For those of you that are feeling sassy and think you are up to the challenge of making your own Sauerbraten. I am giving you a recipe for it. Its not my recipe for it, if I gave that to you then why would you come and get at The Old Bay. It is a classic recipe from 1952 that I have as the basis for the recipe that I have developed over the years.


  • Selection of the Roast

    Sauerbraten can be made with many different kinds of roasting meat. Tougher, less expensive cuts of meat are used—typically a rump roast or bottom round of beef.Venison or other game are often prepared as sauerbraten as the spices and vinegar take away the gamey taste of the meat.

  • Marinating the Roast

    A solid cut from the bottom round or rump is marinated for three or four days, or as many as 10, before cooking.

    Red wine vinegar and wine typically form the basis of the marinade, which also includes earthy aromatic spices such as peppercorns, juniper berries, cloves, nutmeg, and bay leaves and less commonly coriander, mustard seed, cinnamon, mace, ginger, and thyme. The marinade may also include vegetables such as onions, celery, and carrots. The acidic marinade helps tenderize the meat (which is typically a tougher cut) before it cooks. Buttermilk is also used as a marinade in certain regional varieties.

    It is frequently advised to marinate the meat in an earthenware, glass, plastic, or enamel container rather than one made of metal, so the acidic marinade does not react with the vessel during the extended marinating process.

  • Cooking the Roast

    After the meat is removed from the marinade and dried, it is first browned in oil or lard and then braised with the strained marinade in a covered dish in a medium oven or on the stovetop. After simmering for four hours or more, depending on the size of the roast, the marinade will continue to flavor the roast, and as the meat cooks, its juices will also be released resulting in a very tender roast.

  • Preparing the Gravy

    After the roast is cooked, the marinade is strained and returned to a saucepan where it is thickened (often with crushed gingerbread, lebkuchen, or gingersnaps, flour, sour cream, brown sugar, and/or roux) which brings both body and flavor to the sauce. Before it closed its doors in 1982, Luchow’s famous German restaurant in New York City used crushed gingersnap cookies to season and thicken the gravy of its sauerbraten, one of the favored dishes. This style was made popular in the U.S. after the publication of “Luchow’s German Cookbook: The Story and the Favorite Dishes of America’s Most Famous German Restaurant” by Jan Mitchell in 1952.