Neighborhood Eats: Prime Meats in Brooklyn

January 14, 2011 4:47:32 PM PST
In this week's neighborhood eats, we found a hearty meal perfect for the winter. A taste of Germany without having to leave the continent.

At Prime Meats, you will find dishes like Spaetzle with mushrooms, daily made pretzels, and Bratwurst served up in a delightful old world setting in Carroll Gardens.

The two owners Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli are childhood friends.

They designed the place as they have with their 3 other restaurants, and at Prime Meats in Brooklyn they also have a mini provisions shop.

In the kitchen the employees can't resist picking at their infamous Sauerbraten. Chef Will Prunty gives the beef brisket its flavor with a delicious marinade of red wine vinegar, red wine, juniper berries, peppercorns, all spice and bay leaves.

Chef Prunty lets the brisket marinate for three days, he then browns the brisket, sautés the onions, apples and carrots and once the meat is returned to the pan, it's covered and braised for several hours. The sauerbraten is served on top of sweet and sour cabbage and pretzel dumplings.

Sauerbraten Recipe from Prime Meats


  • 2lbs Beef Brisket
  • 2 cups of dry red wine
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 2 teaspoons white peppercorns
  • 1 Celery Stalk, large dice
  • 2 Carrots, large dice
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, halved
  • 4 yellow onions-3 cut into 1/4inch slices, 1 diced
  • 1/4 cup Canola oil
  • Course salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 granny smith apples, peeled and cut into half inch dices
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1tsp fresh or dried thyme
  • ¾ cup homemade beef or chicken stock, or store bought low sodium beef or chicken stock

    1. To make the Sauerbraten, place the brisket in a deep pan or Dutch oven. Add the wine, vinegar, juniper berries, peppercorns, celery, carrot, leek, garlic, and 1 of the sliced onions. The brisket should be completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 4 days. Turn the meat once each day. After four days, remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry. Strain and reserve the marinade.

    2. Preheat the over to 300F. Heat the oil in a large Dutch over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the brisket and brown it on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove the meat, leaving the fat in the pan, season with salt and pepper. Add the 2 remaining sliced onions. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are tender and caramelized, about 15 minutes.

    3. Deglaze the pan by adding the reserved marinade and scraping the bottom of the pan to release and brown bits. Add the apples, raisins, bay leaf and thyme and stir to combine. Return the meat to the pan with any accumulated juices and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven. Braise for 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender, turning the meat halfway through.

    4. When the brisket is tender, transfer it to a cutting board. Add the stock to the Dutch oven and reduce over medium heat, until the sauce is reduced by half, about 20 minutes.

    5. Slice the brisket against the grain and return to the pot with the sauce. Keep warm until you're ready to serve.