Traditional Sauerbraten


For this sauerbraten, I found two slightly different handwritten versions of my Grandmother's recipe. Born in Nekkar am Rhein in 1904, she naturally learned to cook traditional German meals as a young woman and didn't rely on a cookbook. I try to capture the nuance in this. Serve with potato dumplings.

mid angle looking at a plate of traditional sauerbraten
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
4 hrs
Additional Time:
2 days
Total Time:
2 days 4 hrs 15 mins


  • 3 pounds beef rump roast

  • 2 large onions, chopped

  • 1 cup red wine vinegar, or to taste

  • 1 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • 10 whole cloves, or more to taste

  • 2 bay leaves, or more to taste

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 10 gingersnap cookies, crumbled


  1. Place beef rump roast, onions, vinegar, water, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, sugar, cloves, and bay leaves in a large pot. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days, turning meat daily. Remove meat from marinade and pat dry with paper towels, reserving marinade.

    sauerbraten marinade

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Season flour to taste with salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Sprinkle flour mixture over beef.

    floured beef roast

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  3. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat; cook beef until brown on all sides, about 10 minutes.

    browning rump roast

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  4. Pour reserved marinade over beef, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until beef is tender, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

    pouring marinade over seared rump roast

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  5. Remove beef to a platter and slice.

    sliced beef roast

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  6. Strain solids from remaining liquid and continue cooking over medium heat. Add gingersnap cookies and simmer until gravy is thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve gravy over sliced beef.

    gingersnap gravy

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

456 Calories
22g Fat
21g Carbs
41g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 456
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g 29%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
Cholesterol 100mg 33%
Sodium 1683mg 73%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 4mg 20%
Calcium 39mg 3%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 654mg 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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