All Day German Pot Roast


All Day German Pot Roast


All Day German Pot Roast

This recipe for All Day German Pot Roast, or sauerbraten, calls for cider vinegar, gingersnap cookies and dry red wine. Brown sugar offsets the bitter taste of the vinegar and wine. Your family will love this traditional German recipe. Although the meat needs to marinate for about three days, it's worth the wait. The longer it marinates, the more flavor it will have. Serve this slow cooker pot roast with a side of sauerkraut or mashed potatoes.


Bouquet Garni:  Lay a 4-inch square of cheesecloth flat on the counter. Place 1/3 cup of pickling spice in the center of the cloth.  Bring the corners of the cloth together and tie with kitchen string into a bundle.

For thicker sauce: Before adding the raisins and sour cream, remove the beef from the slow cooker. Stir 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 cup of the sauce from the cooker in a small bowl with a fork or whisk. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the cooker. Turn the heat to HIGH.  Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the mixture boils and thickens.


Preparation Time15 min

Slow Cooker Time HIGH5 hr

Slow Cooker Time LOW8 hr

Cooking Vessel Size6-quart slow cooker


  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large onions, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 10 gingersnap cookies, crushed
  • 1 can Campbell's Condensed Beef Consomm
  • 1 Bouquet Garni
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 boneless beef rump roast
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of Burgundy or other dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup of golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream (optional)


  1. Heat the vinegar, brown sugar, onions, carrots, gingersnaps, consomm and Bouquet Garni in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the water and let cool to room temperature.

  2. Place the beef in a large nonmetallic bowl. Add the vinegar mixture and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for about 72 hours, turning the beef over in the vinegar mixture 1 to 2 times per day.

  3. Remove the beef from the bowl and pat dry with paper towels. Reserve the vinegar mixture.

  4. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until it's well browned on all sides. Remove the beef from the skillet and place it into a 6-quart slow cooker.

  5. Add the wine to the skillet and heat to a boil, stirring often. Pour the wine and the reserved vinegar mixture over the beef.

  6. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours or until the beef is fork-tender. Stir in the raisins and the sour cream, if desired.

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Can you tell me what Bouquet Garni is? I do not cook a lot of Old World recipes, so I am not sure what that is. I like the ingredient list you chose, I think it will add many layers of flavor to this dish because there are so many delicious ingredients like the beef consomme.

This is a pretty delicious take on a very old world recipe. Translating it to the slow cooker means we can toss it in before we head to work and come home to the most delicious meat! Thanks for a great recipe.

Ginger snaps...hmmmm, this could be interesting. I agree putting in fresh veggies after marinating would be a great idea, but I'd definitely leave the mushy veggies in the it will no doubt have a ton of rich flavor and would probably help to thicken the sauce. I assume between the marinating and cooking process they would turn from veggies to a yummy sauce that would enhance the meat anyway. Being an onion lover myself...both red and onion would flow abundantly on my pot roast. Yum!

I like to replace the carrots after 2 days with fresh. I do this by using 1/2 C vinegar, 1/4 C Brown Sugar, 1/4 C water, and 1 C carrots. Again over medium-high heat to a boil, let cool to room temperature. Remove original carrots from marinade and add the fresh you just heated. Discard the new vinegar, brown sugar, and water mixture you just prepare the new carrots in.

There is no need to use carrots in the marinade or to use brown sugar in the dish at all. I learned to cook sauerbraten from my German mother-in-law while living in Germany for 11 years. I use 1-1/2 cups red wine, cup red wine vinegar, peppercorns, juniper berries, cloves, nutmeg, onion powder, dry mustard and bay leaves for my marinade. After marinating for 3 or 4 days I braise the meat and then add carrots, raisins, beef broth and tomato paste to the marinade and cook at a low temp for 2 to 3 hours until meat is tender. I serve the traditional German sides of red cabbage and Kndel (potato dumplings) with mine. I make sauerbraten at least 4 or 5 times in the year.

While marinating the veggies the meat together for several days is common in traditional saurbraten recipes I find that that the carrots just end up too mushy for my taste However leaving them out totally from the marinade would lessen the richness but I think you could cut it to half a cup of carrots that you could discard and add a fresh cup when you move it to the slow cooker As others have said a bouquet garni is a bundle of herbs or spices in this case it's cup of pickling spice which was just left out of the ingredient list Yes it's a long list of ingredients a long marinade time but oh SO worth the effort in the end PS please don't substitute cooking wine in this or any recipe decent wine is available at a reasonable price and the alcohol all cooks off so that it'sRead More safe for even small children to consume

This is a fairly standard recipe for Suaerbraten translated to the crock pot as it reads pretty basic. I've usually strained out the marinating veggies and added fresh when I started to cook it. Three days marinating is standard for sauerbraten as long as everything is kept in the fridge. Also, I usualy don't the carrots til I start cooking it.

@ Happycat - no need to marinate the vegetables. They will be prepped and added right before the beef is cooked. My family likes onions, so I would use 3-4 medium (2") onions - plan according to your family's tastes! The veggies in the marinade add flavor - you can make soup or serve those as a side the day you cook them, or use a combination of beef and vegetable broth, or come up with another hack. I quite agree that leaving them in the fridge to get mushy is NOT good, yet enjoy carrots and onions roasted with my sauerbraten. Don't be afraid to play with the recipe.

To those who are asking, bouquet garni is a term for a bundle of herbs (thyme, parsley, bay leaf etc) tied up together in cheesecloth (usually a cheesecloth bag) and removed prior to serving the dish.

I'm not sure about the marinating time of the meat and vegetables. I have never marinated anything longer than overnight and I think the recommended time is no longer than two days. Acidic marinades can toughen meat if left too long.

Traditional Sauerbraten marinates about this long, and this is a crockpot version of that, so the marinating time is correct.

@Happycat - I agree that this recipe needs a bit of clarification. As for the onions, it calls for 2 large onions (about 2 cups). The vegetables are meant to marinate with the beef for 72 hours - other saurbraten recipes I've read say to put it all in a big pot and refrigerate for a couple of days.

Quick question - what is the quantity of onions used? As mentioned in another comment, onions are not in the ingredient list. Also - do the vegetables marinate with the beef? (I am not inclined to marinate half-cooked veggies with raw meat for 2-3 days). I'm confused....So.... After step 1, what do you do with the veggies? When are they added back to beef to cook? Is that when you put the meat in crockpot to cook? I want to make this, need some clarifications. Thanks!

Two large onions (2 cups). And yes, the vegetables marinate with the meat they all cook together afterwards, and the marination is done in the refrigerator, so it should be fine. The vinegar mixture referred to in steps 2 and 5 includes the onions and carrots.


Too much stuff to gather and put together!

I just wrote down recipe. On the ingredients list, no mention of onions.

The recipe has been updated!)

Can you please tell me what or where to buy this bouquet garni?

Sauerbraten was always a winter favorite in our home. We would serve it with kudufulglas (potato balls) , red cabbage, peas and carrots. It was well worth the prep time. We thickened the juices for the gravy. Yum!

It doesn't say 1 bottle. There are instructions on making the garni packet.

1 Bouquet Garni, do use the whole bottle, I wouldn't think so. Please let me know

This was not a favorite in our house. The flavor of the vinegar was much too overpowering for the beef. I have eaten sauerbraten at fine German restaurants but don't recall the flavor being this tart. I will try anything once, and this is the one and only time I will make this recipe.


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