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“Lüchow’s was a grand German restaurant and New York City landmark on East 14th Street. Sadly, it closed in 1982 after one hundred years. I grew up hearing my grandmothers and parents talk of the place as a special destination, and was lucky enough to have dined there a couple of times in the years just before it closed. I’m also lucky to have found a copy of “Lüchow’s German Cookbook” (1952) from which I take this recipe for their signature dish. (With one exception, I have transcribed the recipe precisely: the original calls for kidney fat; I have substituted vegetable oil.)”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Wipe steak with damp cloth, season with salt and pepper. Place in earthen, glass, or enamelware bowl. Combine onions, carrot, celery, cloves, peppercorns, vinegar, and bar leaves and 2-1/2 pints water, or enough to cover meat. Cover and put in refrigerator 4 days.
  2. On fifth day remove from refrigerator, drain meat, sauté in vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon butter in enamelware, glass or earthenware utensil, until seared on all sides. Add marinade liquid and bring to boil, then lower heat and let simmer about 3 hours.
  3. Melt remaining 5 tablespoons butter in a pan. Stir flour smoothly into it. Add sugar, blend, and let brown to nice dark color. Add to simmering meat mixture. Cover and continue cooking until meat is tender, about 1 hour longer.
  4. Remove meat to a warmed serving platter. Stir crushed gingersnaps into the pot juices and cook until thickened. Pour this special sauerbraten gravy over meat. Serves 6 or more.
  5. Serve with Potato or Bread Dumplings. A fine full-bodied red wine is a fitting complement to this well-known dish. A favorite with our guests is Pommard Burgundy.

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