Sauerbraten, a classic German recipe, is the ultimate make-ahead entree. First you brine it, then you braise it, then it marinates for a day before you serve it--sauerbraten literally means “pickled roast beef.” Serve this sauerbraten with the traditional German dumplings called spaetzle, or mashed potatoes or buttered noodles, and roasted green beans.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2014


Recipe Summary test

5 days




Instructions Checklist
  • Five days before serving: Combine wine, vinegar, water, onion, pickling spice, peppercorns and thyme in a 5- to 6-quart nonreactive, ovenproof pot (see Tip); bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand for 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator until room temperature, about 30 minutes more.

  • Place roast in the cooled marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 3 days, turning the meat over once a day.

  • Two days before serving: Remove the roast from the marinade and thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. Strain and reserve the marinade (discard the solids). Whisk ginger and allspice into the marinade and set aside. Wash and dry the pot.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

  • Season the roast with salt and pepper. Add oil to the pot and heat over medium-high. Add the roast and brown on all sides, reducing the heat if the pot starts to get too dark, about 10 minutes. Transfer the roast to a plate.

  • Reduce heat to medium; add onion, parsnips and celery to the pot and cook, stirring, until they start to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Push the vegetables to the sides and place the roast in the center. Pour in broth and the reserved marinade; bring to a simmer. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid.

  • Transfer the pot to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Check the liquid: it should be simmering, but not vigorously boiling; if it's boiling, reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees . Continue to bake, turning the roast over once halfway through, until a fork twists easily when inserted into the top of the meat, 2 to 2 1/2 hours more. Uncover and let cool at room temperature for about 1 hour. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill until cold before covering again. Refrigerate for 1 day.

  • One hour before serving: Preheat oven to 350 degrees .

  • Thinly slice the roast. Pour the liquid and vegetables into a blender. Blend until smooth, in batches if necessary. Pour the sauce back into the pot and stir in gingersnaps until the crumbs dissolve. Nestle the sliced roast into the sauce; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake until hot, about 40 minutes. Arrange the meat on a platter and spoon the sauce over it. Garnish with thyme.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2 five days ahead; prepare Steps 3-7 two days ahead. Finish with Steps 8-9 about one hour before serving.

Be sure to use a nonreactive pan--stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass--when cooking with acidic foods (citrus, cranberries, tomatoes) to prevent the food from reacting with the pan. Reactive pans, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart off colors and/or flavors.

Nutrition Facts

4 oz. meat & 1/2 cup sauce
450 calories; protein 48.9g; carbohydrates 16.4g; dietary fiber 2.3g; sugars 4.6g; fat 14.4g; saturated fat 4.3g; cholesterol 128.9mg; vitamin a iu 48.4IU; vitamin c 7.2mg; folate 57mcg; calcium 47.1mg; iron 5.3mg; magnesium 58.1mg; potassium 707.5mg; sodium 456.8mg; thiamin 0.2mg; added sugar 2g.

2 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 other carbohydrate, 7 lean meat, 1/2 fat