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Mutti's German Sauerbraten Recipe

Plate with German beef sauerbraten, potato dumplings, and red cabbage, with perfect sauerbraten gravy over all!

Here's the Sauerbraten recipe that comes from my Mutti's own handwritten cookbook. Her recipes are special to me. Full of wonderful memories, especially sitting in the dining room, enjoying these delicious feasts. This beef dinner is one of those. The meat is so tender and flavorful. And, it's so easy to make, especially using a slow cooker. It's a traditional German dinner and still is a favorite.

For another sauerbraten version, try Jodie's German Sauerbraten that's posted below my Mutti's. 

1.  Mutti's German Sauerbraten Recipe


  • 4 lbs beef (chuck, rump, or round)
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 12 peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • bacon fat, butter, or oil for browning
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 rib celery, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1 cup sour cream (optional)
  • Wipe meat with damp cloth and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place in ceramic or glass bowl (not metal) or into a Ziploc bag that's been placed into a bowl in case it should leak. Add vinegar, wine, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves and one sliced onion. Add water to cover.
  • Tightly cover bowl (or seal Ziploc bag) and refrigerate for 3 - 5 days, turning once or twice every day.
  • Drain meat.
  • In Dutch oven or deep pan, put about 2 - 3 Tbsp bacon fat, butter, or oil to brown meat.
  • Brown roast on all sides.
  • Add carrots, onions, and celery. Brown slightly.
  • Add about 1 cup water (or broth) and cook over low heat about 3 hours, until meat is tender. (Or put everything into slow cooker. See hints below.)
  • Remove meat. Mix corn starch with a bit of water. Slowly add just enough to simmering cooking liquid until thickened for gravy. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream (if using). Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve meat and gravy with potato dumplings and red cabbage!
  • Makes 8 - 10 servings.
  • Can be cooked in SLOW COOKER. Will take about 7 - 8 hours on low. (Check your slow cookers' manual)
  • For a 'spicier' taste, remove meat from marinade the night before cooking and cover all sides thickly with mustard. Cover and continue the following day with above instructions.

2.  Jodie's German Sauerbraten Recipe

Here's JoSele Swopes (Albuquerque, NM USA) recipe that she submitted to our 2012 Quick Christmas Contest. Although not the winner of the contest, this sauerbraten recipe is still a winner in our eyes :)


  • 1 cup port wine 
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar 
  • ½ cup red wine, dry burgundy 
  • 2 medium onions, yellow, medium sliced 
  • 1 large carrot, sliced 
  • 1 medium, celery stalk, sliced 
  • 4 sprigs parsley 
  • 1 medium bay leaf 
  • 2 clove allspice, whole 
  • 4 clove cloves, whole 
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt 
  • 1 Tbsp pepper 
  • 4 lb beef rump roast 
  • ⅓ cup canola oil 
  • 8 Tbsp flour 
  • 1 Tbsp sugar 
  • ½ cup ginger snaps (crushed) 


  • In a large plastic tub with a lid: Wipe meat with a damp cloth. Place the roast in bowl and prepare marinade to be poured into the same bowl. 
  • Prepare the first 10 ingredients mix together and pour over the meat. Put lid on good and tight so no air can get to it. Place in a cool place and marinade for three days, turning the meat 2 to 3 times a day. 
  • On the third day, (day of the meal) remove the meat from the marinade and wipe it dry. Heat marinade in small pan. Heat dutch oven slowly, add cooking oil. Dredge the roast in the 2 Tbsp flour, salt and pepper mixture. Brown well, add in marinade, cover and simmer for 2½ to 3 hours. 
  • Strain Marinade and skim the fat, measure 3½ cups of the marinade into a pan and heat. In a small jar measure ½ cup water, the rest of the flour and sugar, place lid and shake till there are no lumps, slowly pour into marinade stirring all the while, bring to a boil, add crushed ginger snaps to the marinade, bring back to a boil stirring constantly. 
  • Strain marinade through cheese cloth so that it is smooth. Pour over meat and simmer 20 minutes covered. Remove from heat slice roast, serve with potato dumpling use the gravy you made from the marinade over the meat and dumplings. Fantastic!

Sauerbraten is so easy to make, but it's NOT quick ... it takes time to marinate and to cook. It just means that you need to do some planning to allow several days for the marinating to take place. But, it's SO good and SO worth the time.

Sauerbraten Tips ...

The results are worth the time. The marinating time is anywhere from three to five days. During this time, all you need to do is turn the meat once or twice in the marinade.

Once you're ready to cook the meat, you have a choice of doing it on the stove top or in the slow cooker.

Personally, I like using the slow cooker since it's something I can leave on the counter and go shopping. You still need to go through the browning of the meat. Then just put the vegetables and broth (or water) in the slow cooker, along with the meat.

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