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German pot roast with cabbage

Last updated on June 18th, 2021 at 11:21 pm

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German Pot Roast [Video]

German Pot Roast and cabbage almost melts in your mouth after being slow-braised in broth, German mustard, brown ale, and spices. Insanely flavorful and perfect for family dinners and celebrations!

Don’t have time for slow cooking? Use your Instant Pot to make Coconut Curry Chicken, Jambalaya, and Balsamic Chicken. These dishes taste like they’ve been simmered the whole day, but take less than an hour!

German Pot Roast and Cabbage Recipe

German Pot Roast is a rustic dish made with seared then slow-braised beef. What makes this recipe so unique is the addition of German mustard and brown ale to the broth, which gives it that trademark tangy richness. Another special element is the cabbage which we add near the end so it gets infused with flavor without getting overcooked. 

And the smells that fill the house during those 4 hours of slow cooking— nostalgic, comforting, and incredibly mouthwatering. This is a well-loved dish in our home, and we’re sure you’ll love it too!

What is German Pot Roast?

Aka Sauerbraten, it’s the German version of the classic pot roast. The rich gravy tastes dark, amazingly complex, and slightly tangy thanks to the brown ale and mustard. Instead of the usual potatoes, thin-shredded cabbage is added during the last hour to braise and absorb all those fantastic flavors. It’s hard to describe just how good it is without tasting it yourself!

What is the difference between a pot roast and a Yankee pot roast?

Both involve slow-braising beef for hours. What makes a Yankee roast different is the inclusion of root veggies like parsnips, turnips, and sweet potatoes in addition to regular spuds and carrots.

What cut of meat is best for sauerbraten?

A well-marbled chuck roast is my top choice for sauerbraten and most pot roasts. It’s perfect for this recipe because the slow braising process breaks down the meat and turns it super tender and juicy. If you can’t find chuck, you can also use brisket, shoulder steak, and round roast.

How to make German Pot Roast from scratch?

  1. Sear. Brown the seasoned chuck on all sides. Aim for a deep brown color with a slightly caramelized crust. Set aside.
  2. Make the braising broth. Sauté the aromatics, paprika, and carrots together, followed by the tomato paste. Pour the brown ale in, and deglaze all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Boil, then simmer for a couple of minutes. Add your mustard, stock, and Worcestershire.
  3. Add the beef back. Place the beef chuck back into the pan with the braising stock, then add the herbs. 
  4. Braise. Cover your Dutch oven, then oven-braise at a low 275F for 4 hours. Uncover and arrange the cabbage on top. Braise for an additional hour, until both the beef and cabbage are tender.
  5. Serve. Slice or shred the beef, sprinkle parsley on top, and serve with the rich gravy. Enjoy hot.

Recipe variations and substitutions:

  • Brown ale substitute: You can use equal amounts of mushroom stock, root beer, beef broth, or coke for an alcohol-free version. If you can’t find brown ale, any dark beer will do.
  • German mustard substitute: You can use brown mustard seed.
  • Include other vegetables: For extra tanginess, try adding pickles to the braise. Mushrooms, cloves, celery, and potatoes are also great additions.
  • Use other beef cuts: Instead of chuck, you can sub with brisket, round beef cuts, or tri-tip.
  • Add bacon: Chop about 5 strips of bacon and sauté along with your aromatics! Adds a delicious, smoky flavor to the dish.

What to serve with German Pot Roast?

It’s perfect over mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, or mashed sweet potatoes. We also love to eat ours with home-baked rolls or crusty bread to wipe up all that delicious gravy! We also recommend eating it over spaetzle (German noodles), egg noodles, or rice. 

How to store leftovers?

Cool the leftovers first, then transfer to a sealed container or freezer bag. You can keep this in the fridge for up to 5 days, but try to finish it ASAP to prevent the veggies from getting soggy. You can also freeze the beef for up to a month.

To reheat, thaw first if heating up from frozen. Microwave until hot, or simmer in the skillet with a bit of broth to loosen up the gravy.

More Beef recipes to try:


Recipe Tips:

  • Choose chuck with the most marbling you can find. Not only will you get extra tender meat, but all that rendered fat will make the gravy so rich and delicious.
  • You can cut the beef into two if it’s too big to fit in your Dutch oven. 
  • Don’t skip the searing! It gives a beautiful, brown color to the beef and brings out all the flavor. 
  • You can chop the cabbage into chunks instead of shredding it into ribbons if you like your vegetables with more bite.

German Pot Roast with Cabbage

  • Prep Time30 MIN
  • Cook Time5H
  • Servings 6 servings


  • 4 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion cut into chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 carrots peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 ounces can tomato paste
  • 1 bottle brown ale
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup German mustard
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 small head of green cabbage cut into ribbons


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Season chuck roast on all sides with salt and pepper.
  • Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add oil, and once hot add the roast and sear it on both sides until nicely browned. Remove roast from pan and set aside.
  • Turn heat to medium and add onion, garlic, paprika, and stir, add the carrot. Sear for 3 minutes, stir in tomato paste, and cook 3 more minutes.
  • Stir in beer, and scrape the pan bottom to “deglaze” it. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and beef stock, return chuck roast to the pan and add thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves. Cover with lid.
  • Place in oven and braise for 4 hours.
  • Top roast with the cabbage and braise for an additional 1 hour or until cabbage has softened and the roast is fork-tender.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve.

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Annie Keane

Annie Keane

Can i do this in an instant pot?

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

Yes, we have a similar recipe for instant pot as well.



I don't like pot roast but my husband does. Decided to give this recipe a try and we both thought it was delicious! Leftovers were just as good. Now I won't mind having this pot roast from time to time. Thanks for the recipe :)



Can a slow cooker / crock pot be used in place of the oven? Oven adds too much heat to house in summer.

Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

yes you can use the crock pot instead. You can use thie recipe as a guide:

Tracy Jackson

Tracy Jackson

This IS the best pot roast I've ever made, and I make a darned good pot roast! I called around town to several pubs to find a gluten free dark ale. (Dinner guest has celiac disease. ) Had authentic German mustard on hand. I followed this recipe exactly; I do that the first time I try a recipe, then I tweak it. This recipe needs no tweaking! Served it over mashed potatoes. Every one loved it so much that this is the only pot roast I make anymore.

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