Traditional Sauerbraten

Traditional Sauerbraten

Background and History

Sauerbraten is a classic German pot roast that has been enjoyed for centuries. The name “Sauerbraten” translates to “sour roast,” highlighting the dish’s characteristic tangy flavor. This beloved recipe has regional variations throughout Germany, with each area putting its unique spin on the marinade and preparation.


3 to 4 pounds of beef roast (rump or bottom round)

1 large onion, sliced

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

10-12 whole cloves

10-12 whole peppercorns

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon juniper berries (optional)

2 cups red wine vinegar

2 cups water

1 cup red wine

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour


Marinate the Meat

In a large bowl, combine onion, carrots, celery, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaves, juniper berries (if using), red wine vinegar, water, red wine, brown sugar, and mustard.

Place the beef roast in the marinade, ensuring it’s fully immersed.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2-3 days, turning the meat occasionally.


Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).

Remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels.

Strain and reserve the marinade.

Searing the Meat

In a large Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat.

Sear the meat on all sides until browned.


Pour the reserved marinade over the meat.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cover and bake in the preheated oven for 2.5 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork-tender.


In a separate pan, make a roux by whisking together flour and a bit of the cooking liquid.

Gradually add the remaining cooking liquid, stirring constantly until the gravy thickens.

Nutrition Facts

Note: Nutritional information may vary based on specific ingredients and serving sizes.

Calories: Approximately 300 per serving

Protein: 30g

Fat: 15g

Carbohydrates: 10g

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 6g


Sauerbraten tastes even better when reheated, making it an excellent make-ahead dish.

Serve with traditional sides like red cabbage and potato dumplings for an authentic experience.

Allergy Warning

Check for allergens in the mustard and red wine vinegar.

Be mindful of gluten in the flour used for thickening the gravy. Consider gluten-free alternatives if necessary.

Enjoy your delicious and tangy Traditional Sauerbraten!

Lysander Rothwell
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Lysander Rothwell, a passionate Food Enthusiast, shares his culinary adventures and expertise on his website. With a flair for exploring diverse cuisines and flavors, Lysander offers insights, recipes, and tips to inspire fellow food lovers. Through his engaging content, he aims to celebrate the joy of cooking and eating, inviting readers to embark on delightful culinary journeys with him.