Sauerbraten Slow Cooker Recipe

Looking for a delicious and easy-to-make German-style pot roast? Look no further than this Sauerbraten slow cooker recipe! With just a few simple steps, you can have a tender and flavorful meal that will impress your family and friends.

Traditionally, Sauerbraten requires days of marinating to achieve maximum tenderness and flavor. However, this recipe offers a quicker alternative by utilizing a slow cooker. The slow cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a mouthwatering dish that will have everyone coming back for seconds.

Sauerbraten Slow Cooker Recipe

Key Takeaways:

  • Sauerbraten is a German-style pot roast that is traditionally marinated for several days.
  • This recipe offers a quicker option by using a slow cooker.
  • The slow cooking process results in tender and flavorful meat.
  • The dish is perfect for family gatherings and special occasions.
  • Serve Sauerbraten with traditional side dishes like potato dumplings or spaetzle.

Traditional German Sauerbraten

Traditional German Sauerbraten is a classic dish that showcases the rich culinary heritage of Germany. This beloved recipe requires marinating the meat for several days to achieve maximum tenderness and flavor. The marination process involves soaking a beef chuck roast in a flavorful mixture of vinegar or wine, herbs, spices, and seasonings. The marinating time typically ranges from three to five days, with the meat being turned once or twice daily. This extended marinating time allows the flavors to penetrate the meat, resulting in a succulent and robust Sauerbraten.

If you’re short on time but still want to enjoy the flavors of this traditional German dish, there are alternative recipes available that offer a quicker and easier marination period. These recipes often use tenderizing techniques and ingredients to achieve a similar taste in a shorter amount of time.

German Sauerbraten represents the heart of German cuisine and is a favorite dish for celebrations, family gatherings, and holiday feasts. Its unique blend of flavors and the time-honored marination process make it a beloved comfort food that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Sauerbraten Slow Cooker Recipe Ingredients

Prepare to tantalize your taste buds with these flavorful ingredients for the Sauerbraten slow cooker recipe:

  • Boneless beef chuck roast – The star of the dish, this tender and juicy cut of meat is perfect for slow cooking.
  • Water – Provides the base for the cooking liquid and helps to keep the roast moist.
  • Red wine – Adds depth and richness to the marinade and cooking liquid, infusing the meat with a delightful flavor.
  • Cider vinegar – Offers a tangy and slightly sweet note to complement the other ingredients.
  • Lemon – Adds a refreshing citrusy zing to the marinade.
  • Onion and garlic – Essential aromatics that enhance the overall taste and aroma of the dish.
  • Cloves and bay leaves – These spices lend a warm and fragrant essence to the marinade.
  • Sugar and salt – Balances the flavors and enhances the meat’s natural sweetness.
  • Juniper berries (optional) – Provides a subtle earthy undertone, enhancing the traditional flavors of Sauerbraten.
  • Peppercorns – Contributes a gentle spicy kick to the marinade.
  • Onions, carrots, and celery – These vegetables add depth to the cooking liquid and serve as a tasty accompaniment to the roast.
  • Gingersnap cookies – Surprisingly, these cookies are not for snacking but are used to thicken and flavor the gravy, giving it a unique twist.

Together, these ingredients create a harmonious blend of flavors that will have you coming back for seconds.

Keyword Ingredient
Sauerbraten ingredients Boneless beef chuck roast, water, red wine, cider vinegar, lemon, onion, garlic, cloves, bay leaves, sugar, salt, juniper berries, peppercorns, onions, carrots, celery, gingersnap cookies
Chuck roast Boneless beef chuck roast
Marinade Red wine, cider vinegar, lemon, onion, garlic, cloves, bay leaves, sugar, salt, juniper berries (optional), peppercorns
Gingersnap cookies Gingersnap cookies

Sauerbraten Slow Cooker Recipe Instructions

To make this Sauerbraten slow cooker recipe, follow the step-by-step instructions below:

  1. Heat the water, red wine, cider vinegar, lemon, onion, garlic, cloves, bay leaves, sugar, salt, juniper berries, and peppercorns in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Allow the marinade to cool and then pour it over the beef roast in a resealable plastic bag.
  3. Marinate the roast in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, turning it twice a day to ensure even distribution of flavors.
  4. After marinating, place the onions, carrots, and celery in a slow cooker.
  5. Remove the beef roast from the marinade and place it atop the vegetables in the slow cooker.
  6. Pour some of the strained marinade over the roast, reserving the rest.
  7. Cover the slow cooker and cook the roast on low for 8 hours, allowing it to slow-cook to tender perfection.
  8. Once the cooking time is complete, transfer the cooked roast to a cutting board and cover it with foil to keep it warm.
  9. Strain the cooking liquid from the slow cooker, removing any solids, and return the vegetables to the slow cooker.
  10. In a saucepan, heat some of the cooking liquid along with crushed gingersnap cookies until the gravy thickens to your desired consistency.
  11. Slice the roast and serve it with the slow-cooked vegetables and rich gingersnap-infused gravy.

