Quarantine Kitchen: A holiday treat from Germany

by | Dec 19, 2020

Chef Jake Wolf

This year has been full of unprecedented times and situations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families and individuals will be cooking at home this holiday season. That’s why we are bringing the dishes to you all month long in our Quarantine Kitchen series. We talked to twenty-three chefs who willingly shared some of their favorite dishes to prepare for the holidays. Stay tuned Dec. 1 through 24 on the blog as well as our social media channels for a new dish to feature in your home each day and let’s get cooking!

Capital Club 16 in Raleigh has been a hot spot for tourists and locals alike for about ten years. Housed in the historic Capital Club Building, the restaurant focuses on bringing traditional recipes to life in a brand new way with local ingredients and seasonal twists. Current owners, Jake Wolf and his wife Shannon, take pride in creating a local atmosphere for their customers both through their food and the restaurant ambiance.

Executive Chef Jake Wolf comes from a family of cooks. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, he worked in a variety of restaurants before owning and cooking at Capital Club 16, including Lobos in Connecticut and the Pinehurst Members Club. One of the areas Jake and his wife draw their inspiration from is other countries and towns, including Germany. In fact, one of his favorite holiday dishes, Sauerbraten with Gingersnap gravy, has roots from two German states, Bavaria and Swabia. According to Chef Jake, this dish is one of the restaurant’s go-to holiday dishes, often served with dumplings, potatoes or most often Bavarian style apple braised red cabbage. See the full recipe below and bring a taste of Germany into your kitchen this Christmas season!

Sauerbraten with Gingersnap gravy

Dish takes 4 to 7 days to marinate and then 2 hours to prepare & cook


  • 3-pound beef brisket or chuck
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 stalks of celery diced
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 10 whole juniper berries
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1-quart water
  • Salt and pepper as needed
  • 6 gingersnap cookies chopped and crumbled
  • Beef base as needed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste


  1. Place the brisket or chuck in a casserole dish and season nicely with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the onion, celery and carrot in a pot with oil or butter. 
  3. Add water, wine, vinegar, cloves, juniper, bay leaves and bring to a boil,. Turn off pot.
  4. Transfer liquid and cool. When liquid is cool, pour over the brisket in the casserole dish, leaving all of the veggies and spices in the broth.
  5. Cover the meat and place in the refrigerator. Turing every few days. After four to seven days, pull the meat and pat dry.
  6. In a larger pot, sear the meat and pour the marinade back over. Bring to a boil, add a spoonful of beef base to boost your cooking liquid and later boost your finishing sauce. Cover and place in the oven on medium heat.
  7. Braise until fork tender, can check after first 1.5 hrs. Then check every 30 minutes until tender. Pull meat and let rest. 
  8. Strain cooking liquid into a sauce pot and taste, should be sour-ish but not too tart. Can add water or more vinegar depending on preference. 
  9. Season with salt if needed and add crumbled ginger snaps. The cookies will thicken the sauce. 
  10. If sauce still needs to be adjusted, diluted cornstarch will do the trick.
  11. Guten Apetit! (Enjoy your meal!)
Sauerbraten with Gingersnap Gravy