As we delve into the world of Sauerbraten, a classic German dish, we embark on a flavorful adventure guided by tradition and a heartwarming story. While there are numerous ways to craft this culinary masterpiece, the recipe we’re about to explore was graciously shared with me by a generous German family during my mom’s time as an exchange student.

Sauerbraten, which translates to “sour roast,” encapsulates the very essence of German comfort food. It’s a dance of marinated beef, slow-cooked to tender perfection, and dressed in a rich, tangy gravy. The unique blend of flavors reflects the diversity of Germany’s regional cuisines, resulting in a dish that’s both familiar and excitingly different from one household to the next.

So, with a touch of nostalgia and a dash of curiosity, let’s don our aprons and prepare to savor the Sauerbraten experience—a delicious bridge between cultures and a delightful exploration of flavors. Guten Appetit! 🍖🍴🇩🇪


  • About 4 pounds rump or boneless bottom round roast
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water, boiling
  • 10 gingersnap cookies, crushed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


  • Place a boneless rump roast in a deep ceramic or glass bowl. Add thinly sliced onions, peppercorns, whole cloves, and bay leaf. Pour the vinegar, water, and cider vinegar over the meat; chill, covered, for of 4 days. Turn the meat twice each day. 
  • Remove the meat from the marinade, pat dry, and strain the marinade into a bowl. Reserve the onions and 1 cup of the marinade.
  • In a kettle (or dutch oven) over medium-high heat, brown the roast on all sides in oil. Sprinkle with salt and pour boiling water around the meat. Sprinkle in crushed gingersnap cookies, and simmer, covered for 1-1/2 hours. Turn often.
  • Add the reserved marinade and cook the roast for 2 hours, or until tender. Remove the meat; keep warm. Strain the cooking juices into a large saucepan.
  • In a small bowl, mix sour cream with flour. Stir into the cooking juices and cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened and smooth. Slice the meat and add to the hot gravy.

Makes 8 servings.