and thickly sliced on an angle
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered with root end left attached
  • 2-3 ribs celery, thickly sliced on an angle

In a tea filter sack, coffee filter or cheesecloth, bundle together:

  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Juniper berries (you can find them in the spice aisle)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seed (half a palmful)
  • About 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seed
  • About 1 1/2 teaspoons dill seed
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 16 ginger snaps, ground


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Rub the roast with vegetable oil and season liberally with salt and pepper or Montreal Seasoning. Brown in the hot pan on all sides, 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat.

Bring the brine and flavor pouch to a boil in a saucepot or large Dutch oven – I secure mine with kitchen twine to side of pot. Turn the heat off and let cool. Combine the brine and meat in the pot or in another container and refrigerate for 3 days, turning the meat occasionally.

To cook, bring the meat to room temperature. Sprinkle the sugar into the pot and combine with the sauce. Pre-heat the oven to 325°F and roast for about 3 1/3-4 hours. The meat may also be cooked in a slow-cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 7 hours.

Remove the roast to a carving board and cover with foil. Let rest for 30 minutes. Strain or finely grind the sauce in a food mill and return it to the pot. Whisk in the tomato paste and the ground ginger snaps – if the ginger snaps do not dissolve completely, pass them through the food mill or sieve again. Adjust the black pepper in the sauce, to taste.

To serve, thinly slice the meat and serve with wilted or sautéed dark greens and mashed potatoes with sour cream or potato cakes alongside.

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