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Recipes

Sauerbraten

Sauerbraten
This is my German mother's original recipe for Sauerbraten. We have this every year at Christmas. The key to this Sauerbraten recipe is to allow the roast to marinate for the full 3 days.

Submitted by: Alexander from Adel, IA
Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

Preparation Instructions:

Combine all marinade ingredients, except the roast itself, in 2-3 quart saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Place the beef in a deep, non-reactive (glass or ceramic) bowl or pot just large enough to hold it. Pour marinade over beef. The marinade should be at least halfway up the sides of the roast. If necessary add more wine. Cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 days, turning the meat in the marinade at least twice each day.

Remove meat from marinade and pat completely dry with paper towels. Strain the marinade through a fine sieve and reserve the liquid. Discard spices and onions.

In heavy, 5-quart dutch oven, heat the butter until bubbling stops. Add the meat and brown on all sides, turning frequently, so that it browns evenly without burning. Transfer to platter and set aside.

For roasting, add the onions, carrots, and celery to the same pan you cooked the meat in. Cook over moderate heat until soft and light brown (5-8 minutes). Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, 2-3 minutes longer or until the flour begins to color. Pour in 2 cups of the reserved marinade and 1/2 cup of water and bring to boil over high heat. Return the meat to the pot, cover tightly, and simmer over low heat for 2 hours, or until the meat shows no resistance when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Alternatively, bake in 350 degree oven for 2 hours.

Transfer the roast to a heated platter and cover with foil to keep warm while sauce is made.

Pour the liquid left in the pot into a large measuring cup and skim fat from surface. You will need at least 2 1/2 cups for the sauce. If additional liquid is needed, add some of the reserved marinade.

Combine the liquid and the gingersnap crumbs in a saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently for approx. 10 minutes, allowing the cookie crumbs to dissolve completely and thicken the sauce to the desired consistency. Depending upon the amount of liquid, you may need to add additional cookie crumbs.

Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, pressing down hard with wooden spoon to force as much of the vegetables and crumbs through as possible. Return the sauce to the pan, adjust seasoning and allow to simmer over low heat until ready to serve.

Slice the roast, pour some sauce over slices on platter and pass remaining sauce separately.

Helpful Hints

Traditionally, sauerbraten is served with dumplings, boiled potatoes, spaetzle, and red cabbage. This classic, but easy, recipe requires advance planning and time (3 days!), but it has a flavor and aroma that is incredible. Don't hesitate to adjust the amount of gingersnap cookies to give the sauce your preferred consistency. The flavorful gingersnap cookies are used as the thickener, not flour, so you don't run the risk of having a pasty sauce.

Rating:
Based on 21 reviews

Customer Reviews

Marie-Luise S

I am 60 years old and have eaten Sauerbraten since a child, when we immigrated to Australia in 1954. My Oma and mum have made it since as has I. The secret is the Knorr spices and I use half red wine and half tarragon vinegar. Naturally potatoe dumplings, red gab age and a fresh salad is a must. My Australian friends are always amazed at the tastiness of the dish and and are astounded that I marinate the meat for 5 days. I use fitter of girillo as the mean and it turns out like the texture of ‘cotton wool’

Tom W

I’d like to respond to Elly B down the list way, who will not make this again. She cannot read a recipe first as she says there is no wine in the recipe when it obviously calls for a cup in it. Second Pumpernickel is never used in Sauerbraten as it is a bread introduced from the plains of Russia, long after Sauerbraten was first made in Germany. I am from a long line of Germans and while ginger snaps were not probably in the original recipe they do make a nice addition, and could have been after the spice trade started in the 1600’s. This is a very good recipe that reminds me of my great grandmother’s.

Claire Y

I just made the recipe for Christmas/my husband’s birthday. It was exactly what he remembered and what he was expecting although I forgot to boil the marinade. Next year he asked me to do it again. I’ll try it boiling the marinade as I found many recipes asking for it. The kids (3, 6 and 8) liked all of it too (including red cabbage and spaetzle). I would like to make fresh tagliatelle and wild mushroom as side dishes instead. Remains to convince my husband to look out the German dish box. ;-)

Deb W

I have made this recipe for guests several times using The Spice House Sauerbraten spice mix. It is an easy recipe,
wonderfully flavorful, and a delightful surprise for our guests. It’s always a big hit and gets great compliments. A great hearty “fall and winter” meal, and a welcome change from turkey. I like to open dinner with a little hot fresh beet soup, followed by the sauerbraten with brussel sprouts, homemade spaetzels, and pickled beets. Delicious!

Lynn Z

This is the EXACT recipe that I got from my Grandmother also!! I am being featured this week cooking article in a newspaper using the recipe from my Grandmother! I would LOVE to find out the origin of this being that we both got it from our Grandmothers. It truely is an amazing recipe!

Elly B

Folks——I don’t want to sound harsh or be anal (although I am Germany), but this is not the ‘real’ German recipe for the Rheinischer Sauerbraten. I should know, because I am a native of the Rheinland (center of Germany; Rhine and Mosel area) and moved ot the US about 11 yrs ago….Please try next time NOT to cook the marinade upfront…. and where is the (red)WINE??? Sauerbraten without the vinegar-wine-marinade is missing the true heart and soul of this classic dish (about 1/3 a bottle of good red wine).
One other thought, just in case you’re interested in the ‘real’ recipe: as mentioned above, the meat is not only placed the uncooked marinade (or mordant) but browned AFTER it rested and marinaded for at least 3 days in the fridge. The third thing that will make this recipe the ‘authentic German’ recipe is, to not use Gingerbread, but a handfull of crumbled pumpernickel bread (sieve the sauce before serving though). You could also skip that ingredient and simply add a splash or two of heavy cream or a tblsp. of butter to thicken. I’d be happy to see America loving the Sauerbraten as much as it is known and loved in Germany :)

jason

Can you use a pork roast?

ROBERT M

I made this last night and it was excellent.
When it came to the sauce, I was a little confused as to what to do with all the veggies, so I poured off most of the liquid, added the ginger snaps, and heated it till the sauce was smooth and thick.
I served the veggies on the side and left the extra veggies in the sauce, instead of running it through the sieve.
Thanks.
Oh will this meat get more tender if I left it cook longer?
Bob

Andrea F

I agree that this is probably authentic. My german grandparents died young, but the Norwegians also made lots of German cookies as well as Scandinavian ones In reality we are very close because of Franks and Vikings. These cookies were hoarded in the pantry all winter in big ceramic bowls according to my mother who remembers this. Point being that cookies are a staple in cold weather countries. We never eat it but sauerbraten is also a way to use venison. Note that the common, but often dropped ingredient is Juniper berries which are used in many venison recipes.

Tom L

I’ve used this for Christmas dinner for three years in a row now, plus a couple additional uses. I serve it with red cabbage, boiled potatoes and homemade spaetzle, and have a good red wine with it. I use “pickling spices” instead of “sauerbraten spice”, which is about the same thing and more readily available. I also have found that I generally need to add quite a bit more liquid to the gingersnap gravy than the recipe suggests, but I adjust by feel.

Overall my favorite sauerbraten recipe.

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