No. 72: Sauerbraten at Walzwerk

Categories: SFoodie's 92
Earl G./Flickr
Walzwerk's sauerbraten, $18.
SFoodie's countdown of the 92 best things to eat and drink in San Francisco, 2011 edition.

SFoodie has eaten sauerbratens so vinegary we worried that the meat had spoiled. But Walzwerk's sauerbraten, one of the Mission restaurant's best dishes, hits just the right balance of meat to marinade. According to Walzwerk's chef, Matt Shapiro, the restaurant's recipe comes from the owner's Thuringian relatives. Shapiro bathes tri-tip in red wine, vinegar, and spices for three to four days, then sautés aromatic vegetables and braises the meat in the marinade.

During the long simmer, the wine reduces and commingles with the beef juices, the flavors penetrating to the heart of the cut. Sliced and sauced, the sauerbraten is sour, but wine-sour instead of piercingly tart, and so tender that the meat slides apart when you push at it with your knife. Mop up the sauce with boiled potatoes or the restaurant's feathery spaetzle.

Walzwerk: 381 S. Van Ness (at 15th St.), 551-7181.

Dishes in our series so far:
92: Goat tacos from El Norteño
91: Faux shark's fin soup at Benu
90: Esperpento's alcachofas a la plancha
89: Poco Dolce's olive oil chocolate bar
88: Decantr's chicken-liver mousseline
87: Outerlands' levain bread
86: Fraîche's frozen yogurt
85: Gyro King's spinach pie
84: Tandoori fish from Lahore Karahi
83: Braised oxtail and daikon from Namu
82: Golden Gate Bakery's custard tart
81: Commonwealth's cured foie gras with umeboshi purée
80: Star Stream's Liège-style waffle
79: Mexican hot chocolate from La Oaxaqueña
78: Meatball sandwich from Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe
77: Cheesecake from Zanze's
76: Chicken pepian at San Miguel
75: Macau iced coffee at Vega/Special Xtra
74: Comstock Saloon's Pisco Punch
73: Hai Ky Mi Gia's duck leg noodle soup

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