What is this famous method of cooking meat all about?

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Sauerbraten is an historic treasure of great antiquity. It started as a way to preserve meat. Regrettably in modern times the recipe has been adulterated with commercial materials and mass production techniques.  It is time for a course correction that returns us to the authentic traditional recipes which, in fact taste much better and are just as easy to prepare.

There are many regional traditions to choose from. Pick one and revive this important treasure in one of  its true forms. It will taste good and you will know that you have safeguarded this treasure!

What is the definition? Click here

How did the method originate? Click here

How can you make it at home? A good recipe. Click here

What are the traditional recipes? Click here

Side Dishes, Beverages Click Here

The German kitchen equipment and ingredients Click here

Is there a difference between traditional and adulterated recipes? Click here

Sauerbraten in literature and music Click here

Sour Beef is diseased meat not a recipe click here

Other things click here

Sources Click here


Sauerbraten (German: sauer 'sour' i.e. pickled + Braten, roast meat) is a German pot roast, usually of beef (but other meats such as venison, lamb, mutton, pork, and horse are sometimes used), marinated before cooking in a mixture of vinegar, water, spices and seasonings. Sauerbraten is traditionally served with red cabbage, potato dumplings (Kartoffelklöße), Spätzle, boiled potatoes, or pasta. While many German-style restaurants in America pair potato pancakes with sauerbraten, this is common only in a small part of Germany.

Sauerbraten has been described as one of the national dishes of Germany. Sauerbraten is one of the best known German dishes and several regions boast local versions including: Franconia, Rhineland, Saarland, Silesia, and Swabia. Regional variations of sauerbraten differ in the ingredients of their marinade, gravy, and traditional accompaniments.



[souuhr-braht-n, sou-er-; Ger. zou-uhr-braht-n] Show IPA
a pot roast of beef, marinated before cooking in a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and seasonings.
1885–90, Americanism ;  < German,  equivalent to sauer sour  + Braten  roast


World English Dictionary
sauerbraten  (ˈsaʊəˌbrɑːt ə n, German  ˈzauərˌbraːtən)

beef marinated in vinegar, sugar, and seasonings, and then braised
[German, from sauer sour  + Braten  roast]

-Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition

sau·er·bra·ten   (sourbrätn)

A pot roast of beef marinated in vinegar, water, wine, and spices before being cooked

German : sauer, sour (from Middle High German sr, from Old High German) + Braten, roast meat (from Middle High German brte, edible meat, from Old High German brto; see bhreu- in Indo-European roots)

Encyclopedia Btritanica


In German cuisine, dish of spiced braised beef. A solid cut from the round or rump is marinated for three or four days in red wine and vinegar flavoured with onions, bay leaves, juniper berries, cloves, and peppercorns. After being dried and browned, the beef is braised in the strained marinade. Gingersnap crumbs are often used to thicken the pan juices; in the Rhenish version raisins are also added to the sauce. A buttermilk marinade is sometimes used. Traditional accompaniments to sauerbraten are noodles or potato dumplings.


noun \ˈsa(-ə)r-ˌbrä-tən\

Definition of SAUERBRATEN

: oven-roasted or pot-roasted beef marinated before cooking in vinegar with peppercorns, garlic, onions, and bay leaves


German, from sauer sour + Braten roast meat
First Known Use: 1889


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The recipe is essentially a means of preservation- a technique.

From Wikipedia


Sauerbraten was originally made with horse meat but today it is almost always made with beef The town of Eschweiler, Germany has a long horse butcher tradition, and sauerbraten is one of its culinary specialities.

Several sources believe sauerbraten was invented by Charlemagne in the ninth century AD as a means of using leftover roasted meat. Saint Albertus Magnus, also known as Saint Albert the Great and Albert of Cologne, is also credited with popularizing the dish in the thirteenth century. Julius Caesar has been assigned a role in the inspiration for sauerbraten as he purportedly sent amphoras filled with beef marinated in wine over the Alps to the newly founded Roman colony of Cologne. According to this legend, this inspired the residents of Cologne to imitate the Roman import. While quite common, these claims are largely unsubstantiated.

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A Traditional Recipe for Home Use

Side dishes, beverages

Potato Dumplings (Klosse)        Geen Beans- Grune Bohnen 

Semmeln    Dessert

From Wikipedia

While sauerbraten is most traditionally eaten with beer, it does pair well with the following wine varietals: Burgundy, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Shiraz.

Editor notes: If beer a German Style dark beer not starkbier but a dunkle. If soft drink- a hearty pulpy cider

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Hammerl, Traugott, Norddeutsches Kochbuch für die herrschaftliche, 1898.m pp.81-82

-Farmer, Fannie, Merritt, Original 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, 1897, p.258.


