The 24-hour marinade in this classic German dish, Sauerbraten, ensures succulent short ribs have that signature tanginess. Gingersnaps give the sauce a beautiful texture and add a sweet spiciness.

Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
3 hrs 35 mins
additional:
1 day
total:
1 day
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Season short ribs on both sides with salt and black pepper. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Cook short ribs in batches, turning a few times, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Remove short ribs to a large lidded plastic tub while you make the marinade.

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  • Pour 1 1/2 cups water, cider vinegar, and red wine vinegar into the warm skillet and bring to a simmer. Cook and stir, scraping any browned bits off the bottom on the pan. Add juniper berries, cloves, and bay leaves, season with salt and black pepper. Remove from heat and pour in 1 cup cold water. Pour mixture over the ribs and place in an ice bath until chilled, 30 to 40 minutes. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

  • Melt butter in a large,heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook and stir onion, celery, and carrot in the melted butter until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Place marinated short ribs over the top of the onion mixture. Pour in remaining marinade from the plastic tub and stir in 1 cup water, chicken broth, and sugar.

  • Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer on low, covered, until meat is fork-tender, 3 to 4 hours. Remove meat to a platter. Discard juniper berries, cloves, and bay leaves. Sprinkle cooked onion mixture over the top of the meat, reserving excess cooking liquid in the pan.

  • Place pot with remaining cooking liquid over medium-high heat. Grind gingersnaps in a food processor until fine and to the liquid in the pan. Stir in balsamic vinegar and boil until reduced and thickened, skimming fat, about 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Strain gravy through a fine mesh sieve, spoon over the beef, and serve.

Nutrition Facts

626 calories; protein 22.6g 45% DV; carbohydrates 18.3g 6% DV; fat 49.8g 77% DV; cholesterol 104.2mg 35% DV; sodium 1458.9mg 58% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (19)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
11/11/2014
This is absolutely delicious. My short ribs were fall apart tender and absolutely perfect. I did make a couple of minor changes though. I could not find juniper berries so I threw in a shot of gin to try to make up for it :) I did not discard the vegetables at the end because I didn't wan't to lose the amazing flavor of the carmelized vegetables. Instead I used my immersion blender to puree the vegis right into the gravy. I also doubled the crushed ginger snaps because we love that ginger flavor. Sprinkled the completed dish with a few more crushed gingersnaps and wow! Make this....you won't be sorry! Thanks for sharing this amazing dish Chef John! UPDATE: I decided to try this with a chuck pot roast and it turned out delicious. I followed everything except I put the roast in a covered dutch oven and baked at 275 for five hours. Delish and fall apart pot roast! Read More
(13)
27 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 23
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
11/11/2014
This is absolutely delicious. My short ribs were fall apart tender and absolutely perfect. I did make a couple of minor changes though. I could not find juniper berries so I threw in a shot of gin to try to make up for it :) I did not discard the vegetables at the end because I didn't wan't to lose the amazing flavor of the carmelized vegetables. Instead I used my immersion blender to puree the vegis right into the gravy. I also doubled the crushed ginger snaps because we love that ginger flavor. Sprinkled the completed dish with a few more crushed gingersnaps and wow! Make this....you won't be sorry! Thanks for sharing this amazing dish Chef John! UPDATE: I decided to try this with a chuck pot roast and it turned out delicious. I followed everything except I put the roast in a covered dutch oven and baked at 275 for five hours. Delish and fall apart pot roast! Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
10/28/2012
This was amazing! My BF is German and he said it's every bit as good as his Oma made. I couldn't find juniper berries so used gin (which is made from the berries...interesting). jThe gravy was to die for! Read More
(12)
Rating: 5 stars
10/19/2013
one word: brilliant! Read More
(11)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/24/2012
We used thick chunks of stew meat for this recipe and it turned out perfect -- just a little more work to separate the meat from the vegetables/broth! If you like German foods this recipe will put a smile on your face. Thank you Chef John! Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
02/06/2016
Amazing! A Frankenmuth, MI restaurant had an amazing sauerbraten and this recipe is as good or better! I will recommend this to all my friends and family and cannot wait to make it again. I followed exactly except I used chuck roast and I was unable to find the juniper. Thank you Chef John! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
10/06/2018
Holy poop this is so good. I'm just getting into cooking German food and I was reticent to go get the juniper, etc. that I didn't have just to try this recipe but I am so glad I did. I followed the recipe to a T and it came out amazingly good. My wife was super impressed and we both agree that this one is worth the work. Will make again! Read More
(3)
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Rating: 4 stars
05/31/2013
this recipy was realy good...but was surprised of the flavor and the juniper berrys I never heard of cooking with but it was delightful..strong flavor.and a short way to cook sourbraten Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
11/02/2014
Amazing! Very tender beef. I also used a shot of gin instead of juniper berries. I do not usually eat gravy but this was awesome. Served with cooked red cabbage and spaetzle. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
01/31/2018
This recipe is very close to how my MIL made Sauerbraten and she was from Germany. Next time I make it, I am going to use a round roast and marinate it for a couple more days. I served this with homemade Spaetzle and red cabbage. My husband loved it !!!!! Read More
(1)