Follow these instructions to make the perfect Sauerbraten in a slow-cooker.

Sauerbraten Slow Cooker Recipe Tips

If you want to make the most out of this Sauerbraten slow cooker recipe, follow these helpful tips:

  1. Choose the right cut of meat: For the best results, use a boneless beef chuck roast. This cut is well-marbled and tender, making it perfect for slow cooking.
  2. Allow enough marinating time: To enhance the flavors and tenderness of the roast, marinate it for at least 2 to 3 days. This marinating process helps the meat absorb the flavors from the aromatic spices and liquids.
  3. Strain the cooking liquid: Before making the gravy, remember to strain the cooking liquid to remove any impurities. This simple step ensures a smooth and flavorful gravy.
  4. Experiment with thickening agents: Traditionally, crushed gingersnap cookies are used to add thickness and a unique flavor to the gravy. However, if you don’t have gingersnap cookies on hand, you can also use cornstarch or all-purpose flour as alternatives.
  5. Pair with traditional sides: Serve your Sauerbraten with classic German sides like potato dumplings, spaetzle, or boiled potatoes. These side dishes complement the rich flavors of the roast and complete the meal.
  6. Adjust the seasoning to your taste: Don’t be afraid to experiment with the seasoning to suit your personal preferences. Feel free to add more or less of certain spices to customize the flavor of your Sauerbraten.

By following these Sauerbraten slow cooker recipe tips, you’ll be able to create a delicious and authentic German-style pot roast that is sure to impress.

Serving Suggestions for Sauerbraten

Sauerbraten is a delicious German-style pot roast that is best enjoyed with a variety of side dishes that complement its rich flavors. Here are some popular serving suggestions to elevate your Sauerbraten experience:

Potato Dumplings

If you’re looking for a hearty and comforting side dish, potato dumplings are a perfect choice. These fluffy dumplings made with mashed potatoes can soak up the flavorful gravy of the Sauerbraten, creating a delightful combination of textures and tastes.


Another classic German side dish, spaetzle, or German noodles, pairs exceptionally well with Sauerbraten. These soft and chewy egg noodles add a delicate texture to the dish and allow you to savor every morsel of the rich gravy.

Egg Noodles

If you prefer a simpler option, egg noodles are a versatile and easy-to-make side dish that complements the flavors of the Sauerbraten. Cooked until tender and served on the side, they provide a neutral base that lets the Sauerbraten shine.

Boiled Potatoes

For a classic and straightforward accompaniment, boiled potatoes are an excellent choice. Their mild flavor and creamy texture enhance the Sauerbraten without overpowering it, making them a timeless side dish.

Red Cabbage

Red cabbage adds vibrant color and delightful crunch to your Sauerbraten plate. Whether served raw in a refreshing salad or cooked until tender, this tangy and slightly sweet side dish complements the richness of the pot roast.


Applesauce provides a sweet and tart contrast to the savory flavors of the Sauerbraten. The slight acidity of the applesauce helps balance the richness of the dish, creating a harmonious blend of tastes.

Potato Pancakes

A unique and flavorful choice, potato pancakes bring a crispy and savory element to the table. These shredded potato fritters can be topped with sour cream or applesauce, adding an extra layer of indulgence to your Sauerbraten meal.

Refreshing Green Salad

A light and refreshing green salad can provide a crisp and refreshing contrast to the richness of the Sauerbraten. Tossed with a tangy vinaigrette or creamy dressing, a green salad adds a burst of freshness to your plate.

These are just a few serving suggestions for your Sauerbraten feast. Feel free to mix and match these side dishes or try new combinations to find your perfect culinary companions for this traditional German pot roast.

