German Beef Pot Roast with Raisins

Sauerbraten auf Rheinischer Art
Course Entree
Servings 4


  • 3 cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • pinch allspice
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch cloves ground or whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 pounds tri-tip beef roast about 2 medium pieces of meat
  • 1/2 white onion cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 carrot cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 stalk celery cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup raisins


  • First, make marinade: Combine vinegar, water, salt, allspice, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf in a large metal roasting pan. Add beef, onion, carrot and celery. If the liquid doesn't cover all the meat, add more vinegar. Cover tightly with plastic and marinate, refrigerated, for 4 to 5 days.
  • Remove meat from marinade. Strain marinade and return it to the pan, reserving vegetables. Place pan over two burners and bring to a boil; skim off any oil that floats to the top.
  • Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Brown meat on all sides over high heat. Remove and set aside. Brown vegetables over medium-high heat. Add tomato paste and lower heat to medium; stir and cook until very dark and caramelized, but don't let it smoke. Add a cup of water and loosen the caramelized tomato paste from the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook the liquid over medium heat, stirring, until it reduces to a sauce. Repeat 3 to 4 more times. (It's a long process, but it's worth it!) Dust pan with flour and stir.
  • Replace meat in pan. Add red wine and water to cover. Bring to a simmer; turn heat to medium-low and let simmer gently for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until meat shreds. Remove meat, place on a platter, cover with foil and place in a warm oven. To finish sauce, push through a fine strainer, and reduce until desired thickness is achieved. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in raisins.
Recipe adapted from Chef Ludger Szmania at SZMANIA's