Sauerbraten (German Pot Roast)

Nuvita Biscuits

It was in Cologne in 1963 that I finally solved the riddle of preparing sauerbraten. What I could not achieve until then was the golden glow that shimmers over the deep brown gravy.


  • 1 (5-lb.) beef eye of round
    Kosher salt, to taste
    2 cups red wine
    1½ cups red wine vinegar
    3 large onions, thinly sliced
    1 large carrot, thinly sliced
    1 bouquet garni (1 tbsp. pickling spices, 14 whole cloves, 8 whole black peppercorns, 3 bay leaves, 3 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs parsley, wrapped in cheesecloth, tied with kitchen twine)
    4 tbsp. unsalted butter
    4 slices bacon, finely chopped
    3 tbsp. flour
    2 tbsp. sugar
    ½ cup golden raisins
    6 gingersnaps, crumbled
    Juice of ½ lemon
    2 tbsp. chopped parsley


1. Season beef liberally with salt in large bowl. Bring wine, vinegar, 1 onion, carrot, bouquet garni, and 4 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan; pour over beef. Cover and refrigerate, turning once or twice a day, for 5 days. Remove beef from marinade; pour marinade through a fine strainer into a bowl, and dry beef thoroughly. (Reserve 5 cups of the marinade and the bouquet garni.) Heat 2 tbsp. butter and bacon in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat; cook until bacon renders its fat, about 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate; set aside. Add beef; cook, turning, until browned all over, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside.

2. Heat oven to 325°. Add remaining onions to pot; cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 18 minutes. Return beef to pot with reserved marinade and sachet; boil. Cover; bake until beef is very tender, about 2½ hours. Transfer beef to a platter; pour sauce through a fine strainer into a bowl.

3. Return pot to medium-high heat; add remaining butter. Add flour and sugar; cook, whisking constantly, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add sauce, raisins, gingersnaps, and juice; return beef to sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover pot, and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Thinly slice beef; arrange on a platter. Spoon sauce over top; sprinkle with bacon and parsley.





Recipe Comments

  1. posted by Roflcopter on Mar 20, 2013

    I have an English project and I have to tell what a average citizen in germany 1944 would eat for 700 calories and I can’t find crap…Sites will help also :)

  2. posted by llb443 on Mar 22, 2013

    Im traveling al over germany for almost 2 weeks this may, and I want to know what kind of food to expect, I like ot eat the local food, and stay away from the americanized food that I coudl eat over here. so does nayone have any recomendations?

  3. posted by Dark_LovexXx on Mar 22, 2013

    for my german class, we are required to make a german meal. i decided to make potato pancakes, but on the recipe my teacher gave me, it said to use 2 1/4 pounds of potatoes. about how many potatoes should i use?

  4. posted by Roar me R on Mar 23, 2013

    My boyfriend is German and his mother is going to cook German food and invited me over. What is it like? I’m Mexican, is it like Mexican food?

  5. posted by Alex on Mar 25, 2013

    ok, i need to know how to spell sourbroten. i dont think thats right. its served with potatoe balls and red cabbage. and any recipes are more then welcome.

  6. posted by Willie on Mar 28, 2013

    I was going to be making Sauerbraten for my family over the holidays, and you first marinate that in wine and red wine vinegar for a few days, then simmer it on the stove for a couple of hours. I was lead to understand that alcohol cooks off this way, but certainly the smell and richness of the alcohol remains. Since some of my worthless family members are on probation due to DUI and have breathalyzers on their car a certain amount of paranoia has set in. Ideally none of them would show up, or I’d just make pot roast without alcohol, but of course they’re the ones giving the old people who were really looking forward to the dish rides so I need to figure this out to decide who will be pissed off.

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