Authentic Sauerbraten Recipe: A Taste of Germany

If you’re like me, you can’t resist a tender and flavorful pot roast. But have you ever tried a classic German sauerbraten? It’s a slow-cooked, marinated beef roast that is tangy, sweet, and savory all at once. And let me tell you, it’s absolutely delightful!

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is my go-to for any host looking to impress their guests with an authentic German dish. The sauerbraten marinade is made with red wine vinegar, dry red wine, and a variety of spices, such as bay leaves and whole cloves, that’ll make your kitchen smell like heaven.

The best part is that the roast is braised in the marinade for several hours so it becomes incredibly tender and falls apart easily with a fork. Whether you’re serving this for a special occasion or just want to treat yourself to some amazing comfort food, this roast top round sauerbraten recipe will not disappoint.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe


Roast-Top Round Sauerbraten
Roast-Top Round Sauerbraten


Listen up all you foodies out there! I am about to introduce you to a recipe that will leave your taste buds tingling with excitement. This roast-top round sauerbraten recipe is the definition of comfort food, and it’s impossible not to love it.

Firstly, let’s talk about how tender and juicy the meat turns out with this recipe. The marinade contains a blend of spices such as bay leaves, whole cloves, and allspice that add an explosion of flavor to the meat. And let’s not forget about the addition of seedless raisins and brown sugar, which work magic in making the beef sweeter and more succulent.

Moreover, one of the main reasons why this recipe stands out is because you can customize it according to your preferences. For instance, if you want to make it slightly tangier, just add a bit more lemon juice. If you’re looking for a richer flavor, try marinating the meat in wine for an extra day or two – trust me; it’s worth the wait!

Another perk of this recipe is how versatile it is; you can serve it in various ways. Pairing it with traditional German sides like sour red cabbage, spätzle dumplings, or mashed potatoes would enhance your dining experience even more.

So there you have it – whether you’re cooking for dinner guests, whipping up a weeknight meal for yourself or meal prepping for the week ahead – this roast top-round sauerbraten recipe is what you need. It will feed your soul while pleasing anyone who graces your table!

Ingredient List


 A tender and tangy sauerbraten recipe perfect for large gatherings!
A tender and tangy sauerbraten recipe perfect for large gatherings!



This Roast-Top Round Sauerbraten recipe requires a combination of unique ingredients in a traditional German-style pot roast. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 3 to 4 pounds top round roast (bottom round roast, rump roast or chuck roast can also work well)


  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • peel of one lemon (use a vegetable peeler)


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour


  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

The marinade is the highlight of this recipe, which is used to marinate several pounds of beef for several days until it is tender and flavorful. Along with salt and pepper, the marinade consists of red wine vinegar, water, dry red wine, sliced onion and carrots, bay leaves, whole cloves, black peppercorns, allspice, and lemon peel. The sweetness in the marinade comes from seedless raisins and sugar in the sauce. The sauce itself is made from tomato paste with some flour for a thickening agent.


The Recipe How-To


 Get ready to impress your guests with this delicious roast-top round sauerbraten.
Get ready to impress your guests with this delicious roast-top round sauerbraten.



Now comes the fun part, let’s get cooking! Keep in mind that we need to marinate the meat ahead of time, so plan accordingly.

Step 1: Marinating the meat

  • Begin by mixing red wine vinegar, water, seedless raisins, onions, carrots, tomato paste, lemon juice, bay leaves, whole cloves, black peppercorns, and a dash of sugar in a large container.
  • Take the top round roast and add it to the marinade, making sure it is fully submerged.
  • Cover the container with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for at least three days, but up to five if possible. Remember to turn the meat occasionally to ensure even marinating.
  • After marinating, remove the meat from the container, patting it dry with paper towels before seasoning it with salt, black pepper, ground allspice, and the grated rind of a lemon.

Step 2: Cooking the Roast

  • Turn on your oven to 325°F. In a Dutch oven or any heavy-duty pot, heat some butter over medium-high heat. Brown both sides of our seasoned roast until it has a beautiful brown crust.
  • Pour in two cups of our reserved marinade, scrape off all browned bits from the bottom of your pot using a wooden spoon.
  • Finish it off by adding sliced onions and thin strips of carrots on top of our pot roast. Cover tightly with a lid and put it in to roast in your oven for about three hours.

Remember that cooking times may vary depending on your oven type and altitude.

And there you have it, your own German style sauerbraten that is sure to impress your guests. Enjoy!


Substitutions and Variations


 The aroma of this sauerbraten will have your mouth watering before it's even out of the oven!
The aroma of this sauerbraten will have your mouth watering before it’s even out of the oven!


What if you don’t have all of the ingredients listed for this authentic German sauerbraten recipe? Fear not, as there are some substitutions and variations that work well in this dish.

For the meat, while top round roast is the traditional cut used for sauerbraten, you could also use bottom round roast, beef rump roast, chuck roast, or even pork roast. Cut the meat into 1-2 inch pieces if using a pressure cooker or slow cooker.

