Skip to Content

Sauerbraten for #SundaySupper

Sauerbraten | Magnolia Days

A slow-simmered beef roast can be moist and tender. Marinate it beforehand and you add incredible flavor. Simmer it with the marinade and then turn that into a sauce makes it out of this world yummy. That is Sauerbraten. It is simply a German marinated beef roast with gravy. Not just any gravy – oh heavens no. It is the best and has a tang like no other.

Sauerbraten is one of my husband’s all-time favorites. It is my brother’s too. Since their birthdays are near each other, we celebrate them together. There is no guessing on what they want for their birthday dinner. You won’t hear any complaints from the rest of the family either. It is a meal we look forward to for months ahead. I’ve made it for Christmas too. Sauerbraten has been something made for special occasions as far as I can ever remember.

It was a real treat to have it this time of year. I made it for the Cooking Low and Slow Sunday Supper event hosted by Susan at The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen. My husband was thrilled. He said it would be fine to have it two or three times a month. Yes, he loves it that much. I’ve wanted to share the recipe for a long time. This event was the perfect opportunity since it cooks low and slow for hours. Plus there is the two or three day marinating time. That’s counts too. Refrigerator temperature is rather low.

A tip for marinating the Sauerbraten. I use a 2-gallon zip top bag inside of a bowl. That way I can squeeze out all the air and the marinade covers more of the beef. It’s easy to flip it over in the bowl too. (You have to flip it twice a day). Then when it is time to strain the marinade I can pour it out of the bag into the strainer over the same bowl. That’s one less bowl to wash.

The recipe makes a lot of gravy. That is a very good thing. We smother it over the beef and either spaetzle or potato dumplings. I’ll either dip bread into it or use the bread to sop up every last drop from my plate. I even save and freeze the extra. Did I mention how much I love the gravy? The beef is awesome too. The marinade both flavors and tenderizes it. You may find yourself munching on the bits that fall off while slicing. Or turning around and finding people hanging by to grab those bits. It’s hard not to do after smelling it cook for so long.

How often do you cook something low and slow? Do you use a slow cooker or dutch oven? Perhaps a smoker? There are more recipes from the Sunday Supper bloggers below.

Sauerbraten (German Marinated Beef Roast)

A recipe for Sauerbraten which is a German-style marinated roast. It is marinated for several days and then slow-simmered for hours. It also has a sauce and is served with noodles and dumplings.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine German
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Author Renee


For the marinade and beef:

  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar

For the marinade:

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 large onion cut into pieces
  • 1 large carrot cut into pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 to 4 pound beef roast sirloin tip, bottom round, or rump

For cooking the beef:

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Additional salt and pepper
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • Part of the marinade

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons beef flavor base or bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 cup cold water
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream


For the marinade:

  1. In a medium saucepan, add all the marinade ingredients except the beef and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
  2. Place the beef in a deep, non-reactive bowl (glass, plastic, or ceramic). Pour marinade over beef. The marinade should be at least halfway up the sides of the roast. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days, turning the meat in the marinade at least twice each day.
  3. Take the beef out of the marinade and dry it. Strain the marinade and reserve the liquid. Discard the vegetables and spices.

To cook the beef:

  1. In a 7- to 8-quart pot or dutch oven over medium-hight heat, add the oil and butter and get to almost smoking. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the beef to the pot and sear to brown on all sides, about 2 or 3 minutes per side. Turn the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook until onion has softened.
  3. Add 1 cup of water to the strained marinade. Pour in enough of the marinade so it is about 1- to 1 1/2-inch deep around the beef.
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook on low until done, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  5. Remove the beef from the pot and let set for 10 to 15 minutes. Slice the beef and place on a serving platter. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

For the sauce:

  1. Add the beef base/bouillon to the pot and stir. Bring the sauce to a simmer.
  2. To thicken the sauce, slowly add in a portion of the dissolved cornstarch, whisking while pouring. Allow it to cook for 1 to 2 minutes and add more if too thin.
  3. Add the sour cream to the sauce and whisk to combine. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer sauce to a gravy boat or bowl.
  4. Serve warm.

Recipe Notes

Total time does not include time for marinating (2 to 3 days).

This is an adaption of my mom’s recipe. I modified it slightly using two types of vinegar and different quantities of spices. The ratio of vinegar to water is different also.

Take a look at these low and slow recipes. The Sunday Supper bloggers have really put together a great lineup for the event:

Low & Slow Breads & Starters:

Low & Slow Mains:

Low & Slow Sides:

Low & Slow Desserts:

Wine Pairing Recommendations for Low & Slow Food from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET and you do not want to miss out on the fun. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement


Be inspired, empowered and grow your business to the next level at this year’s Food and Wine Conference in Orlando.

Recipe Rating

Laura | Small Wallet, Big Appetite

Tuesday 21st of May 2013

It really is all about the marinade. This marinade sounds wonderful.


Wednesday 22nd of May 2013

I totally agree. The marinade is what makes this dish.

Lori @ Foxes Love Lemons

Monday 20th of May 2013

Sounds like your husband will be in heaven eating this this week, and your brother will be jealous? :)


Wednesday 22nd of May 2013

I am sure my brother will be jealous. I'll make it again soon for his birthday.

Family Foodie

Monday 20th of May 2013

I've never tried Sauerbraten, but this sounds incredible. I'm sure my boys would love this recipe. And that marinade... yum!

Sarah | Curious Cuisiniere

Monday 20th of May 2013

I've only had sauerbraten once (in South Germany), and while it wasn't bad, it wasn't my favorite, so I've been scared to try it again. Your marinade sounds really good though, and I'm thinking I'll have to give sauerbraten another go. Thanks!


Wednesday 22nd of May 2013

Sauerbraten can be a little different depending on the cook and the recipe. I've had several versions in Germany. This one though is my all-time favorite.


Monday 20th of May 2013

I like your marinade tips and this looks lovely !! Never eaten it so am itching to try this !!