Dinner and a Playlist: Oktoberfest Sauerbraten, Sweet Cabbage, Potatoes and German Radio Big Band

For a jazz fan, there’s almost nothing better than heading out to a jazz club for an evening of fine food, good times and great jazz. But what if we told you we could bring the jazz club to you?

Here, we present our latest Dinner and a Playlist feature, which pairs a delectable, easy-to-make recipe from professional chef (and amateur jazz fan) Carlos Loza with a playlist curated by JAZZIZ editors. The idea: gather up the ingredients, fire up the stove, open the playlist on the platform of your choice, and enjoy a wonderful evening of cooking, listening, and fine dining. We’ve got music to keep you company from the first chop to the final bite.

Let’s celebrate Oktoberfest with a recipe that’s big on flavor and a playlist that’s big on swinging sounds. This sauerbraten brisket is tender and sweet thanks to a delicious 2-4 day marinade, making it the perfect complement to sweet cabbage and hearty German potatoes. Once you fill your belly up on dinner, feast your ears on our playlist featuring two of Germany’s premier radio big bands: Cologne’s WDR Big Band and Hamburg’s NDR Big Band. In addition to these two stellar ensembles, you’ll also hear guest appearances from the likes of Ron Carter, Paquito D’Rivera, Billy Hart and more. (A nice German beer wouldn’t hurt, either.) Enjoy!

The Recipe

For the beef sauerbraten

To marinate the brisket (2 days minimum)

2 lbs. beef brisket
2 ½ cups dry red wine
1 cups red wine vinegar
¼ cup Brown sugar
⅛ cup Pickling spice
2 tsp white peppercorns
2 stalks  celery roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
4  garlic cloves, cut in ½
2 onions, cut into 1/4-inch slices     

To start, put all ingredients for marinating the brisket into a pot or dish deep enough to completely cover the meat.  Store in the refrigerator. After 24 hours, flip the meat over. Let marinate for an additional 24 hours.  

To braise the meat 

¼ cups canola oil
2  Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice
1 cup golden raisins
1 bay leaf
1tsp. fresh or dried thyme
1  onion, diced
1  cup of red wine
⅛  cup pickling spice
¾ cup low-sodium beef or chicken stock

 Beef Sauce 

¼ cup ginger snap cookies, crushed
¼ cup beef broth
Salt/pepper to sprinkle on meat 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Then, strain the marinating liquid and keep it aside for later use.  Dry the meat with a paper towel and then season with salt and pepper.  Put canola oil in a saute pan and sear the meat over a medium flame until browned on both sides.  When you flip the meat, add the apples and onions to the pan. Cook for a couple minutes and add the red wine to the pan to deglaze and cook for another minute. 

2. Transfer the mixture to a hotel pan or Dutch oven. Add raisins, bay leaf, thyme, and beef or chicken stock. Then, add enough of the marinating liquid to cover about half of the brisket.  Sprinkle the pickling spice on top of the meat and cover with foil. Put it all in the oven and after 3 hours, check the meat for tenderness by putting a steak knife into the meat. If the knife goes through the meat very easily, the meat is done.  If you need to use force, the meat needs to cook longer.

3. When the meat is done, transfer the meat to another platter. Pour the braising liquid into a saucepan in order to make gravy. Add ginger snap cookies and beef broth, and cook over low heat until the crumbs are soft.  Take out the bay leaf and then hand blend the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. 

4. Once the meat is cool enough, slice it, and place it back inside the pan to keep hot.

For the sweet red cabbage:

½ stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced shallots
1 med. white onion, diced
2   Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into small dices
1 large   Red cabbage (about 3 pounds), cored and sliced thin
½ cup   dried cherries
1 ½ cups red wine
2pcs whole cloves
⅓ cup brown sugar
1  bay leaf
⅛ cup apple cider vinegar
½ lemon, squeezed 

1. In a large skillet or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and apples and cook, occasionally stirring, for 5 minutes. 

2. Add cabbage, cherries, red wine, cloves, brown sugar and bay leaves. Thoroughly mix the ingredients, bring to a boil, and then reduce the flame to low and cover.  Let it simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

3. Add cider vinegar and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

German potatoes:

2 lbs med. red potatoes
6 bacon strips, diced
1 medium onion diced
¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp celery seed
¼ tsp ground pepper
½ cup sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup water
3 Tbs. minced fresh parsley

1. Quarter potatoes and boil them in a pot until tender, drain and set aside.

2. Dice the bacon and cook in a skillet on medium heat while stirring.  When it begins to get some crispy parts, then add the diced onion, and cook until translucent.

3. Add flour, celery seeds, and pepper, and cook for about 2 minutes on low heat being careful not to burn the flour. Pour in the water, vinegar, and sugar.  Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until it thickens. 

4. Add in the potatoes and lower the flame. Gently stir to combine all of the ingredients, and remove from heat once potatoes are warmed.  Sprinkle fresh parsley on top right before serving.

Carlos Loza is a pastry chef living in the Chicago suburbs. A graduate of The French Pastry school, he previously worked as a sous chef at New York’s Café Cluny and as a pastry cook for Chicago’s Vanille Pâtisserie. He’s currently the head pastry chef at My Chef Catering in Naperville, Illinois.

The Playlist

Listen on: qobuz

Forward Motion
Fred Hersch, WDR Big Band, Vince Mendoza
Begin Again

Receipt, Please
Ron Carter, WDR Big Band
My Personal Songbook

Memories of You
WDR Big Band, Paquito D’Rivera, Christopher Dell
Benny Goodman Revisited

Arturo Sandoval, WDR Big Band, Michael Philipp Mossman
Mambo Nights

Billy Hart, WDR Big Band
The Broader Picture

Fine and Mellow
WDR Big Band, Cécile Verny
Celebrating Billie Holiday

Djangology – Live
Biréli Lagrène, WDR Big Band
WDR Big Band: Djangology / Solo: To Bi or Not to Bi (Live)

Klaus Heidenreich, NDR Big Band, Tim Hagans

Islands of the Mind
Joe Sample, NDR Big Band
Children of the Sun

First Tune of the Set
Randy Brecker, David Sanborn, Ada Rovatti, Wolfgang Haffner, NDR Big Band

Thomas Hickstein, NDR Big Band
Flamenco meets Jazz

Cinephonie Noir – IV Finale
NDR Bigband, Felix Behrendt, Steffen Böttcher
Cinephonie Noir

For Sephora
Django Deluxe, NDR Bigband, Stochelo Rosenberg

Petite Fleur
Christof Lauer, NDR Bigband
Petite Fleur

The What?
Rainer Tempel, NDR Bigband
Serious Fun

Piece of Five
Trilok Gurtu, Simon Phillips, NDR Bigband
21 Spices

Blue Muchacho – ChaCha
Joe Gallardo, NDR Bigband
Latin Jazz Latino

Like Someone in Love
Rolf Kühn, NDR Bigband
Bouncing with Bud

Meise Vorm Fenster
Albert Mangelsdorff, NDR Bigband
Music for Jazz Orchestra

Ellingtonia Medley – Carnegie Blues – Thing´s Ain`t What They Used To Be – Koko
NDR Bigband

Night In Tunesia
NDR Bigband
Bravissimo – 50 Years Ndr Bigband

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