Venison Sauerbraten

Venison is really best for this old German recipe, but beef is also excellent to use if you don’t know a generous hunter, or don’t have a source for game farm venison. Pork may get a little dry, so stay away from it in this case.


2½ cups beef stock
1½ cups red wine vinegar
1 cup Burgundy wine
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 bay leaves
6 crushed black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 tablespoon juniper berries


4 lb. venison
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup crushed gingersnap cookies
2/3 cup raisins

1. Heat oven to 375°F.

2. In large container, combine beef stock, vinegar, wine, onions, carrots, celery, brown sugar, garlic, salt, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves and berries; stir well. Pierce meat at random with boning knife. Add meat to marinade, covering completely. Place in covered container; marinate in refrigerator 72 hours. (If you marinate less than 72 hours, meat will be tough. If you marinate more than 72 hours, meat will become dry and flavorless.)

3. Remove meat from marinade; wipe dry with clean kitchen towel. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot; brown meat. Transfer meat to Dutch oven. Pour marinade over meat. Bake, covered, 2½ hours or until tender. When meat is done, transfer to dry saucepan. Cover with damp cloth and keep warm.

4. Remove and discard bay leaves. Puree liquid and vegetables in blender. Place in large pot; whisk crushed gingersnaps into liquid, stirring until smooth. Add raisins. Simmer 5 minutes. Cut meat across grain; serve with 2-oz. ladle of sauce per portion.

16 servings.

Preparation time: 72 hours.

Ready to serve: 76 hours.

Per serving: 240 calories, 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 95 mg cholesterol, 315 mg sodium, .75 g fiber

Chef’s Notes

  • You may freeze meat and sauce separately.
  • To reheat cut meat, add to cold sauce and bake 45 minutes at 350°F.

Serve a side dish with your venison. Try Gratin of Delicata Squash and Leeks or Seared Autumn Vegetables.