It's Glühwein season yet again! For this German recipe, I immersed a beef chuck roast in an entire bottle of mulled wine - pure Winter comfort food.
About this Recipe
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Today’s German recipe post is all about comfort food AND Kansas farming. I recently got to interview Katie Carothers from KCK Farms in Anthony, Kansas, via the virtual Kansas Farm Food Tour of 2020 (because isn’t just about everything virtual in 2020). If you followed my blog last year, you probably saw my post about all the Kansas farms we visited as part of the Kansas Farm Food Tour then (petting the calfs at Wells' dairy farm in Milton, Kansas, must have been my fave!), and so since the current circumstances didn’t allow for an in-person tour this year, the virtual farm food tour was born! I must say... the interview with Katie was messy and real, but also so fun! Baby Eloïse was strapped to me and fussy, our pomsky Bolt barking, my other daughter woke up from her nap too early... but luckily Katie has two really cute boys of her own, Callan and Cooper, and was very understanding and forgiving, and we continued our interview via email, which probably suited her and I's busy end-of-year lives better anyways!
Katie and her husband Kregg started KCK Farms in 2015 and they ship their homegrown meat from the heartland all across the country! KCK is a fourth generation farm in the small town of Anthony, Kansas. Katie believes in bringing the highest quality meat to carnivores all across the United States, specializing in dry-aged beef. When I asked Katie why dry-aging was the right way to process meat for them, here’s what she said: “When you buy beef from the grocery store it most likely was only hung for 24-48 hours, we hang ours for 21 days. This allows the moisture to be drawn out of the meat, which enhances the flavor and makes it more tender.” I’m all about better flavors and quality over quantity.
I was also curious about what farming looks like on the day-to-day for Katie and her husband. Not only does she keep busy with two smallish boys named Cooper and Callan, but from what Katie tells me, every day is a different adventure on the farm. I honestly think my two-year-old Zoë would love a trip out to KCK Farms, as she loves animals and exploring outdoors!
“Every day is different on the farm. Some days its basic animal care such as feeding and watering, some days it is birthing piglets in the barn for eight hours and watching them for days to be sure they are healthy. Other days we run cattle through the chute to give them vaccinations to keep them healthy and check their overall health. Its so different each day, which makes it great!”
If you want to spend some time up close on the farm with her and all the animals, make sure to follow her and KCK Farms on Instagram!. When I asked her what made her decide to stay in farming and if she’s ever considered quitting, her response was this: “Honestly, I never thought I'd marry a farmer! I loved growing up with the farm life, but hadn't really considered it being a way of life for me forever. When I met my husband, I knew that's what I wanted to spend the rest of our lives doing. Quitting? Nah, we've gone too far to do that!”
I was curious.. the pandemic has hit many of us in a negative way. I wanted to find out what kinds of challenges Katie is facing in farming and especially in 2020.
“Farming is a lot of ups and downs. Weather affects us greatly. Markets and politics take a toll on our bank accounts. And the work is never ending. We have actually seen an increase of meat sales through the pandemic though, which is a silver lining for sure.”
And there are a lot of things Katie is thankful for this year as well. Just like so many other parents out there, Katie is homeschooling right now.
“This year especially I’m thankful to live in a rural community of farming and ranching with our family. We are homeschooling our eight-year-old and I wouldn’t have it any other way honestly. Being able to farm together daily and spend quality time together is priceless.“
Katie does also have some German heritage. Her great-great-great-grandfather came from Germany! From the small town of Hesel in Niedersachsen to be exact. Once emmigrated to the United States, they settled in Farina, Illinois, before eventually ending up in Kansas. Katie grandmother Bessie Mae, whom she shares a middle name with, often made ‘beef and noodles’ growing up. It was a beef roast recipe cooked with cloves, wine and spices, which is what inspired me for today's Glühweinbraten recipe. I first rub a beef chuck roast in a variety of spices (including clove) and herbs, then sear it on all sides, sauté it with some onions before covering it in a whole bottle of delicious Gerstacker Glühwein. It then simmers for a couple of hours and finally is finished with some cream and lingonberry jam. Of course I had to serve mine with Spätzle noodles (like Bessie Mae did) and homemade red cabbage.
If you would like to buy some of Katie’s high quality Kansas-grown and dry-aged meat, you can do so here! Her chuck roasts are amazing, but sell out quickly. They would be perfect to use for a German roast like the Glühweinbraten recipe I have for you below. Katie is resuming shipping across the USA after the new year once the holiday shipping craze is over, but you're in luck if you live in the KC area because she does have one last trip planned for deliveries on December 22nd.
What better drink pairing is there for this roast cooked in Glühwein than more of the same, super lecker Glühwein? This one is from Germany's most famous Weihnachtsmarkt: the Nürnberger Christkindl Markt. Did you know that only Glühwein from Nürnberg can call itself Nürnberg Glühwein. It seems obvious, but just like not all sparkling wine is Champagne, not all Glühwein is from Nürnberg. It's a protected designation for special quality and goodness. The grapes come from a local vineyard and the Glühwein is sweetened with honey from the local forests.
Making Glühwein is as simple as warming the contents of a bottle or two on your stove top, and please don't put it in the microwave! You'll want to pay extra special attention to the Glühwein not coming to a boil or else you're saying Tschüss to all the alcohol! If you would like, you can garnish with a cinnamon stick and some orange peel, but I don't think that's necessary at all! Prost!
German Side Dishes To Go With Your Braten
Christmas Markets will be dearly missed in Germany this year. And all the food! I miss it so much! You'll have to try homemade Langos, a Hungarian recipe usually available at German Christmas Markets. Make sure to subscribe to my blog now, so you're not missing out when this new German recipe post goes live!
Glühweinbraten: German Mulled Wine Roast
- 1 kg beef chuck roast
- 1 liter Glühwein I used the Christkindles Markt Glühwein by Gerstacker. If you need to add more liquid, it's good to have some beef broth handy.
- 2 yellow onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 twigs fresh thyme
- 2 twigs fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- 10 whole peppercorns
- 5 whole allspice
- 10 whole juniper berries
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 100 ml heavy whipping cream 50 to 100 ml
- 2 tablespoon lingonberry jam I like the organic one you can buy at IKEA. If you can't find it, you can use cranberry sauce or jam or blackberry jam.
- Grind together the spices (this little grinder has served me well and I use it for coffee as well!), finely chop up the herbs and combine. Pat dry the beef, rub on a little oil, then rub the ground up spices into the meat.
- In a large pot (make sure you have a lid for it), heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high. Once hot, add the seasoned beef and sear on all sides for a couple of minutes.
- Chop the onion into medium sized pieces, mince the garlic and add to the beef. Sauté for a couple of minutes until starting to brown. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, add a lid, and let simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
- Remove the meat from the sauce onto a plate and cover with foil to keep warm and allow to rest. Pour the liquids through a strainer (optional) and return liquids to the pot and let simmer on medium for 5 to 10 minutes to reduce and allow to naturally thicken.
- Add 50 ml of cream (and more if desired), 2 tablespoon of lingonberry jam and season with salt and pepper. If you would like the sauce to be thicker, you can whisk a little sauce together with some cornstarch or flour, return to the pot and bring back to a boil, so the sauce actually thickens. Repeat this if needed.
- @W3I like to serve this roast with Spätzle (German egg noodles - you can use this recipe if you don't have one. So simple and good!) and Rotkohl (German red cabbage) and garnish with some more fresh herbs. Guten Appetit!
I received compensation from Niche Import Co. in exchange for writing this post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions, thoughts and recipes are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may be compensated if you click certain links.