1⁄4lRotwein, trocken
2 Orange(n)
2 Zwiebel(n)
1 Apfel / Äpfel
1 Zimtstange(n)
2 Lorbeerblatt (-blätter)
10 Pfefferkörner
3 Pimentkorn (-körner)
5 Wachholderbeere(n)
  Balsamico, rot
2 Nelke(n)

von Helmut Gote: "Hasenrücken mit Kartoffel-Sellerie-Püree und Rotkohl".

Tipp: Wenn man mehr Rotkraut hat, als man verarbeiten kann (es gab mal wieder nur große Köpfe), dann kann man auch mehr vorbereiten und was zuviel (nach dem Tag ziehen lassen und vor der Weiterverarbeitung) ist portionsweise einfrieren. 


Vom Rotkohl die äußeren Blätter entfernen. Den Kopf vierteln und den Strunk heraustrennen. Die Viertel nochmals längs halbieren und dann den Kohl in feine Streifen hobeln.

Für den Sud die Orangen auspressen (es sollte genausoviel Saft ergeben, wie der Rotwein). Die Schale von der Hälfte der Orangen mit einem Sparschäler abschälen oder Zesten ziehen. Die Orangenschale mit den Lorbeerblättern, der Zimtstange, den angestoßenen Pfeffer- und Pimentkörnern, den angedrückten Wacholderbeeren und den Nelken in einen Teefiltersäckchen geben und zuknoten.

Ein Drittel des Zuckers in einem Topf bei mittlerer Hitze goldgelb karamelisieren lassen. Mit dem Orangensaft sowie dem Port- und Rotwein ablöschen. Gewürsäckchen hineingeben und alles aufkochen lassen. Den kochend heißen Sud über den gehobelten Rotkohl gießen und über Nacht darin ziehen lassen. Ab und zu nochmal kräftig durchrühren, damit auch wirklich alles gut mit dem Sud durchziehen kann.

Am nächsten Tag den Sud wieder abgießen und mit dem Gewürzsäckchen im offenen Topf auf die Hälfte einkochen lassen..

In der Zwischenzeit die Zwiebel in feine Streifen schneiden und den Apfel entkernen und fein würfeln. In einem großen Topf den restlichen (2/3) Zucker im Gänseschmalz goldgelb karamellig anbraten. Dann die Zwiebeln darin andünsten. Nun die Apfelwürfel hinzugeben und dann den Rotkohl nach und nach darin anschmoren (bis alles drin ist). Salzen und pfeffern und 20 Minuten mit dem Deckel drauf dünsten. Dann die erste Hälfte des eingekochten Suds zugießen, nochmals 20 Minuten schmoren, den restlichen Sud dazu, und noch mal 20 Minuten. Dann sollte kaum noch Flüssigkeit im Topf sein. Nun den Rotkohl noch mit etwas rotem Balsamico sowie Salz und Pfeffer abschmecken. Vor dem Servieren das Gewürzsäckchen entfernen.

German Red Cabbage

Prep Time: 1 Hour
20 servings

From: Chef Louis Jesowshek. 


4 heads red cabbage

8 ounces red wine vinegar

1 and 1/2 cinnamon sticks

1 cup bacon fat or vegetable oil

3 red onions, diced

1 tbsp caraway seeds

1 cup black raisins

1 (48-ounce) jar applesauce

1 (12-ounce) jar black currant jelly

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup red wine

salt and black pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.The evening before cooking, slice cabbage “coleslaw style” and sprinkle with red wine vinegar.  Make sure that vinegar is well blended into the cabbage. This will set the beautiful red color of the cabbage. Place in a plastic or stainless steel pan along with cinnamon sticks. Cover and refrigerate overnight. When ready to cook, heat bacon fat in a large braising-style pot. Add onions and saute 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cinnamon sticks and add cabbage to the pot. Once cabbage begins to wilt, add caraway seeds, raisins and applesauce then blend well into the cabbage mixture, stirring constantly to avoid scorching. Once the mixture is wilted to about half volume, add currant jelly, blending well. Mix cornstarch with red wine to dissolve and add to the cabbage mixture. This will thicken the excess liquid into a nice glaze. Season to taste using salt and pepper. Remove from the pot and place in a large baking pan. Cover the pan loosely with baking or parchment paper and bake 30 minutes or until cabbage is tender, stirring once or twice. Over-cooking the cabbage will result in a brown, unsightly dish. It is important to retain the beautiful red look. This dish can be served as a perfect vegetable side dish or as is traditional in Germany, under Christmas goose or alongside wild game.

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Potato Dumplings-Klosse

- Owens, Frances Emugene, Mrs. Owens' cook book and useful household hints, 1884, p.132.

