Let’s grab the Sauerbraten and RUN!

by Kirsten on October 5, 2012 · 8 comments

in Beef & Bison, German Dishes, Main Dishes, Savory Dishes


Snorkel check, sun dress check, passport check, Sauerbraten check, bathing suit check, Tickets …… what? Non available by high demand this morning? Ya, right.

We woke up to the first snow this fall, which was exactly 6 days earlier than last year. Can you believe this? Don’t understand me wrong, I love the snow, but not yet. I just want to hang on to the warmth, my flip flops and short sleeves for a little bit longer. Instead I am sitting here with a turtleneck sweater, jeans and wool socks, sigh.

This cold weather actually moved in Wednesday night. Check out this picture I took during sunset close to my house, just as the front was moving in. Isn’t it spectacular?

So, no more whining, let’s face the facts and shift gears from summer and salads to fall and it’s warming recipes. Yes, you snorkel, back in the closet.  Over at Chef John’s I found this recipe for Sauerbraten made with beef short ribs. Sauerbraten is a very traditional German dish in which a beef roast gets marinated in a vinegary brine for several days.  It is a very hearty and homey dish best served with spaetzle and red cabbage. Chef John’s beef short rib substitution for the roast shortens the marinating time down to one day. He also uses ginger snaps to thicken the sauce. Isn’t that a genius idea? I have to admit that Sauerbraten was never one of my favorite dishes growing up. This recipe changed my opinion and even my teens and Mr. Rockies went back for seconds.

Let’s move on together, wintery fall season here we are and enjoy a warming and inviting family dish with this German style Sauerbraten recipe. Guten Appetit!

Oh, and don’t forget to head over to watch Chef John’s video on how to execute this recipe.

German Sauerbraten made with Beef Short Ribs
5.0 from 2 reviews
Recipe type: Main, Entree
Cuisine: German
Serves: 4
  • Ingredients:
  • For the marinade
  • 3 lbs short ribs, seasoned with salt and pepper, (organic, grass fed)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, (coconut oil)
  • ⅔ cup cider vinegar
  • ⅔ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1½ cups water, plus 1 cup cold water at end to cool marinade down
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 9 whole cloves
  • 12 juniper berries
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • *Marinate at least 24 hours
  • Then stew with:
  • 1 chopped large onion
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth, ( I use organic chicken better than bouillon)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup crushed gingersnaps
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. For the marinade:
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat brown seasoned short ribs in coconut oil on both sides. Remove from pan and place in a larger plastic container (with lid).
  3. Add both vinegars, and 1½ cup water to the pan, bring to boil and loosen all the brown bits from bottom of the pan.
  4. Add bay leaves, juniper berries, pepper and salt. Stir.
  5. Take pan from the stove and stir in the left 1 cup of cold water.
  6. Pour the marinating liquid on top of the short ribs in plastic container. Let cool and store with closed lid in fridge for 24 hours.
  7. For the stew:
  8. Add some coconut oil, the carrots, celery and onions n a bigger cast iron stew and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  9. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  10. Add the short ribs, the marinate, water and chicken broth. Raise the heat and bring to a boil.
  11. Reduce heat, put on the lid, and simmer on low heat for about 4 hours (mine took longer, because of the Altitude) or until the meat is very tender.
  12. Remove the meat from the liquid and set aside on a plate. Also include some veggies (make sure that no juniper berries, cloves or bay leaves are included).
  13. Let's finish the sauce by grinding the ginger snaps and add them to the pot.
  14. Add the balsamic vinegar and reduce the sauce on medium heat. Make sure the sauce won't turn out to thick!
  15. Adjust the seasoning.
  16. Strain the sauce through a colander and place it, together with the beef, back in the pot.


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Ingrid October 7, 2012 at 8:22 am

Hallo Kirsten,
ich finde der Sauerbraten ist sehr gelungen und die Idee Abwandlung mit “Gingersnaps” finde ich sehr gut. Aber meine “Mittagstischler” sind da eigen und würde das ablehnen und die Rosinen die sonst drin sind werden bei mir mit Weintrauben “seedless” ersetzt und eine Chili rein das ist auch fein. Ich finde es ist eine tolle Idee die deutschen Küchenklassiker so zu machen. Bin gerade auch dabei alte/neue Rezepte zu probieren/verändern. sonst die Bilder sind wieder einmalig. Liebe Grüße Ingrid

Wizzy October 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

I would gladly trade you some of my sunshine for some of your snow. I have always been just a little bit envious of countries that get to experience more than 2 seasons. The gingersnaps in that gravy have definitely made me curious.

Susan October 6, 2012 at 8:42 am

I don’t think I’d be as happy with snow in October, but have to admit it is pretty falling. Your sauerbraten looks amazing and brought back memories of my mother (maiden name was Huekels) making it with her homemade spaetzel. It was the first time I ever had gingersnaps in a savory dish and it was magnificent. I can just imagine the aroma from your kitchen on a snowy day, XOXO

Sue/the view from great island October 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Love this, my grandpa used to make it. Enjoy your cold weather, we’re still sweltering!!

rosita vargas October 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm

Un plato hermoso de carne contundente y muy sabroso especial para untar el pan,abrazos y saludos desde el sur de Chile,hugs,hugs.

Lea Ann (Cooking on the Ranch) October 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm

That sunset photo is beautiful Kirsten. This is my type of recipe. Will try it soon. Pinned.

Susan October 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I have eaten good Sauerbraten and not so good also. I really do not like the gingersnap gravy. But spaetzle and red cabbage definitely go with this dish.

Kirsten October 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm

Hi Susan I was surprised how tasty this ginger snap gravy actually turned out. The cookie’s flavors go perfectly with the spices from the marinade.

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