Germany National Dish: Sauerbraten

Germany is a country known for its rich history, culture, and of course, its food. One of the most famous dishes in Germany is Sauerbraten, which can also be called the Germany National Dish. Sauerbraten is a type of pot roast that is marinated in a sour and sweet sauce for several days before it is cooked. This article will explore the history of Sauerbraten, its ingredients, how it is prepared, and why it has become such a popular dish in Germany.

History of the Germany National Dish

Sauerbraten has been a part of German cuisine for centuries. The dish has its origins in the Middle Ages when meat was marinated to preserve it for longer periods. The name “Sauerbraten” literally translates to “sour roast” in German, which refers to the sour marinade that is used to flavor the meat.


The ingredients used to make Sauerbraten vary depending on the recipe, but some common ingredients include:

Beef: The most traditional meat used for Sauerbraten is beef, specifically the rump roast. However, other cuts of meat can be used as well.

Marinade: The marinade is what gives Sauerbraten its distinctive flavor. It typically contains vinegar, red wine, sugar, spices, and herbs.

Vegetables: Some recipes call for onions, carrots, and celery to be added to the marinade for extra flavor.

Dried fruit: Raisins, prunes, or other dried fruit are often added to the marinade as well.

How to Prepare Sauerbraten

Preparing Sauerbraten is a labor-intensive process that requires several days of marinating the meat. Here are the basic steps involved in making Sauerbraten:

  • Prepare the marinade: Mix together the vinegar, red wine, sugar, spices, herbs, and vegetables (if using) in a large bowl.
  • Marinate the meat: Place the meat in the marinade and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least three days, but preferably up to a week.
  • Cook the meat: After the meat has marinated, remove it from the marinade and pat it dry. Brown the meat in a large pot, then add the marinade and any additional ingredients such as dried fruit. Cover the pot and simmer the meat for several hours until it is tender.

Serving the Germany National Dish

Sauerbraten is typically served with boiled potatoes, red cabbage, and a thick gravy made from the marinade. The dish is often garnished with a sprig of parsley and served with a cold glass of beer or a glass of red wine.

Why is Sauerbraten so Popular in Germany?

Sauerbraten is a popular dish in Germany because it represents the country’s rich culinary traditions. The dish has been passed down from generation to generation, and each family has its own unique recipe. Sauerbraten is also a comforting and hearty meal that is perfect for cold winter evenings.


  • What other meats can be used to make Sauerbraten?

Answer: While beef is the most traditional meat used to make Sauerbraten, other meats such as venison or pork can be used as well.

  • How long should the meat marinate for?

Answer: The meat should marinate for at least three days, but preferably up to a week.

  • Can Sauerbraten be made in a slow cooker?

Answer: Yes, Sauerbraten can be made in a slow cooker. Simply brown the meat first, then add it and the marinade to the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours until the meat is tender.

  • What type of red wine is best for the marinade?

Answer: A full-bodied red wine such as a Burgundy or a Cabernet Sauvignon is best for the marinade.

  • Can Sauerbraten be frozen?

Answer: Yes, Sauerbraten can be frozen for up to three months. Simply let the meat cool, then transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bag and freeze.


Sauerbraten is a delicious and hearty dish that is an important part of German culinary culture. The sour and sweet marinade gives the meat a unique flavor that is both comforting and satisfying. While preparing Sauerbraten can be a time-consuming process, it is well worth the effort. So the next time you’re looking for a warm and comforting meal, give Sauerbraten a try!


  • “Sauerbraten Recipe – German Pot Roast in Gingersnap Gravy.” The Spruce Eats, 30 September 2021,
  • “Sauerbraten.” German Foods,
  • “Traditional German Sauerbraten Recipe.”, 26 November 2016,

Leave a Comment