Southern German Sour Roast (Sauerbraten)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Traditional Southern German dish from Sofie's grandma's personal cookbook.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: German
Serves: 8
  • 1 kg of beef round roast or brisket
  • ---TIP: Choose a good piece of round roast or brisket, and be sure to cook the roast slowly. If you rush it, it will turn into shoe soles.
For the marinade:
  • 250 ml vinegar, preferably red wine vinegar
  • 300 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon* salt
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 cloves (whole)
  • ½ laurel leaf
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 peppercorns
For the roast:
  • 40 g bacon
  • 40 g lard, oil or butter
  • 1 small tablespoon* salt
  • a pinch of pepper
  • 50 g browned flour
  • 2 tablespoons* marinade
  • 4 tomatoes or 2 tablespoons* tomato paste
  • 750 ml beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons* red wine
  • ---*denotes REAL spoons
  1. Tenderize the meat by beating it, washing it, then rubbing it with salt before submerging it into the marinade.
  2. The meat becomes even more tender if you substitute buttermilk (“Sauermilch”) for all or part of the water.
  3. In the summer, leave the meat in the marinade for 3 days, in the winter for 4. Turn it periodically as needed.
  4. The larger the cut, the longer it has to stay in the liquid.
  5. Dry the meat, garnish it with bacon (cut slits into it and “pull” the bacon through them) and season it with salt and pepper.
  6. Brown it briskly at high heat together with the carrot and onion.
  7. Add the browned flour, then the marinade, tomato paste and beef broth.
  8. Broil in the oven at around 300 F under a closed lid for 1.5 – 2 hours.
  9. ---MODERN-DAY TIP: use an oven bag. It is MUCH easier and will keep your meat tender.
  10. To make a gravy, separate out the grease from the top of the liquid, discard it and add the wine.
  11. Serve with potato dumplings or spätzle, a nice side salad and a hearty red wine. Guten Appetit!
Recipe by Orgasmic Chef at