Old World German Sauerbraten

Many years ago, my supervisor took vacation to travel back to her point of origin, “der Vaterland”, to visit her “volks”. When she returned, she presented me with this family recipe.

The second of the Recipes Podcast Series, today’s feature is
 – authentic German Sauerbraten.


  • 2 ½ cups cold beef stock or broth
  • 1 ½ cups red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup Burgundy wine
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1/2 cups thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 crushed black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
  • 4 pounds bottom round of lean beef trimmed
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup crushed ginger snap cookies
  • 2/3 cup raisins

How to make it

  • Put all marinade ingredients into a large container and stir well. Pierce meat at random with a boning knife. 
  • Add meat to container and cover. 
  • Place in the refrigerator for 72 hours. (If you marinate for less than 72 hours, the beef will be tough. If you marinate for much over 72 hours the meat will become dry and flavorless.) 
  • Remove meat; wipe dry with a towel and brown in hot oil.
  • Remove to large pot. Place marinade in with meat.
  • Cover, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 ½ hours or until tender. When meat is done, transfer to a dry pan, cover with a damp cloth and keep warm.
  • Remove bay leaves.
  • Puree liquid and vegetables in a blender or processor.
  • Place in a heavy pot; whip crushed ginger snap cookies into liquid, stirring until smooth.
  • Add raisins and simmer five minutes.
  • Cut the meat across the grain and serve with a two- ounce ladle of sauce per person.


Steve D.

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