Sauerbraten with Bacon, Bratwurst and Mushroom Sauerkraut

German people sure like sauer.  Also, I don’t like sauerkraut, but add bacon, bratwurst and mushrooms and suddenly it becomes tolerable.

Recipe from: Culinary School


For the Sauerbraten:

  • 6 pounds bottom round of beef, trimmed of fatty silverskin, split and tied with butcher’s twine
  • Vegetable oil, as needed
  • 6 oz red wine
  • 3 oz ginger snap crumbs

For the Sauerbraten Marinade:

  • 4 oz red wine vinegar
  • 12 oz red wine
  • 8 oz onions, peeled and cut julienne
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 4 oz carrots, washed, peeled and cut julienne
  • 1 oz brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Place the meat in a deep hotel pan.  Combine the ingredients for the marinade and pour over the meat.  Cover and refrigerate 3 to 4 days, turning the meat every day. 

Preheat the oven to 300°F

Remove meat and pat dry. 

In a braising pan, heat the oil until almost smoking, and add the meat.  Sear on all sides until brown.

Add the marinade to the braising pan, cover and braise in the oven for 2-3 hours or until the meat is fork tender.

Remove the meat and hold covered at 140°F or higher.  Strain 1 quart of the liquid through a chinois into a saucepan.  Heat to a boil, depouiller (skim the fat), and reduce the liquid by one-fourth. 

Add the wine and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in gingersnap crumbs and simmer for 3 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the crumbs to be absorbed.  Hold at 140°F.

To serve, slice the meat against the grain and spoon sauce over. 

For the Sauerkraut:

  • 1 1/2 pounds sauerkraut
  • 2 large onions, julienne
  • ¼ pound bacon
  • 1 Bratwurst
  • ¾ cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Drain sauerkraut (If using canned).  Place sauerkraut in a large bowl.  Cook bacon until perfectly baconed.  Remove from pan and crumble into sauerkraut, save the fat.  Cook the bratwurst in the bacon fat.  Remove and chop.  Add it to the sauerkraut.  Add onion to bacon fat and heat over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes.  Add sauteed onions to sauerkraut.  Add mushrooms to the bacon fat, cook until lightly browned.  Add mushrooms to the sauerkraut.  Add salt, pepper and allspice and a little bit of bacon fat.  Gently stir.  Refrigerate 1 hour to overnight.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.

For the Christmas just before I moved to Berlin, I cooked Sauerbraten in Japan for the first time in my life. It was a secret Christmas surprise for my ex at that time, so I couldn’t even ask her how to cook it or to be properly served. After living in Berlin for more than 2 ½ years, I cooked Sauerbraten as how it should be finally. Duck is often served for Christmas in Germany, but Sauerbraten is more popular with some families.

Here is also something that belongs to Bamberg without any hesitation. The beers all come from the same brewery, some unfiltrated lagers, or “U” for short like any local knows. The dish in front is a “Bamberg onion” filled with minced meat plus mashed potatoes and gravy. In the back, there is some red cabbage and dumplings combined with beef roast and dark gravy. Guten Appetit!!

Not the best photo as it was taken through a small plexiglass construction window, but wow, this is a gem of a ghost sign I discovered the other day in the East 40’s, literally in the middle of a city block, uncovered when they recently tore down the building in front of (in back of?) it. It’s hard to figure if that would have been the front door or the back door as it is literally in the middle of the block with buildings all around it. I’m guessing maybe that was the back side at some point, but why such a beautiful hand painted sign on the back? Would love to know the history. It is south of the area of Manhattan that used to be known as Germantown, but the sign almost clearly says “Sauerbraten” on the lower right. 


Sauerbraten Burgers

6 servings

Sauerbraten is the name given to a German pot roast where the meat is marinated in a mixture of vinegar and spices before cooking.  This recipe is a much simpler version that features burgers cooked in a Sauerbraten like gravy.  It makes for an easy and tasty family meal and the burgers turn out to be tender and tasty. 


1 ½ pounds ground beef

1 egg

2 teaspoons onion salt

pinch of thyme



1 cup cold water

1 tablespoon flour

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar


In a bowl mix the beef, egg, onion salt and thyme.  Shape into 6 burgers and fry in a non stick skillet.  Remove the burgers from the pan and drain off the excess fat.

Combine the water with the flour and other ingredients and mix well.  Add to the pan and bring to a boil while stirring from time to time.  Reduce heat and return the burgers to the pan.  Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes or buttered noodles.


You can substitute ground turkey for the beef and adjust the seasonings to your taste.  

Anyone who’s seen the opening battle scene of Saving Private Ryan knows it’s a miracle that we have any pictures of the D-Day invasion at all, because a beach full of trained soldiers getting straight-up blown away is not a safe place for unarmed photographers. But against all conceivable odds (and in direct opposition to the innate human will to survive), we do in fact have photos from right in the thick of that battle – 11 of them, to be precise. And it’s all thanks to preeminent wartime photographer Robert Capa, whose personal mantra was “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.”

Also, we’d have way more than 11 D-Day photographs if it weren’t for a single, bumbling intern.

Capa was among the second wave of troops to hit Omaha Beach. And he was in just as much danger as any of them, because German defenders didn’t give a single loose Sauerbraten shit whether the thing you were pointing at them was a rifle or a telephoto lens. Covered in blood and bits of tattered troops, holding his cameras above water with shaking hands, and protecting his film canisters as if they were his life’s blood, Capa managed to capture 106 insanely close-up images of the invasion. And unlike most of his colleagues, Capa’s actually managed to ensure his film survived the day, because he carried it off the beach his goddamned self.

Problem was, this was long before the Instagram era, when we can watch our images disseminate to the entire world with the flick of a finger. On his return to London, Capa handed his precious rolls of film over to staff members at Life magazine for developing. Said staff members then shrugged and handed the duty off to 15-year-old lab assistant Dennis Banks, who, in the time-honored tradition of 15-year-olds throughout history, fucked everything up instantly.

5 Irreplaceable Cultural Treasures (Destroyed By Stupidity)