Margarita's International Recipes



Beef in Gingerbread Sauce

That's it. I'm declaring Dutch food the "best undiscovered cuisine" of this century. And this Frisian beef dish is a prime example of its greatness.

It's really a very simple dish: beef braised with onions in beef broth. And, just as that, it's pretty satisfying. But then you add a slice of ginger bread crumbs and you end up with a sauce that's out of this world: rich but not heavy, slightly sweet but not quite and unlike pretty much any other source I've had. Delicious.

Best of all, while this dish takes a long time to cook, preparing it takes very little time. Serve it with mashed or boiled potatoes and braised red cabbage.

I followed the original recipe quite closely, though I used a bit less butter and added water at the end to thin the sauce. I made the ginger cake myself, but I'm sure you can use whatever gingerbread (and even ginger snaps) you come across.

Beef in Ginger Breadsauce

  • 1 lb. stewing beef, cubed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 slice ginger bread or ginger cake, crumbled.


Season the beef with salt and pepper.

Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides. Add the onions and cook until soft.

Add the beef broth, 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar, cloves and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, cover but leave a small opening. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours.

With a slotted spoon, remove beef from the sauce and set aside. If the sauce is too thick add some water to thin it out. Then add the ginger bread crumbs, stir well, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce becomes smooth and fairly thick.

Return the beef to the pot and cook for a couple of minutes or until it warms up. Stir in the remaining teaspoon of vinegar. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Adapted from Chufi's recipe at

Frisian Recipes | Margarita's International Recipes | E-mail