I had an idea for sauerbraten sandwiches about a year ago and only recently made that happen in real life. In the past I have tried and failed at making proper sauerbraten. Traditionally, sauerbraten is marinated for 3-10 days. It’s amazing! I loooooove sauerbraten, but I wanted to do it in the Instant Pot because if I’m going to fail, at least I won’t spend a week on it! So here is my Instant Pot Sauerbraten Beef that will certainly surprise you for not being marinated. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.
You can follow this recipe and make traditional sauerbraten beef sliced with Sweet and Sour German Red Cabbage and German Spatzle or German Potato Dumplings. Or, you can try what I did, which is to make a pulled sauerbraten sandwich on a pretzel roll with German red cabbage and grainy mustard. It’s delicious either way. I will say, when you make this recipe, it makes a lot of delicious gravy, so you may want to plan accordingly.
What makes this recipe slightly different (and uniquely Philly), is that I use Sweetzels Spiced Wafers instead of ginger snaps. Spiced wafers are similar to ginger snaps, so if you can only find ginger snaps you will be absolutely fine. That’s what sauerbraten is usually made with so feel free to stick with that if you prefer. I just had an idea one day that I wanted to try and make Sauerbraten with Sweetzels spiced wafers and when I tried it out, it really worked out well.
Full disclosure, this recipe for Instant Pot Sauerbraten Beef is not meant to replace your Oma’s. There is nothing like a proper sauerbraten made with love and lots of time. But if you’re in a pinch, I think this recipe will surprise you!
Juniper berries can be hard to find. I managed to get them at Reading Terminal Market along with all the other ingredients. If you can’t find Juniper berries, you can try to omit them. But I think if you CAN make the extra effort to find them (within reason), it’s worth it. And if you have leftover juniper berries you can make Gin!!! woo hooo!
Instant Pot Sauerbraten Beef
- Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker
- Immersion Blender
- 2 sprigs fresh Thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 juniper berries
- 6 whole cloves
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 3-4 lb Beef Rump Roast, cut into 3 big pieces
- 3 Tbsp bacon grease divided
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 inch chunks
- 1 large leek, washed and sliced
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 10 Spiced Wafers or Ginger snaps I used Sweetzels brand Spiced Wafers (PHILLY REPRESENT!!)
- Place the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, juniper berries, cloves and black peppercorns in a cheesecloth bag.
- Generously season the meat with salt and black pepper.
- Set the Instant Pot to "Saute" and add 2 Tbsp of bacon grease. Allow the grease to get hot and then add the rump roast pieces. Brown the meat on all sides. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of the roast pieces.
- Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbsp of bacon grease and add the onions, carrots and leeks, stir often about 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and stir for one more minute.
- Deglaze by adding the red wine and red wine vinegar and using a wooden spoon to scrap up the burnt bits at the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in the beef broth, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and the spice bag prepared earlier.
- Press the "cancel" button to stop the saute function. Return the meat to the pot and put the lid on. Set the Instant Pot to "Meat/Stew" and set for 55 minutes.
- Once the cooking cycle is complete, press "cancel" and let the instant pot naturally release pressure (about 20 minutes).
- Remove the meat from the Instant pot and transfer to a cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pulse spiced wafers or ginger snaps in a food processor until you have crumbs.
- Remove the spice bag from the instant pot. Add in the cookie crumbs.
- Using an immersion blender, blend everything that's in the Instant Pot until smooth. Set the Instant Pot to "Saute" for 5 minutes.
- Slice the meat thinly.
- *Alternatively, you could pull the meat if you want pulled sauerbraten sandwiches.*
- Press the "Cancel" button on the Instant Pot and taste the sauce. Make adjustments if necessary. Some people like to add honey or brown sugar. I don't do that to mine. I think the cookies give it the right amount of sweetness.
- Return the sliced meat to the pot and make sure they are all covered with the sauce. Serve right away or keep it warm in the pot until it's time to serve. (If you are making pulled sauerbraten for sandwiches, just add the gravy to the pulled meat as needed- you will have a lot of gravy left over).
If you make this recipe, let me know how it turned out! If you share on social media, tag me and use #thephillykitchen so I can see your creations!