Make Walter Staib's impossibly juicy marinated beef roast

Walter Staib

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Prep time: 3 days | Cook time: 45 minutes | Serves: 6


Sauerbraten, meaning “sour roast”, comes from the German tradition of marinating meat for several days before cooking. Vinegar, wine, herbs and spices come together in a robust marinade that helps keep the meat tender and juicy. The longer it marinades, the more the flavor of the herbs and wine will penetrate the meat. But remember, never use a wine that you wouldn’t also drink!

This recipe is courtesy from Black Forest Cuisine ©2006 by Walter Staib -- Running Press Book Publishers, Philadelphia & London


  • 3 cups red wine vinegar
  • 3 cups full-bodied red wine, such as Burgundy
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup dried juniper berries
  • 5-6 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (about 6 pounds), rinsed in cold water and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups Demi-Glace or prepared brown sauce
  • 1/2 cup sour cream


Marinate the Roast

  1. Combine the vinegar, wine, garlic, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves, juniper berries, cloves and peppercorns in a large saucepan or casserole dish and bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Remove from heat, gently drop in the roast, and set aside to cool slightly. Cover the saucepan, and set aside in the refrigerator to marinate for about 3 days. (If the marinade does not cover the roast completely, be sure to turn the roast about every 12 hours to marinate evenly.)

Cook the Roast

  1. After 3 days or when you are ready to proceed with the dish, remove the roast from the marinade and pat dry. Strain the marinade, reserving the vegetables and 3 cups of the liquid.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Combine the oil, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, rub over the roast, and set in a large casserole dish or medium roasting pan. Cover, and roast for 1 hour.
  4. Pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until reduced to about 2 cups.
  5. Remove the roast from the oven and pour the reduced marinade into the pan to deglaze, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Scatter the reserved vegetables around the roast and pour in the demi-glace. Cover, and roast for 30 to 45 minutes more, basting frequently.
  6. To serve, place the roast on a serving platter. Strain the juices from the pan, stir in the sour cream to make a creamy sauce, and serve the sauce in a gravy boat on the side.

Walter Staib

About Walter Staib

Read more about Walter Staib here.


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