a balanced plate with room for dessert

Sauerbraten and Spaetzle


I stumbled across this recipe in the October issue of Food Network magazine. I’ve never had sauerbraten or spaetzle before, so I decided to give it a try since I love eating new things. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I made it for myself, Mike and my friend Ashley and I think we all agreed that the meal was not just good, it was wonderful.

Though the recipe was time-consuming, I have no regrets making it. I would suggest that you prep the meat on a Thursday night so that you can cook it Sunday. I prepped it on Friday and made it Monday and between classes and meetings, I was stressed out about this meal! One bite of it completely calmed me down and made me realize that it was worth every minute I put into it, though!

Sauerbraten and Spaetzle

serves 4 – 6

3 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 large onions, cut into large chunks
5 cloves garlic; 3 crushed, 2 chopped
10 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped leaves
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon juniper berries (spice aisle)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1 3-4 pound boneless beef top chuck roast
Kosher salt
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoon crushed gingersnap cookies
Freshly ground pepper
Sour cream and fresh parsley for garnish, optional
Spaetzle, for serving

  1. Combine 2 cups broth, wine, vinegar, 1 chopped onion, crushed garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, juniper berries, peppercorns, and cloves in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Place the beef in a large resealable bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 3 days, turning daily.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove meat from marinade and pat dry. Season with kosher salt on all sides. Strain the marinade, discarding the solids.
  3. Heat a large ovenproof pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the meat and brown on all sides, 10 – 12 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Add carrots, celery and remaining onion to the pot and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped garlic and chopped thyme and cook 1 minute. Sprinkle in flour and cook 2 minutes. Stir in strained marinade and remaining 1 cup beef broth and bring to a simmer.
  4. Return meat to pot, cover and cook in the oven until tender , 2 hours and 3o minutes.
  5. Remove meat and transfer to a plate. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in gingersnaps and simmer until thickened; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Thinly slice the meat and serve with spaetzle, the vegetables, and sauce. Garnish with parsley and sour cream, if desired.


serves 4 – 6

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter; 2 tablespoons melted
Freshly ground pepper
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

  1. Mix flour, eggs, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Gradually stir in up to 1 cup water to make a smooth dough. Beat with a wooden spoon until bubbles form and then stir in melted butter.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Place about 1 cup of dough in a colander with large holes. Using a rubber spatula, push dough through the holes and into the boiling water. Cook for about 1 minute after the spaetzle float to the surface and then transfer with a slotted spoon to another colander. Repeat with remaining dough. Rinse spaetzle with cold water if not serving immediately.
  3. Before serving, sauté the spaetzle in a skillet with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter until warmed through. Season with pepper and garnish with parsley.

Tip: I used a metal colander that was part of my large stock pot to do this. Mike and I found that it was easier to push the dough through a metal colander versus a plastic one. We also used a wooden spoon on the metal since it was sturdier than a rubber spatula.


Author: Jenni

Dietitian by day and Midwest food blogger by night. Lover of whiskey, running, and all things food.

2 thoughts on “Sauerbraten and Spaetzle

  1. Wow, impressive. I would like to try this to impress Bill and Sam. 🙂

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