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This is the #1 family favorite recipe, handed down in the family for generations. SVICKOVA in Bohemian, SAUERBRATEN in German, PICKLED BEEF in American/English
Slice onion into thin rings. Put water and vinegar in saucepan. Place onions in saucepan. Place pickling spices on a square of cheese cloth. Tie securely. Add to saucepan. Bring saucepan to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool to lukewarm.
In large GLASS bowl (do not use metal), place beef roast. Pour cooled vinegar mixture over beef. Cover with saran wrap or lid and put bowl in a very cool (45 degrees minimum) place for 2-3 days. The longer it sits, the more pickled the beef. Turn meat at least once while marinating.
When ready to roast, place meat in a covered roaster. Add a few of the onions and a little of the vinegar mixture. Strain the onion/spice broth. Save broth for use in gravy. Remaining onions and spice bag and be discarded.
Cover pan and roast at 325 degrees for 2 hours. Uncover pan and roast an additional hour. Roast should be well done. Do not allow to dry out. When roast is done remove to serving platter and let rest 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, put roasting pan with drippings on stove. Mix some flour with cool water and add to pan drippings to make gravy. Add left over vinegar broth to gravy mix and simmer, stirring often until thick.
Just before serving, add sour cream, 1/2-1 cup. Stir in until well blended. Serve immediately with raised dumplings.
Some recipes are just pickled beef, some are just pickled gravy. This recipe calls for both. Germans usually use Ginger Snaps in the gravy. Bohemians don't. A dash of Kitchen Bouquet can be added to gravy to give it some color.
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