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Sauerbraten (German Pot Roast)

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180 min.
Prep: 20 min. | Cook: 160 min. | Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 (5-lb.) beef eye of round
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 1⁄2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 bouquet garni (1 tbsp. pickling spices, 14 whole cloves, 8 whole black peppercorns, 3 bay leaves, 3 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs parsley, wrapped in cheesecloth, tied with kitchen twine)
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup golden raisins
  • 6 gingersnaps, crumbled
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • salt


  1. Season beef liberally with salt in large bowl.
  2. Bring wine, vinegar, 1 onion, carrot, bouquet garni, and 4 cups water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan; pour over beef.
  3. Cover and refrigerate, turning once or twice a day, for 5 days.
  4. Remove beef from marinade; pour marinade through a fine strainer into a bowl, and dry beef thoroughly. (Reserve 5 cups of the marinade and the bouquet garni.)
  5. Heat 2 tbsp. butter and bacon in an 8-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat; cook until bacon renders its fat, about 10 minutes.
  6. Transfer bacon to a plate; set aside. Add beef; cook, turning, until browned all over, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside.
  7. Heat oven to 325°. Add remaining onions to pot; cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 18 minutes.
  8. Return beef to pot with reserved marinade and sachet; boil. Cover; bake until beef is very tender, about 2 1⁄2 hours.
  9. Transfer beef to a platter; pour sauce through a fine strainer into a bowl.
  10. Return pot to medium-high heat; add remaining butter. Add flour and sugar; cook, whisking constantly, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  11. Add sauce, raisins, gingersnaps, and juice; return beef to sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover pot, and cook until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes.
  12. Thinly slice beef; arrange on a platter. Spoon sauce over top; sprinkle with bacon and parsley.