This better-than-Sauerbraten German Beef Pot Roast is a family favorite recipe by Alfons Schubeck! It features lots of wine and spice AND is SO GOOD!

German beef pot roast on plate with potato dumplings and red cabbage


About this Recipe

2 slices of Böfflamott German beef roast arranged on a plate with sides

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Before our trip to Germany over Christmas a couple of years ago, I asked my family to please share with me their very favorite recipes. The first person to respond was my uncle Gerd, who texted me pictures from a Bavarian cookbook called ‘Bayerisch Geniessen’ by famous, German chef Alfons Schuhbeck. My mouth started watering immediately and so uncle Gerd’s favorite Böfflamott pot roast recipe quickly found a spot for a blog post. Other recipes my family has shared are Hefepfannkuchen, Kirschmichel und Sauerkrautauflauf.

German beef pot roast pin image

What’s in this Bavarian Beef Roast?

The recipe first asks you to marinate the beef shoulder for 3 to 6 days in a mixture of caramelized sugar and red wine (Affentaler Pinot Noir described below would be a great option!). Then you’ll simmer it in a pot with tomato paste and a bunch of liquids like brandy, the reduced wine marinade, and chicken broth. Then the beef simmers with chopped onion, carrot, and celery root for 3 hours until the meat is tender. In the last 20 minutes, a bunch more spices are added (pepper, allspice, star anise, cinnamon, juniper berries, bay leaf), as well as garlic, citrus peel, and fresh ginger. This results in the most sophisticated, flavorful gravy when straining. Your kitchen will smell delightful and your taste buds will thank you for days!

How is this pot roast different from Sauerbraten?

The beef is traditionally the same cut of beef (shoulder), but there are differences in how it’s prepared. Sauerbraten is marinated in more vinegar and sugar than Böfflamott. It’s then cooked with fewer spices than this version. Böfflamott uses a lot more wine in the recipe than Sauerbraten. Both are guaranteed delicious and if you haven’t tried my Sauerbraten tacos yet (yes, my crazy invention), please give it a go! And if you ever have trouble finding the leaner beef cut of beef shoulder (it doesn’t seem to be as common in the US), you could also use beef chuck instead.

Ingredients for German Beef Pot Roast
Simmering the beef in the braising liquids

What to serve with Böfflamott?

I love serving mine with homemade potato dumplings to soak up that velvety, flavorful gravy and German-style red cabbage! This dish is heaven on a plate and I am so happy I can cook this authentic German roast in the US.

Here are some other sides I love with it!


Pumpkin Spätzle

Semmelknödel (German bread dumplings)

Brezelknödel (pretzel dumplings) 

Potato Dumplings as side for beef roast
Pinot Noir as wine pairing for German beef roast


Böfflamott pairs perfectly with Affentaler’s Pinot Noir – it’s rich and a bit smoky, yet fruity with ripe aromas of cherries and berries. From Germany’s Baden section of Baden-Württemberg, Pinot Noir grows well right along the Rhein river, making it one of the most common red grapes grown in Germany. If you haven’t tried a German Pinot Noir, it’s about time! Check the importer’s website for availability in your area.

My Favorite Tools For This Recipe

More German Beef Recipes You Need To Try

Sauerbraten Tacos recipe by dirndl kitchen

Sauerbraten Tacos

dirndl kitchen glühweinbraten mulled wine roast recipe1


rinderrouladen on plate with spaetzle and roasted carrots


Next Up:

Classic Käsefondue

Up next is a classic recipe that I make several times a year and that is ALWAYS a guaranteed hit especially amongst cheese lovers! Make sure to subscribe to my blog now, so you’re not missing out when my improved Käsefondue recipe goes live.

2 slices of Böfflamott German beef roast arranged on a plate with sides
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5 from 1 vote
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The BEST German Beef Pot Roast (Böfflamott)

This better-than-Sauerbraten German Beef Pot Roast is a family favorite recipe by Alfons Schubeck! It features lots of wine and spice AND is SO GOOD!
Prep Time3 d
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time3 d 4 hrs
Course: Dinner, Entertaining
Cuisine: Bayern, German
Keyword: German beef roast recipe, German Christmas recipe, German Entertaining Recipe, German Holiday Recipe, German Oktoberfest Recipe, German Pot Roast recipe, German roast recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 611kcal



Marinade (3 to 6 days)

  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 bottle red wine Don't use a crappy wine! I love to use the German Affentaler Pinot Noir in this recipe! The smoke and berry notes pair so nicely with this German roast! Malbec, Cab Sauv or Shiraz would work great as well!
  • 3 pounds beef shoulder roast Beef shoulder is less fatty than beef chuck. If you can't find it, you could use beef chuck instead (like I had to).

After Marinating


  • To create the marinade, in a medium-sized pot, let powdered sugar melt and caramelize until light brown. Add in the red wine and bring to a boil over high heat. Let cool completely. Place the beef shoulder in a large container (I used a gallon size freezer bag), pour the wine marinade onto it, and let marinate in your fridge for 3 to 6 days.
    1 Tbsp powdered sugar, 1 bottle red wine, 3 pounds beef shoulder roast
  • Peel the vegetables and cut them into chunks. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry.
    100 grams celery root, 80 grams carrots, 150 grams yellow onion
  • Pour the marinade into a pot and reduce it to a third of the liquid, removing any foam with a skimmer.
  • Add oil in a large pot over medium heat, brown the beef from all sides, then remove it from the pot (mine sprayed hot oil a lot, so make sure to use a splatter guard).
    2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Add the tomato paste to the oil and let brown for 30 seconds to a minute while stirring, then add the cognac, the reduced marinade, and chicken broth.
    1 Tablespoon tomato paste, 20 milliliters cognac, 500 milliliters chicken broth
  • Return the beef to the liquid and add the chopped-up vegetables. Cover with a lid and let roast on the stovetop for 3 to 4 hours at just below boiling (medium simmer), until the meat is tender.
  • 20 minutes before the end of cooking time, add in the allspice, pepper, anise, cinnamon, juniper berries, bay leaf, garlic, ginger, lemon peel, and orange peel.
    ½ teaspoon whole allspice, 2 whole star anise, 1 1 centimeter piece cinnamon stick, 5 whole juniper berries, 1 dried bay leaf, 1 garlic clove, 2 ½ inch slices fresh ginger, 1 2 inch piece lemon peel, 1 2 inch piece orange peel, ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • At the end of the 20 minutes, remove the beef and strain the roasting liquid, maybe returning it to the pot to let reduce some more if still too thin.
  • In a small skillet, caramelize the powdered sugar over medium-high heat, then pour vinegar into the skillet and let boil down until the mixture has a syrup-like consistency.
    2 Tbsp powdered sugar, 50 milliliters red wine vinegar
  • Add butter to the reduced roasting liquid and season to taste with the just-made vinegar mixture, salt, cayenne pepper, and sugar.
    40 grams cold butter, cayenne pepper & sugar to taste
  • If still too thin, thicken by removing a few tablespoons of the sauce, whisking in a little bit (½ tablespoon at a time) of cornstarch, then removing to the sauce and bringing to a boil. Repeat if necessary.
    some cornstarch to thicken
  • Cut the beef into slices and cover in sauce. Serve with potato dumplings to soak up more of that yummy sauce and braised, red cabbage. Guten Appetit!


Calories: 611kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 66g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 185mg | Sodium: 518mg | Potassium: 1196mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2289IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 8mg

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This is a sponsored post by Marussia Beverages. Although I use their product in this post, I would never present you a product I do not adore and don’t love myself! This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may be compensated if you click certain links.