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Dortmund Braised Beef in Peppery Gravy:

What's the big idea?

Pfefferpotthast is a centuries-old goulash-style dish of braised beef from the North Rhine Westphalia region, particularly popular around the city of Dortmund. There are of course many variations on the recipe, but we think this one is fairly traditional.

A traditional accompaniement to this dish would be boiled potatoes, pickled gherkins and pickled beetroot.

Shopping List

Here's the list of what you need:

  • 1kg beef, cubed
  • 50g lard, or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Plenty of freshly ground pepper
  • 500g onions
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2-3 cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 250ml German beer
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 slices stale bread, made into breadcumbs

What To Do

  • Season the beef with salt and plenty of pepper
  • Heat the lard or oil in a large flame-proof casserole or saucepan, and fry the beef until browned on all sides
  • Meanwhile, slice the onions into fine rings
  • Remove the beef from the pan and set aside. Add the onions and fry for 5 minutes
  • Return the beef to the pot, along with the bay leaves, cloves, allspice and peppercorns
  • Add enough water to just cover the ingredients. Crumble the stock cube and add this, along with the beer
  • Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and and let it simmer gently for about an hour and a half
  • Stir in the capers, lemon juice, zest and breadcrumbs
  • Bring back to the boil, then season to taste with salt and pepper
  • Turn off the heat and leave to stand for five minutes before serving

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