Sauerbraten at Last

ETA: Only five days late.

Since the beginning of December I’ve been a bit uninspired when it came to cooking, though I HAVE tried to do some new dishes, in the spirit of the season.

Now January’s here and I’ve been sick for the last week or so. It’s hanging in there and I suspect I’ll be coughing for at least another week. Today, we finally had our first real snow of the season, the northern edge of the storm that’s hitting the US right now, and, between not feeling well and not having paid attention to the weather forecasts, I’m short on staples (ie. milk, eggs, yogurt, salad greens) and stuck at home until my snow gets shovelled. PS: I’m dining well, if not imaginatively, out of my pantry so no worries, here.

Anyway, I thought I’d finally post that sauerbraten recipe I cobbled together. It hasn’t been proof read as well as I’d like but I just don’t have the energy to do more. Maybe later. (Of course I said that two weeks ago, too.)

Traditional Sauerbraten (German Pot Roast) – serves 3-4

2 pounds/1 kg eye of round roast


1 large onion, chopped
1 cup red wine vinegar, or to taste
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp white sugar
4 whole cloves, or more to taste
1 bay leaves, or more to taste

Searing the Roast

4 tsp all-purpose flour
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp vegetable oil


3-4 gingersnap cookies **
1 cup strained cooking liquid from above

** Or replace with dried ginger powder and flour

In a large sauce pan, combine the marinade ingredients and bring to a simmer. Turn off the heat and cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, pour over the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 3-5 days, turning the meat daily.

Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry. Strain and keep the marinade.

Season flour to taste with salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Sprinkle flour mixture over beef.

Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat; cook beef until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total.

Pour 2 cups of the reserved marinade over the beef, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until beef is tender, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Remove beef to a platter, let rest covered with a sheet of foil for 15-20 minutes, and slice.

ALTERNATIVE: Transfer the Dutch oven to an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 3-4 hrs until the sauerbraten is tender. Turn the roast over every hour.

Strain solids from the remaining liquid in the Dutch oven. Use one cup to make the sauerbraten gravy. Any extra liquid may be poured back over the sliced sauerbraten to keep the meat moist. Reheat the sliced meat in the microwave, or tightly covered in a container, in a 350 deg Fahrenheit oven, for about half an hour.

Sauerbraten Gravy

1 cup strained braising liquid
1/4 cup ground cookies

Break up the cookies and add to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well crumbled.

Add the strained braising liquid to a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the ground cookie crumbs to the simmering liquid, whisking through, until the gravy is thickened, about 5-10 minutes.

Serve gravy over the sliced meat.


19 thoughts on “Sauerbraten at Last

    1. Thank you. I wrote this last Monday and I’m still coughing. Last night I slept for 12 hrs. The snow we got last weekend was washed away from the sidewalks by some rain on Tuesday … though there’s still snow on the grass. And it’s COLD so the thawed snow in the alleys has frozen into icy ruts. It’s not fun.

      1. Today the forecast for Canberra is 40 °C. In Adelaide yesterday it was 46.6 °C. Still, I prefer the summer warmth than the winter cold.

      1. I think that the regular pot roast I make with carrots, potatoes and beef stock is a lot simpler and more satisfying on the whole.

        I’m curious as to what ingredients or technique that you use in your own sauerbraten now that I’ve posted the version that I used.

      2. Well, if you take sauerkraut and bratwurst, you get sauerbraten. So you drain and rinse sauerkraut and saute it with onions and tomato sauce (i make my own sauce from fresh tomatoes), then you add bratwurst cut into bite size chunks, some parsley and/or cilantro, and saute it together. Nice and easy, and very good.

      3. I see. I’m guessing that the cabbage and red wine vinegar are the substitutions for the sauerkraut in the recipe. There were no tomatoes in this version. The bratwurst sausages sound tasty. Thank you.

  1. I’ve never thought about putting gingersnaps into a gravy, it must have made a very unique flavour and creamy texture.
    I sure hope you feel better soon. I too have been battling a cold, I think! It only came out when we were descending from the trip to Mexico last weekend and my ears squeaked like crazy and boy did they hurt! I sure hope it goes away soon, ears can be very painful.

    1. The flour in the cookies make them thicken and the ginger and other spices give it a lovely back note of flavour.

      PS: Sorry to hear about your painful ears. It sounds miserable.

  2. I have to say that your recipe is pretty true to what you would get in Germany. I’m sorry to hear that you are not well. It sounds like we might be suffering from similar illnesses. I’ve been to the doctor and she said the cough could linger for weeks. I’m a lot better and hope you will be soon.

    1. Thank you Karen. I tried to research the recipe to find something as authentic as possible.

      I hate this stupid cough. I’m glad you’re doing better. I hope the diagnosis is accurate cause I’m pretty tired of it all.

    1. Thank you, I did. It was a nice dish though long gone now.

      PS: Still got a bit of that cough and the bitter cold outside (-15 deg F/feels colder with the wind chill) isn’t helping. Luckily I managed to shovel the snow that fell on Monday before the Wed/Thur deep freeze.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s