Sauerbraten: A German Take on Pot Roast Recipe
Sauerbraten: A German Take on Pot Roast Recipe

by Diane Rossen Worthington

Crazy cold weather requires a comforting dish to wash away the blahs. Sauerbraten, a German-style pot roast, is just the thing. The beef is marinated for two days before cooking, which helps to tenderize this tougher cut of meat

Make sure to use a glass or enamel container or a large plastic lock-top bag to marinate the meat to avoid any reactions between the container and the acidic marinade. Most sauerbraten recipes include both vinegar and wine in the marinade. Once the roast has slowly braised in the liquid and is removed to cool, the sauce is thickened and flavored with crushed gingersnaps, giving the gravy a unique savory but slightly sweet taste.

I tasted sauerbraten for the first time when I was in college. The memory of that meal lingered, and over the years I tried to replicate the dish, with more surprises than I could have imagined. Many failed attempts only strengthened my determination. Finally, talks with colleagues and butchers led me to change the cut of meat and lower the cooking temperature. Those changes resulted in the following recipe, which replicates that memorable meal.

Most of the time to prepare this German specialty is either marinating or braising. which makes it a good dish to make when you are home for a relaxed afternoon. You'll need to start three days ahead, owing to the marinating time. You can make this up completely two days before you are serving it, if you prefer. I like to serve this with simple pasta and roasted vegetables. Mashed potatoes are also a comforting side dish. To drink? Try a grenache from Santa Barbara or a Spanish tempranillo.

Sauerbraten - German Pot Roast Recipe

Serves 8.


2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 1/2 cups dry red wine

1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar

1 cup water

12 cloves

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

2 bay leaves

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons coarse salt

1 tablespoon lightly crushed black peppercorns

One 4 1/2-pound boned, rolled and tied-top round roast

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 onion, chopped

10 gingersnaps, finely crushed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sauerbraten - German Pot Roast Recipe Directions

1. To make the marinade: In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

2. Place the roast in a large lock-top plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and put it in another bag to prevent leakage. Refrigerate, turning every 12 hours, for 2 days.

3. Preheat the oven to 300 F. Remove the meat from the marinade, and reserve the marinade. Blot the beef with paper towels. In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Brown the beef on all sides, about 5 to 8 minutes. Using long tongs, transfer the beef to a plate. Add the carrots and onion to the pot and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until softened.

4. Return the meat to the pot. Strain the marinade over the meat and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pot, place in the oven, and braise for about 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until the meat is tender; turn the meat halfway through the cooking process. Test by sticking a fork into the meat: it should come out easily.

5. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let stand for 20 minutes; set the pot aside. Slice the meat and place in a deep heatproof serving dish.

6. To finish the sauce, add the gingersnaps to the pot and boil over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Pour the sauce over the meat and serve immediately.

Advance Preparation: This may be made up to 2 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Reheat in a 350 F oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling.

Sauerbraten: A German Take on Pot Roast, German Cuisine



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Sauerbraten: A German Take on Pot Roast Recipe

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