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Sauerbraten, Grandma Jenny's Swedish

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“There are hundreds of sauerbraten recipes. I have tried many, but none can compare with my Swedish grandmother's 100 year old recipe. The secret is in the marinade-- which not only seasons the meat but flavors the gravy.”
1hr 20mins
3-4 Slices

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 cup vinegar (I use red wine vinegar)
  • 1 14 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spices (original recipe just says mixed spices)
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries (optional, my addition)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 -4 lbs boneless beef roast (rump, bottom or top round, or chuck boneless shoulder will do.)
  • shortening
  • ginger snaps (for gravy)


  1. Bring vinegar, water, spices, and onion to boil. Allow cooling for an hour. Place beef in a glass or porcelain container sufficient in size to allow the beef to be adequately covered by the marinade. You can add more water and vinegar (1:1 ratio) to cover. Pour marinade over the beef, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 days (I marinate for 3-5 days depending on the size of the roast), turning once or twice daily. Do not pierce the meat.
  2. Strain and reserve marinade. Allow beef to warm to room temperature and brown in hot oil. It is important not to rush browning as this enhances the flavor of the roast. Pour strained marinade over meat, and cook like a pot roast*. Remove meat and allow it to rest for a few minutes. Heat a portion of the marinade in a pan depending how much gravy you want. Chop or grind gingersnaps into crumbs using a food processor or by hand and stir into the marinade solution-- enough to thicken to a moderately heavy gravy. Slice meat and serve with the gravy and spaetzels, egg noodles, potato dumplings, or potato pancakes.
  3. * Suggestion: cook slowly in a crock-pot on low for 4-6 hours until tender.

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