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Mockbraten (Flank Steak with Sauerbraten-Style Sauce), Smashed Potatoes with Horseradish and Chives and Red Cabbage with Apple and Onions


  • 2 dried bay leaves

  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar (eyeball it)

  • 3 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons grill seasoning, such as McCormick brand Montreal Steak Seasoning

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (eyeball it)

  • 2 1/4-2 1/2 pounds flank steak

  • 2 medium onions

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 1 large green apple

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated or ground (eyeball it)

  • 1 jar cooked red cabbage (18 ounces), available on the specialty foods aisle at the grocery store

  • 3 pounds red-skinnned potatoes, quartered

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish

  • 3 tablespoons chives, chopped or snipped

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup dry red wine

  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock (about 1/3 of a 1 quart box)

  • 1 rounded tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 6 gingersnaps, finely crumbled


Mix bay leaves, cider, sugar, grill seasoning and vegetable oil in the bottom of a large sealable plastic bag and squish it all together until evenly combined. Drop the meat into the bag and move it around to evenly coat it. Let stand 10-12 minutes. Pre-heat a grill pan or indoor/outdoor grill to high.

Thinly slice 1 1/2 onions and reserve the remaining 1/2 onion whole, but peeled. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of the butter and melt it. Add the sliced onions to the pan. Peel, core and slice the apple and add it to the onions. Season the apple slices and onions with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook the apple slices and onions for 5-6 minutes, then add cooked red cabbage. Combine, then reduce heat to low. Set aside and keep warm.

Place meat on grill and let a bay leaf remain stuck on each steak. As the meat cooks, the heat will infuse the flavor throughout the meat. Cook steaks about six minutes on each side. Then, let meat rest. Discard leaves.

While meat cooks, place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and salt it. Cook potatoes 10-12 minutes, or until tender. Drain potatoes and return to the hot pot. Mash them with sour cream, horseradish and chives and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Potatoes will be thick and spicy. If you like looser mashed potatoes, add a little milk or stock and continue to smash.

While potatoes cook, remove the red cabbage mixture to a serving bowl and cover with foil. In the same skillet that the cabbage was cooked in, add the remaining two tablespoons butter. Melt the butter, then grate the reserved 1/2 onion with a hand-held grater into the butter. Cook the grated onion for two minutes, then add flour and cook a minute more. Whisk in red wine, cook off for a minute, then whisk in stock and bring to a simmer. Stir in mustard and gingersnaps and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Let sauce thicken for a couple of minutes.

Thinly slice the flank steak on an angle against the grain. Place a mound of potatoes on each dinner plate. Lay out some sliced flank steak along the edge of the potatoes and dress with a ladle of Sauer-sauce. Serve red cabbage, apples and onions alongside or in small side dishes.