May 28, 2017 Image of Sauerbraten Portion


This is a dish many of you may have heard of or tried in your travels. It is quite delicious and a stable in Germany from my experience over the years. It makes for a wonderful Sunday dinner with the whole family, and only takes a little planning and prior preparation.

Because it is a heavy type meal when the sides that normally are served with the dish, personally I will save the times I serve it for an occasion when more friends or family are around and I have to feed them.

It looks great on the dinner table though, and the taste and smells are wonderful and will get your stomach churning to dig in. Below I describe the ingredients, the procedure, and also add in suggested sides to go with the dish…

The Sides:

I normally will serve this meat with potato dumplings, German Spaetzle (homemade egg noodles), or fresh mashed potatoes, along with some dark green vegetable such as Brussel sprouts, green beans, or even spinach, or some red cabbage cooked up with apples and vinegar.

I also add a nice fresh side salad. At times the salad I serve will be cucumber with sour cream, which also goes well with the meal. If you want to really impress your guests or yourself, consider also adding in some freshly baked bread.

You can prepare the main dish, the sauerbraten, using different kinds of roasting meat. I normally will use the tougher, less expensive cuts of meat…Maybe a rump roast or a bottom round of beef. Depending on where you are in Germany, the chefs may add raisins or berries, and the ingredients amounts will vary a bit…The recipe you find below is a starting point, use your imagination!

I like to serve this also in the Winter months since it is such a hearty dish. In the Summer months, I focus more on grilling, fish, and lighter foods. For those cold, damp or snowy days you have in the Winter, this meal will provide you something that will stick to you and provide warmth when you are going back into the cold.

So let’s get started:


¾ kg/26 oz. lean beef or pork shoulder


30g/1 oz pork bacon

40 g / 1.4 oz oil


1/2 L / 2 cups of a sour marinade

1 section of dark bread rind

1/2 apple

1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 celery, 2 cloves garlic


Sugar Roux:

30 g / 1 oz butter

10 g / 0.3 oz sugar

40 g / 1.4 oz flour

1/2 onion (optional)

1/2 L / 2 cups water

Salt, Bay Leave, Juniper Berries

Dashes of vinegar, red wine, and sour cream.


So let’s start with the marinade…I have included one recipe I have used for marinade, but you can use others:
½ liter red wine
0.2-liter vinegar
2 tbsp of mustard seeds
2 small onions
5 whole cloves
2 large bay leaves
2 cups of mixed celery with tops/leaves
1 tbsp parsley root, cut
1 leek
salt, pepper to taste

Once your marinade has cooked up nicely and has cooled, put your beef or pork in a stewing pot and pour the marinade to the point it covers the meat completely.

The next step requires 3 days of storage of your meat and marinade in the fridge.

Once the 3 days have passed, remove the meat from the marinade and dry it by patting with paper towels.

Then you will braise the meat on all sides in hot oil, and season it lightly with salt…

Next, pour some melted butter on top of the meat and cover if beef with bacon slices.

Add in the sliced onion, celery, carrot and garlic to the cooking pot.

Also, add a little bit of red wine and thinned sour marinade.

Roast uncovered for 1.5-2 hours for beef or 1.5 hours for pork.

Every once in a while you should baste the meat with the drippings during the roasting process and also rotate the meat.

Save your drippings for the next step…

Your Gravy

Add the sauce to the sugar roux (see below) and some of the water thinned sour marinade.

Preparing Your Sugar Roux

First brown the sugar in butter, add flour and cook while stirring until the mixture is gold in color.

Add finely chopped onion and cook until these are tender.

Pour some of the red wine and some water to the flour and stir.

Season the mix with salt, add in the bay leaves, juniper berries, and a dash of vinegar, plus one tablespoon of sour cream right at the end of the cooking process.

Make sure you do not brown the sugar too much because it could affect the taste and make it a bit bitter.

Pour some of the gravy over the roast as it sits in your serving dish, add a garnish of some parsley, and put the remaining gravy in a gravy boat or other suitable dish.

Remember the sides we spoke of above:

Try this tasty and unique German dish with yet more traditional German dishes such as Spätzle, Knödel, Rotkohl (red cabbage), some mashed potatoes, and a green vegetable on the side such as asparagus, green beans or steamed Brussel sprouts.

There you have it!

Questions or comments?

Please add them below, we have some hobby chefs that are from Germany so we can get you answers right from the source!

Cheers, and Enjoy!

Dave : )



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