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German Food - Beef Pot Roast (Sauerbraten)

Updated on November 2, 2012


German Food
German Food
Sauerbraten Marinating
Sauerbraten Marinating

German Recipes

5 stars from 1 rating of Sauerbratin


German Beef Pot Roast - (Sauerbraten)


Sauerbraten, which literally translates as "pickled roast meat", is one of the national dishes of Germany. It is said to have been inspired by Julius Caesar, who sent amphoras filled with beef in wine over the Alps to the Roman colony in Cologne. Many people believe that sauerbraten was invented by Charlamagne in the ninth century. In any event, it has a long history in Germany and there are many regional variations.


Basically, a boneless cut of beef is marinated from three to ten days in a mixture of wine, vinegar, onions, celery and spices. The meat is then removed and browned in oil or butter. Meanwhile the marinade is strained and brought to a boil before pouring it over the meat.


The combined ingredients are simmered for 2-3 Hours on top of the stove or roasted in a 300F oven. The meat is then removed to a platter and the sauce is thickened either with crushed gingersnaps or with cornstarch and water. Sweet cream or sour cream can be added at the end to adjust the flavor.




Preparation Time:

60 Minutes plus 3 days

Cooking Time:

3 Hours


300 F



4 Lbs. of Lean Rump Roast or Bottom Round Roast

2 Large Onions peeled and thinly sliced

2 Stalks of Celery cut into one inch pieces

2 Cups of Dry Red Wine such as Burgundy or Pinot Noir

1 Cup of Red Wine Vinegar

2 Cups of Water

2 Bay Leaves

10 Whole Cloves

10 Juniper Berries

10 Whole Peppercorns

10 Whole Allspice

1 Tablespoon Salt

¼ Cup of oil

1 cup of Crushed ginger snaps or

3 Tablespoons of Cornstarch mixed with ¼ Cup of Cold Water

1/2 Cup of sour Cream or Fresh Cream

Salt and Pepper to taste


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Place the beef in a deep non-reactive bowl or pot.
  2. Mix all of the other ingredients together and pour them over the meat. If the meat is not covered, you will have to turn it over in the marinade at least twice a day.
  3. Cover tightly with foil and store in the refrigerator for at least three days.
  4. After three days, remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels.
  5. Brown the meat on all sides in ¼ cup of oil.
  6. Meanwhile strain the marinade and bring it to a boil briefly.
  7. Pour the marinade over the meat in a Dutch oven or roasting pan and cook for 2-3 hours until the meat is fork tender but not falling apart. This can be done in a 300F oven or on top of the stove.
  8. Remove the meat to a platter and thicken the sauce with the crushed gingersnaps or with the cornstarch and water.
  9. Be sure to taste the gravy and adjust the salt and pepper level if necessary. If you didn’t use ginger snaps, you may have to add some sugar to balance the acidity.
  10. Finally, stir in the fresh cream or the sour cream just before serving

This dish is generally served with red cabbage (rotkraut) and potato dumplings (kartoffelklösse).



German Potato Dumplings


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      This design is incredible! You obviously know how to keep a reader amused. bdacfbdgkgef

    • DanielNeff profile image


      6 years ago from Asheville, NC

      Looks great. I love German food. I'll be trying this one soon.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Looks delicious!

    • rjsadowski profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Thank you all for your kind comments.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Thanks for the great recipe. I love sauerbraten.

    • The Nugelady profile image

      Sherry Walters 

      6 years ago from Missoula, Mt

      This sounds awesome! yummy!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Looks delicious. Might have to adapt for local ingredients

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      I BOOKMARKED THIS.. I love Sauerbraten,.. I love any German food...I will be making this soon..I voted up and awesome

    • hush4444 profile image


      6 years ago from Hawaii

      Thank you so much for this recipe - it brings back fond memories of my German grandmother. I remember her marinating the sauerbraten in a clay jar that she checked on frequently. I'll definitely be making this soon!


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