Sauerbraten: How To Make German Sauerbraten

Sauerbraten is a traditional German marinated meat roast. It is considered to be a national dish of Germany and is often served globally in German-style restaurants. The meat used is most often beef, but also be venison, lamb, pork, or horse.

The raw meat is marinated in a mixture of vinegar or wine, water, herbs, spices, and other seasonings during a three or ten-day period before cooking. Typically, more massive meat cuts like roast or beef bottom are used.

For many, this dish is the ultimate comfort meal. It is hearty, filling, and served warm. To learn how to prepare this dish for yourself, check out the recipe below.

German Sauerbraten

  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: German

One of the best ways to turn tougher cuts of beef into a soft, succulent meal is through traditional German pot roast. For this German classic, the chuck and the bottom round are the favorite pieces, while a long marinade of red wine and tart vinegar leads to great sauerbraten. Another key element is the spices that aim to infuse the meat with intense flavors. The whole preparation and cooking time is for four hours. However, it will only be ready to be eaten after at least two days. This recipe is suitable for six servings. 

Sauerbraten is a traditional German marinated meat roast. Photo credit: @martina_ninamanie /

German Sauerbraten Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of beef rump roast
  • 3 large onions, thinly chopped
  • 1 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of white sugar
  • 12 whole cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • more salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 10 gingersnap cookies

German Sauerbraten Instructions

Step 1: In one bowl, put the beef, wine, vinegar, water, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of dark pepper, sugar, cloves and bay leaves. Cover and cool, turning the meat every day for 2 to 3 days. Take the meat and pat dry with paper towels and reserve marinade.

Step 2: In a large bowl, season meat with additional salt and black pepper. Cook the beef until it is brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

Step 3: Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. For beef, cover and decrease the heat to medium-low, reserve marinades. You will need to let it simmer for 3 1/2 to 4 hours before the beef is tender. Cut beef and put it into a pan.

Step 4: Strain out the solids and cook juices with the flour over medium heat, stirring well.  Add gingersnap and cook until gravy is thickened, approximately ten minutes.

Step 5: Serve sliced beef with the gravy.

German Sauerbraten Additional Information

  • Per serving, this dish has 456 calories, 22.3 g of fat, 21 g of carbohydrates, 40.7 g of protein, 100 mg of cholesterol. 
  • This recipe will make six servings.
  • While this recipe takes only four hours to prepare, it must marinate for several days before it is ready.
  • There are various national sauerbraten variants. Much of the variations occur in marinade ingredients in which meat is cut a few days before cooking.

About German Sauerbraten Recipe

In general red wine, vinegar, or a mixture of both is the basis of the marinade. While Germany produces most of the white wines, such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer, areas nearer to France often produce red wine. The foundation of the marinade can also be wine vinegar, the vinegar of apple cider, and other types. Vinegar is commonly used more often as a basis for recipes from eastern German countries, similar to Poland and the Czech Republic.


Sauerbraten is traditionally served on the side of braised red cod, with German staples such as spätzle egg noodles, bread pancakes, or boiled potatoes. For more international recipes, click here.

Featured Image: @sofuckindelicious /, @dorfkindbbq /