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Old-Country Sauerbraten

This recipe has been a well-guarded secret in my family for generations but I have decided to share it because it is so yummy. It is sure to be a hit in your family as well.—Inge Perreault, Oxford, New Jersey
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + marinating Cook: 1-1/2 hours
  • Makes
    10 servings


  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 4 medium onions, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 beef sirloin tip roast (3 to 4 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 5 to 6 gingersnap cookies, crushed
  • Hot cooked spaetzle


  • Place bay leaves and cloves on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with kitchen string to form a bag. In a large saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Add spice bag. Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat; cool completely.
  • Place the roast in a 2-gallon resealable plastic bag. Add half of the marinade. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 3 days, turning once each day. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade.
  • Remove meat from marinade; discard marinade, onions and spice bag. In a Dutch oven, brown roast in butter on all sides. Sprinkle with sugar. Add reserved marinade. Bring to a boil. Stir in molasses. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until meat is tender.
  • Remove roast to a cutting board. Cut into thin slices; set aside. Skim fat from cooking juices. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth; gradually stir into juices. Add gingersnaps. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Return meat to gravy; heat through. Serve with spaetzle.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 290 calories, 10g fat (4g saturated fat), 96mg cholesterol, 656mg sodium, 21g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 2g fiber), 28g protein.

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  • DaphneP
    Oct 8, 2020

    My Mom and Nanna used to make sauerbraten when I was growing up. I loved it! Never learned how to make it. Every recipe I see now uses ginger snaps, and I know they didn’t use them. Any idea why they are being used, and do I have to use them? Would appreciate any replies.

  • annalisa_harmon
    Dec 8, 2010

    Is so good!