🇩🇪 Germany: Rheinischer Sauerbraten mit Kartoffel-Semmel Klößen

This hearty German meal is packed with flavor that has accumulated over multiple days of marination – and the dumplings make sure nothing goes to waste.

“During the holidays, one of my absolute favorite dishes is the Rhinelander Sauerbraten. This dish is a culinary specialty from my home state – North Rhine-Westphalia. Traditionally, my family and I gather around the tree and unwrap presents on Christmas Eve. The next day, we celebrate with this lovingly prepared feast on Christmas Day. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I wish you and your loved ones a happy and safe holiday season!”


🇩🇪 Germany: Rheinischer Sauerbraten with Potato Dumplings

Servings 8 people
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Marinating Time 2 days



  • 4 Cups Red wine
  • 1 Cup Red wine vinegar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 10 Black peppercorns
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 4 Cloves
  • 8 Juniper berries

Potato Dumplings (Kartoffel-Semmel Klöße)

  • 2 lbs Starchy yellow potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold)
  • 0.25 tsp Grated nutmeg
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley chopped
  • 0.5 Cups Butter melted
  • 2 Slices Firm texture white bread cut into ½ inch cubes
  • Salt


  • 3 lb Top round roast or flat iron steak
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Milled pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Clarified butter
  • 2 Carrots sliced
  • 2 Onions chopped
  • 3 Celery Stalks
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 Cup Spiced bread (Lebkuchen) crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 Cup Seedless raisins
  • 2 Tbsp Red currant jelly
  • 2 Apples peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 Tbsp Parsley minced



  • Bring all ingredients of the marinade to a boil. Allow to cool before pouring over the meat.
  • Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 days, turning the beef frequently.

Potato Dumplings (Kartoffel-Semmel Klöße)

  • Bring the unpeeled potatoes to a boil and simmer until tender. Drain and cool. Peel and pass through a potato ricer. Spread the potatoes on a dry dish towel and allow standing uncovered for 30 minutes to keep the dumpling from getting soggy. The towel should absorb as much potato moisture as possible.
  • Mix in the salt, nutmeg, eggs and butter one by one. Sift in the flour for the dough to remain sticky. Sauté bread cubes in clarified butter until golden brown, add to the mixture and knead until a smooth soft dough forms. Wet your hands, shape into balls just slightly larger than golf balls and arrange in a single layer on a wax-paper lined tray. Cook the dumplings in salted boiling water very gently until they rise to the surface.
  • Place dumplings in a warmed deep serving bowl and sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley.


  • Remove the meat from the marinade, drain, pat it dry and rub salt and pepper into it. Reserve the marinade.
  • Heat the meat in clarified butter and sear on all sides, browning well. Add the vegetables and sauté with the meat briefly.
  • Pour over the reserved marinade and stir in the crumbled Lebkuchen and the tomato paste. Bring to boil, cover, and then simmer for about 2 hours in the oven, turning it occasionally. Check the liquid frequently to be sure the roast is cooking in enough marinade, add water gradually.
  • Once it is finished cooking, separate the meat and keep it warm. Strain the sauce, discarding the solids.
  • Return the marinade to the saucepan, add the red currant jelly, apples and ½ cup of raisins and simmer for 7-10 minutes. Taste, the flavor should be sweet and sour. If the gravy is too sour, smooth in 1 to 2 tablespoons of jelly or sugar. Add the rest of the raisins to the sauce a few minutes before serving.
  • Slice the meat, arrange on a warmed serving dish. Smother with the sauce. Pass any extra sauce separately. Serve with the Potato dumplings.


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