German Sauerbraten Recipe for Your Pressure Cooker

Updated on January 14, 2017
Stephanie Henkel profile image

Old family recipes make the most satisfying meals and are always a hit with family and friends. Here are some of Stephanie's favorites.

A German Pot Roast Recipe

Sauerbraten made from beef or venison and is a wonderful German recipe for a marinated pot roast. What better time than fall to fill the house with the mouthwatering smell of hearty German food cooking in the kitchen?

Both of my husband's parents were of German descent, and he grew up with the hearty, traditional German food cooked by his mother. It didn't take me very long to learn to love many of the dishes, especially the sauerbraten that was one of my husband's favorites. Before cooking, the roast is marinated for 2 to 3 days in a vinegar, onion and spice solution which flavors and tenderizes the meat. This is an especially good recipe to use with venison as well.

Sauerbraten is usually roasted in a Dutch oven like a pot roast, and this recipe can certainly be cooked like that if you prefer. But to save time, I have always used a pressure cooker to cook our sauerbraten. The meat is done in an hour and is tender and flavorful.

Traditionally, Sauerbraten is served with red cabbage and boiled potatoes or spatzel or noodles. Our family likes mashed potatoes which are perfectly complemented by the tart gravy of the sauerbraten. We do always have red cabbage. Rye or pumpernickel bread is served with sweet butter.

Preparing for making the marinade
Preparing for making the marinade | Source
Sauerbraten marinating
Sauerbraten marinating | Source
Pressure Cooker set at 10 lbs.
Pressure Cooker set at 10 lbs. | Source

Instructions for Marinating

Three Days Before Cooking – Marinate

Three days before cooking place the 4-6 pound beef or venison roast in a large glass or non-corrosive bowl.

Marinade:

  • 4 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3-4 cups boiling water
  • 3 thinly sliced onions
  • 3 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 heaping tablespoons pickling spices (optional substitute: 1/2 tsp. whole peppercorns, 4 bay leaves, 1 tsp. mustard seed, 12 whole cloves)

Place meat in large crockery or stainless steel bowl. Pour boiling water over the meat. Add vinegar, wine, onion and spices. If meat is not covered by liquid, add more water to cover. Set in refrigerator for 3 days, turning occasionally.

I usually make Venison Sauerbraten in my pressure cooker, so I am giving those instructions, but you can also cook in a dutch oven as you would a pot roast.

To Pressure Cook Sauerbraten:

Remove meat from the marinade. Strain the marinade and reserve the liquid for later. Dry the roast and brown in oil or lard. Place browned meat on the meat rack in your pressure cooker. Add 2 cups of strained marinade to the pot and set cover. Cook at 10 pounds pressure for about 60 minutes after it starts to jiggle.

Cool pot under running water before opening lid. Remove meat onto cutting board and remove rack from the pot so that you can make gravy from the drippings.

Pressure Cooking Instructions

I usually make Venison Sauerbraten in my pressure cooker, so I am giving those instructions, but you can also cook in a dutch oven as you would a pot roast.

  1. Remove meat from the marinade.
  2. Strain the marinade and reserve the liquid for later.
  3. Dry the roast and brown in oil or lard.
  4. Place browned meat on the meat rack in your pressure cooker.
  5. Add 2 cups of strained marinade to the pot and set cover.
  6. Cook at 10 pounds pressure for about 60 minutes after it starts to jiggle.
  7. Cool pot under running water before opening lid.
  8. Remove meat onto cutting board and remove rack from the pot so that you can make gravy from the drippings.

Accompanying Gravy Recipe

Traditional German recipes for sauerbraten gravy call for crushed gingersnaps to be used as a thickening agent, but you can also use flour as a thickening as you would for a beef gravy.

  • 2/3 cup of fine gingersnap crumbs
  • Pan liquid
  • 2 additional cups of the reserved marinade
  • 3/4 cup sour cream

Add gingersnap crumbs to pan liquid along with 2 cups of reserved marinade. Cook and stir until thickened. Stir in sour cream and pour some over the sliced meat, serving the remaining gravy at the table. If you have a large roast, you may want to increase the amount of gravy accordingly as you should have plenty of the reserved marinade left.

Serve and Enjoy!

Sauerbraten cooked in a pressure cooker will be well done. Don't worry if it falls apart when sliced! To serve, place sliced meat on a serving platter and spoon some of the gravy over the top. Be sure to serve additional gravy for guests to put on their spaetzle or mashed potatoes. Serve with red cabbage and dark rye or pumpernickel bread.

My family always expects this special dish around the holidays. Since we cook Polish food for Christmas, we will often have German food like Sauerbraten or Rouladen on New Year's Eve or New Year' Day. I also like to make it in the fall when the weather turns cool for our very own October Fest celebration. For a festive German dinner, why not serve Black Forest cake for desert! But whenever we have it, we can count on our adult children showing up for dinner!

I'd Love Your Feedback

I'd love to hear what you have to say, if you have comments, suggestions or feedback, Please drop me a note in the comment section at the end of this page.

Questions & Answers

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      • Stephanie Henkel profile imageAUTHOR

        Stephanie Henkel 

        6 years ago from USA

        Hi Thelma, It sounds like you have some good memories of your mother-in-law's cooking! German Sauerbraten is one of my family's favorite dishes, partly because it tastes so good and partly because it brings back good memories of family gatherings. Thanks for stopping in to share your memories of a good cook!

      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 

        6 years ago from Germany

        Hello Stephanie. I love Sauerbraten. It is one of my favorites. I know it is very delicious. Sauerbraten reminds me of my dead mother-in-law who was a very good cook. She always cooked well for her family. Blessed her.

      • Stephanie Henkel profile imageAUTHOR

        Stephanie Henkel 

        6 years ago from USA

        Sally's Trove - I'm sorry your last sauerbraten was such a disappointment! I guess I wouldn't have tried to pick pieces of light bulb out of my food, either. But I think you'll find this method of making sauerbraten in your pressure cooker easy and tasty. I hope you get to try it soon!

      • Sally's Trove profile image

        Sherri 

        6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

        I'm so glad you posted this to fb today! It's a reminder that I should make sauerbraten one of these cold winter days soon. I haven't made it in years and years, and the reason is kind of sad. The last time I made it, I pulled it out of the oven at the end, put it on the stove top, removed the lid, and, just like THAT, the lightbulb in the stove's vent hood blew out and shattered all over the roast. I'm taking your hub as a good omen for making this wonderful dish again!

      • Stephanie Henkel profile imageAUTHOR

        Stephanie Henkel 

        7 years ago from USA

        Hi Happy,

        Actually, my husband usually makes the sauerbraten, too. He loves it, and since we often make it from venison that he brings home from the hunt, he likes to do the cooking. But we all enjoy it!

      • Happyboomernurse profile image

        Gail Sobotkin 

        7 years ago from South Carolina

        Hi Stephanie,

        Will share this recipe with my husband who does most all the cooking in our house (lucky me). We're not of German descent but he loves sauerbraten!

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