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4.96 from 24 votes
Serving platter with Sauerbraten Pot Roast on a plate with spaetzel and carrots
Authentic Sauerbraten Recipe: Oktoberfest Foods
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
6 hrs
marinating time
2 d
Total Time
6 hrs 20 mins

This Sauerbraten recipe (traditional German pot roast) is made in the slow cooker it's tender it just falls apart.  Marinated in vinegar, wine and simple spices it's perfect for your own authentic Oktoberfest party!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: German
Keyword: oktoberfest food, sauerbraten recipe,
Servings: 8
Calories: 545 kcal
Author: Michele Hall
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 large onions cut into 1/4" strips
  • 10 cloves garlic 5, minced, 5 smashed
  • 1 teaspoon cloves whole
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon thyme minced
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries (see note 1 for substitute)
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 - 4 pound boneless beef chuck roast
  • generous amount salt and pepper to season beef before browning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 cup gingersnap cookies crumbs
  • parsley for garnish
  1. Combine 2 cups brith, wine, vinegar, one of the onions, the crushed garlic, sprigs of thyme, juniper berries, peppercorns and cloves in a pan.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes.  Allow to cool completely.

  2. Once marinade has cooled, place the roast in a large ziplock bag and pour the marinade over the top.  Seal the bag after removing any air pockets.  Place bag in fridge to marinate for 48 hours.  Turning a couple of times to make sure meat is well covered in all edges.

  3. Once marinade is done remove the meat from the zip lock bag.  Strain solids reserving 2 cups of the vinegar/wine liquid. Use a paper towel to dry roast, and season generously with salt and pepper.

  4. Preheat a large pot (or if your slow cooker allows, heat that to high. Add olive oil and once hot, add the roast browning all sides for about 4 minutes per side. (top, bottom and the sides too.)

  5. Place the roast in the bottom of the slow cooker(or on a side plate if you are using the slow cooker container) Caramelize the remaining onions,  and the carrots for 5-7 minutes until the onions are softened and starting to brown and the carrots are starting to brown too.  Then add the flour,  garlic and thyme leaves and stir for 3 mins more.  Remove the vegetables and deglaze the pan with the strained marinade and the remaining cup of broth scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. 

  6. Place the meat and carrots into the slow cooker then pour the liquid over the top.  Turn slow cooker to high and cook for 7-8 hours (check the manual for cooking roast, each machine is slightly different.) Once roast is easily pulled apart and tender remove the meat and vegetables to a side plate. Slice the meat thinly (1/4" thick) 

  7. Add the crushed gingersnaps, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce over the roast and veggies then place the gravy in a gravy boat for people to sauce their own.

Recipe Notes
  1.  If you dont have juniper berries, you can use gin.  Sub 1/4 cup Gin.