Dutch sour meat, zoervleisj in Limburg dialect, as the name implies, is meat stewed in vinegar and then sweetened. Usually it's eaten with nice thick fries.
Willemijn of Whatsthatsmell asked earlier this week for a beer week's recipe called Zoervleisj translated into Sour meat? It was not a recipe I initially thought of but is a great part of this week. Zoervleisj is traditionally eaten in the South of the Netherlands in Limburg, but also in parts of Belgium and Germany.
Sour meat is fast food
In Limburg, you can get it even in the fast-food stands, because sour meat (zuurlvees) is preferably eaten with fries. Now you may think (by the name) that sour meats taste acidic, but nothing is less true. It's just a really sweet piece of meat. The meat is cooked in acid but after that, you bring the sauce to taste with syrup and gingerbread. That way you get a deliciously sweet stew.
Originally it is prepared with horse meat, but you can also prepare it with beef. And that's exactly what I did.
- you cook the meat in vinegar and that way the meat becomes extra tender. The acid dissolves the connective tissue in the meat.
- you normally leave the meat to marinate overnight, but I got the same result by cooking the meat for an extra hour to get the same tender result
- you bake the meat brown, the taste will become even better.
- there are so many local varieties of this recipes, beer is not always a permanent ingredient in sour meat, but it has a nice flavor accent and we are in the beer week so I choose to leave it in. You can also replace the beer with a similar amount of water.
- you don't want to search for the cloves when the stew is finished, put them in a tea strainer. That way you take them out easily.
Recipe: Dutch sour meat (zoervleisj)
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- 50 gram butter
- 2 onions
- ½ teaspoon salt to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 700 gram Beef tenderloin steak
- 150 ml white vinegar
- 150 ml beer dark
- 3 cloves
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 slices gingerbread
- 5 tablespoons apple butter
Ingredients you need per step are listed below the step in Italic
- Chop the onion.
- Slice the beef steak into cubes 1 x 1 inch (2 x 2 cm) and season, at taste with salt and pepper.
- Melt half the butter in a pan and fry the onion until translucent.
- With a slotted spoon take the onion from the pan add the other butter and fry the beef steak until browned.
- Add the onion back in the pan with the beef cubes and pour the vinegar and beer over the meat.
- Add the cloves and bay leaves and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer with the lid on the pan for 3 hours. Stir occasionally and if there is not enough moisture in the pan, add some water.
- Cut the gingerbread into small cubes and mix with the apple syrup through the flesh. Taste and add when necessary some more syrup. Make sure you keep stirring, because it bakes very quickly.
- Let it simmer for 10 minutes and serve.
- In a frying pan bake the onion and beef for 5 minutes (until it's lightly browned). Put this in the slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients and turn on the slow cooker on low heat for 6 to 8 hours.