If you don’t have red wine or red wine vinegar on hand, you could substitute with white wine or white wine vinegar. And if you want a sweeter taste, try using apple cider vinegar instead.

In place of whole cloves and black peppercorns, you can use ground cloves and pepper. The bay leaves give a distinct earthy flavor to the dish but can be substituted with thyme or basil leaves.

For those who are vegetarian or just want a break from meat dishes, you could try substituting pork with tofu or mushrooms by marinating them for several days in the same mixture.

To add variations to the dish, some people like to add minced garlic to the marinade mixture while others prefer to include seedless raisins to achieve a sweeter taste. If it’s too sour for your taste buds, try adding more sugar to balance out the flavors.

Whatever substitution or variation you choose, make sure to adjust your seasonings accordingly and still marinate your meat for at least several days to allow the flavors to infuse before cooking.

Serving and Pairing


 The richness of the gravy is the perfect complement to the tender, flavorful meat.
The richness of the gravy is the perfect complement to the tender, flavorful meat.


Now that your Roast-Top Round Sauerbraten Recipe is ready to be served, let me give you some suggestions to elevate your culinary experience.

Firstly, traditional German sauerbraten is usually served with red cabbage and spätzle – soft egg noodles made with flour, egg, and milk. The sweet and sour flavor of the red cabbage balances the rich tanginess of the meat. You can use either canned or homemade red cabbage. To make it, just fry thinly sliced onions in butter until soft, add shredded red cabbage, applesauce, sugar, red wine vinegar, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Simmer on low for an hour with some water until tender.

Spätzle can be easily found at stores that sell European foods. Cook as directed on the package or make your own from scratch. Homemade spätzle is made by whisking together flour, egg, milk, salt, and nutmeg until a smooth batter forms. Then push the batter through a colander into boiling salted water to form noodles.

Next up: wine! The classic pairing for this dish is dry red wine such as Pinot Noir or Beaujolais. Since you already use red wine in the recipe, you can just open another bottle to serve with the meal.

If you’re not a fan of wine, beer works very well too – especially if you’re feeling like having a more casual dinner. Choose a dark and malty German beer like Oktoberfest or Bock beer.

Lastly, since sauerbraten is quite heavy and flavorful, I suggest serving a light refreshing salad or cooked vegetables alongside it to cut some of the richness.

With these pairing tips and side dish ideas in mind, you now have everything it takes to impress your guests or family with an authentic German-style sauerbraten feast!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating


 Cut yourself a thick slice of this delicious roast-top round sauerbraten and savor every bite.
Cut yourself a thick slice of this delicious roast-top round sauerbraten and savor every bite.


Now that you have perfected your German-style pot roast, you may be wondering how to make the most of your leftovers. Fear not, for I have some tips for storing and reheating sauerbraten.

Firstly, sauerbraten is actually better when made a day or two in advance because it allows the flavors to fully develop. So, feel free to make this dish ahead of your party, giving you less stress the day of.

When storing sauerbraten, let it cool completely to room temperature before placing it in an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to three days after cooking.

Reheating can be done in a few different ways. The best way is to gently heat it up on the stovetop over low heat, covered with a lid. Stir occasionally and add a splash of beef broth or water if necessary to retain moisture.

If time is not on your side, sauerbraten can also be microwaved. However, be aware that microwaving may cause the meat to dry out or become tough. To avoid this, add a splash of beef broth while reheating and remember to stir frequently.

Be sure not to reheat your sauerbraten too many times or leave it sitting at room temperature for too long, as this increases the risk of bacterial growth and can lead to food poisoning.

With these helpful tips, you can keep enjoying your authentic German sauerbraten for days after its initial feast.

Tips for Perfect Results


 Your guests won't be able to resist the savory aroma of this sauerbraten wafting through your home.
Your guests won’t be able to resist the savory aroma of this sauerbraten wafting through your home.


Are you looking for the perfect sauerbraten recipe? Look no further because these tips are here to ensure that your roast-top round sauerbraten recipe comes out perfectly every time.

1. Marinate for longer: Marinating the meat for a minimum of two days is ideal, but if you can marinate it for up to a week, even better. The longer your meat marinates in its mixture of vinegar, wine, and spices, the more tender and flavorful it will become.

2. Selecting the right cut: The traditional German sauerbraten recipe calls for beef rump roast, but top round roast or bottom round roast also work well. If you prefer pork, use pork roast as an alternative. Beef chuck roast or beef eye round can be used as well but might require additional cooking time.

3. Patience is key: Roast-top round sauerbraten recipe is best when cooked low and slow. Therefore, be patient while cooking and avoid rushing through any steps. Taking your time with each step yields a tender and savory result.

4. Let the meat rest: Once the braised chuck roast has been cooked to perfection, let it rest before slicing it into portions so that none of the juicy goodness escapes.