Variations of Sauerbraten Cooking Methods

While this slow cooker recipe offers convenience and ease, there are other variations to consider for cooking Sauerbraten. In Germany, the traditional method involves cooking the Sauerbraten on the stovetop, which was later adapted to slow cookers by German immigrants in Canada. Additionally, Sauerbraten can also be cooked in the oven or using a pressure cooker. These cooking methods may vary in cooking times and techniques but will ultimately result in a delicious and tender Sauerbraten. Choose the method that suits your preferences and available cooking equipment.

Stovetop Method

The stovetop method is the traditional way to cook Sauerbraten. In this method, the marinated beef roast is seared on the stovetop to develop a rich crust, then simmered in a mixture of marinade and broth until tender. This method requires frequent monitoring and adjusting of heat to maintain a gentle simmer. The stovetop method is a great option for those who enjoy being more involved in the cooking process and want to achieve a slightly different flavor profile.

Oven Method

The oven method for cooking Sauerbraten involves transferring the marinated roast and marinade to a roasting pan or Dutch oven, then slow-roasting it in the oven at a low temperature. This method allows for even heat distribution and ensures that the meat cooks evenly. The oven method is convenient as it requires less hands-on attention compared to the stovetop method. The slow cooking process in the oven allows the flavors to meld together and results in a succulent and tender roast.

Pressure Cooker Method

The pressure cooker method is a time-saving option for cooking Sauerbraten. With a pressure cooker, the cooking time is significantly reduced while still achieving tender and flavorful results. The marinated roast is added to the pressure cooker along with the marinade and additional liquid, then cooked under high pressure for a specified amount of time. This method is ideal for those who are short on time but still want to enjoy the taste of tender Sauerbraten.

Regardless of the cooking method you choose, Sauerbraten is a hearty and delicious dish that is sure to impress your family and friends. Experiment with different methods to find your favorite way of preparing this classic German pot roast.

More About Sauerbraten’s History and Origins

Sauerbraten holds a special place in German cuisine, representing a cherished recipe that has been passed down through generations. Its history can be traced back to traditional cooking methods where the meat was meticulously marinated to achieve tenderness and infuse the dish with rich flavors.

Over time, Sauerbraten has undergone various adaptations, with regional preferences influencing the choice of ingredients and cooking techniques. Each variation adds a unique touch to this classic dish, showcasing the diversity of German culinary traditions.

Today, Sauerbraten remains an integral part of celebrations, family gatherings, and holiday feasts in Germany and beyond. Its popularity is a testament to the deep-rooted culinary heritage of this remarkable country. Whether enjoyed with traditional accompaniments or in modern interpretations, Sauerbraten continues to delight taste buds and evoke fond memories of time-honored traditions.


What is Sauerbraten?

Sauerbraten is a German-style pot roast that is slow-cooked to perfection. It is known for its tender and flavorful meat, marinated in a mixture of liquids and spices.

How long do you need to marinate the meat for Sauerbraten?

The traditional method requires marinating the meat for three to five days to achieve maximum tenderness and flavor. However, this slow cooker recipe offers a quicker alternative with a marinating time of 2 to 3 days.

What are the main ingredients for Sauerbraten slow cooker recipe?

The main ingredients include boneless beef chuck roast, water, red wine, cider vinegar, lemon, onion, garlic, cloves, bay leaves, sugar, salt, juniper berries (optional), peppercorns, onions, carrots, celery, and gingersnap cookies.

How do you make Sauerbraten in a slow cooker?

Start by marinating the beef roast in a flavorful mixture for 2 to 3 days. Then, place the onions, carrots, and celery in the slow cooker, add the marinated roast on top, and cook on low for 8 hours. Strain the cooking liquid, thicken it with crushed gingersnap cookies, and serve with the sliced roast and vegetables.

What are some tips for making the best Sauerbraten?

Some tips include using a boneless beef chuck roast, allowing enough marinating time, straining the cooking liquid, using crushed gingersnap cookies for gravy, serving with traditional sides, and adjusting the seasoning to taste.

What are some serving suggestions for Sauerbraten?

Sauerbraten is often served with traditional sides like potato dumplings, spaetzle, boiled potatoes, red cabbage, applesauce, potato pancakes, and a green salad.

Can Sauerbraten be cooked using other methods?

Yes, Sauerbraten can also be cooked on the stovetop, in the oven, or using a pressure cooker, depending on personal preferences and available cooking equipment.

What is the history behind Sauerbraten?

Sauerbraten is a well-known and beloved dish in German cuisine with roots in traditional cooking methods. It is often associated with celebrations, family gatherings, and holiday feasts.

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