5. Consider using a pressure cooker or slow-cooker: A traditional German-style pot roast like this can take some time to cook correctly. So if time is an issue, consider using a pressure cooker or slow-cooker instead.

6. Accurate measuring: Be meticulous while measuring all ingredients used in this roast-top-round-sauerbraten recipe to strike a balance between flavors and prevent over-seasoning.

7. Proper storage temperature: Keep leftovers refrigerated at a proper storage temperature of below 40°F or below to prevent spoilage and extend their life.

By following these tips, your roast-top round sauerbraten recipe will come out perfectly every time!


Now, to address some common questions and concerns you may have about making this delicious Roast-Top Round Sauerbraten recipe. Keep reading for tips and tricks to enhance your cooking experience and ensure terrific results, every time!

What cut of meat is Sauerbraten made of?

When it comes to making sauerbraten, traditional cuts of beef such as the rump roast, beef eye of round, or bottom round work best. However, if you prefer a different flavor, you could also use a beef chuck roast or even a pork roast.

Can I use top round instead of chuck roast?

When it comes to beef roasts, it’s important to choose the right cut for the job. While top round roast and chuck roast may seem interchangeable due to their size and affordability, they have distinct differences in terms of their texture and flavor. Top round roast, being a leaner cut, cannot provide the same tender and juicy result as a braised chuck roast.

What is a top round roast good for?

When it comes to creating a scrumptious roast beef sandwich, roasted top round is the perfect cut to use. Top round can also be transformed into steak cuts, commonly known as top round steaks.

Can you use Round Tip roast for Potroast?

When it comes to pot roast, the bottom round roast can be a fantastic alternative to the classic roast beef option. This cut of meat is derived from the back part of the cow, specifically the round primal. While it tends to be leaner than brisket or chuck, the addition of extra fat can help keep it from drying out during cooking. Keep this in mind when preparing your own delicious pot roast dish.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Roast-Top Round Sauerbraten Recipe is a dish that is sure to impress any guest at your party or gathering. It’s a traditional German recipe that has been loved for generations, and with good reason.

Not only is it hearty, flavorful and tender, but it’s also highly adaptable. You can make it with a variety of cuts of meat, depending on your preference, and can even use a slow cooker or pressure cooker to speed up the cooking process.

The Recipe How-To is simple to follow, and once you taste the final product, you’ll be convinced that it was worth every effort put into making it. So go ahead and give this recipe a try; it’s definitely worth adding to your culinary repertoire.

Finally, if you’re still hesitant about trying this authentic German dish, I encourage you to take the leap and give it a try. The result is sure to impress both yourself and your guests. Serve it up with some red cabbage or another side of your choice, and enjoy the savory flavors of this traditional sauerbraten recipe!

Roast-Top Round Sauerbraten

Roast-Top Round Sauerbraten Recipe

Serve heartily with Spaetzle and Red Cabbage.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 4 d
Course Main Course
Cuisine German
Calories 870.6 kcal


For larding

  • 6 ounces larding pork, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 2/3 cup onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 lbs top round roast

For Marinade

  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 whole cloves

Day four

  • flour, for dredging meat
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 carrots, sliced thin
  • 2 large onions, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup seedless raisin
  • 6 gingersnap cookies, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons flour


  • LARDING: Mix larding pork with onion, lemon rind, allspice and salt and pepper. Cut deep incisions into meat with larding needle (flavoring syringe), press some of pork and onion mixture into needle and insert into meat. Continue to lard meat in the same manner until all larding pork is used. Rub remaining onion mixture over meat.
  • MARINADE: Bring all marinade ingredients to a rapid boil in a heavy saucepan and simmer 5 minutes. Place meat in large heatproof, non-metallic bowl. Pour in hot marinade, cool to room temperature and chill, covered for 4 days, turning meat twice a day.
  • DAY FOUR: Remove meat from marinade and pat dry. Strain marinade, reserving liquid and solids. Dredge meat in flour and season with salt and pepper. In large casserole heat vegetable oil over moderate heat until hot. Add beef and brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Transfer meat to platter and discard drippings from casserole. Add butter to pan and heat until hot. Add carrots, onions, reserved marinade solids and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes.
  • Return meat to casserole, add marinade and tomato paste. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered with foil and the lid, for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, or until tender.
  • Remove meat to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Skim cooking liquid and strain, discarding solids.
  • Return marinade to casserole, add sugar, raisins and gingersnaps and simmer 5 minutes. In a small bowl whisk flour with 1/3 cup water. Whisk into simmering liquid and simmer until lightly thickened.
  • SERVE: Slice meat across grain, arrange on platter, overlapping slices slightly and nap with some of gravy. Serve remaining gravy separately.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 666gCalories: 870.6kcalCarbohydrates: 34.3gProtein: 77.3gFat: 36.4gSaturated Fat: 13.7gCholesterol: 242.6mgSodium: 536.4mgFiber: 3.8gSugar: 15.7g
Keyword Meat, Roast Beef
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