Potato Dumplings (Klosse in German).—Pass a pound of cold potatoes through a sieve, mix them with two ounces of flour, four yolks and two whites of eggs, pepper, salt, nutmeg, and a dash of sugar. Knead all well together, shape them like turkeys' eggs, and drop them into boiling salt and water. In ten minutes they are ready, and make an agreeable garnish.
-Dallas, Eneas Sweetland, Kettner's Book of the Table, 1877, p.360.


Boil about two quarts potatoes the day before you wish to use them. Next morning peel and grate them. Add four or five grated soda biscuits, two eggs, and mix with just sufficient flour to prevent them from sticking to hand. Form into balls, any size you desire, and boil in salted boiling water until they rise to the surface, which should be in about fifteen minutes. Skim from water, and, after neatly placing on platter, cover with browned bread dices same as the Spetzele. These are very nice when eaten with liver and bacon or beef a la mode; also with sauer kraut, and are also nice for breakfast or lunch fried as above directed for Spetzele.

-Hoffman, Emilie, Table Talk, Volume 6, 1891, p.472

-Brunn, Therese, Würzburger Kochbuch, 1862, p.24.

-Schreyer, Woldemar, German American Cookbook, 1897, p.193..

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Semmeln- No soft crusts allowed, totally wrong, NEVER!

Kaiser Semmeln

Real Kaiser Rolls. These must have a crisp crust. No other will ever do!

For sponge

2 cups of boiled water

1 cake of compressed yeast (1 tbsp. dried)

1 teaspoonful of salt

1/4 cup of lukewarm water

Between 6 and 7 cups of flour

About 3/4 cup of flour

White of 1 egg or less

Soften the yeast in the 1/4 cup lukewarm water, mix thoroughly, then stir in the flour; knead the little ball of dough until it is smooth and elastic. Make a deep cut across the dough in both directions (see illustration page 297). Have the boiled water cooled to a lukewarm temperature and into this put the ball of dough. It will sink to the bottom of the dish, but will gradually rise as it becomes light. In about fifteen minutes it will float upon the water, a light, puffy "sponge." Into this water and sponge stir the salt and between six and seven cups of flour. Knead or pound the dough about twenty minutes. Let rise in a temperature of about 70 deg F., until the mass is doubled in bulk. Divide into pieces weighing about three ounces each (there should be about fourteen pieces). Shape these into balls. When all are shaped, with a sharp knife cut down into each, to make five divisions. Set the balls into buttered tins, some distance apart, brush over the tops generously with melted butter, and set to bake at once in a hot oven. Bake twenty or twenty-five minutes. When nearly baked, brush over with the beaten white of an egg, and return to the oven to finish baking. Bake the biscuit

as soon as they are cut and brushed with butter. Only by this means can the shape and fine texture of this form of bread be secured. This recipe is said, by those who have eaten the bread in Vienna, to give a near approach to this justly famous Vienna bread. The Hungarian wheat used in Vienna makes a difference in flavor, which cannot be exactly duplicated in this country.

-Chase, Alvin, Wood, Deutsche Ausgabe Von Dr. Chase's drittem, letzten
und vollständigem recept-buch und haus-arzt, 1887.

Semmel Rolls


5 1/2 cups bread flour ( divided, you may not need all of the flour)

1/4 ounce dry yeast ( approx 2 1/2 tsp)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups warm water ( 105-110 degrees)

1 teaspoon malt extract or 1 teaspoon unsulphered molasses

1 eggs

1 egg whites

1 tablespoon shortening

cornmeal, for dusting


  1. Measure 4 1/2 cups of flour into a mixer bowl.
  2. Add the yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir to blend well.
  3. Pour in the warm water and malt extract.
  4. Mix for 1 minute with a flat paddle beater until a smooth and heavy batter forms.
  5. Add the egg, egg white, and shortening.
  6. Beat together until the mixture is smooth.
  7. Switch to dough hook.
  8. Add remaining flour if needed-- 1/4 cup at a time -- until the dough is on the softer side of firm. You want it to clear the side of the mixer bowl without sticking.
  9. Knead the dough with dough hook for 8-10 minutes.


  1. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm place until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
  2. Uncover the bowl and punch down the dough with your fingers tips.
  3. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to double in volume again, about 45 minutes.
  4. Place the dough on work surface and loosely roll it into a 12-inch long cylinder.
  5. With a sharp knife cut into 12 equal pieces and shape the pieces into smooth balls.
  6. Cover loosely and allow to relax for 5 minutes.
  7. Flatten each roll with your hand to about 1/2 inch thick.
  8. Dust lightly with cornmeal.
  9. With the handle of a wooden spoon or similar object, press a deep indentation into the top of each roll almost like you were using the side of your hand to split the rolls in 2 halves. Press firmly and deeply, almost to the bottom. As each roll is shaped, place it face down on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
  10. Cover the rolls with a lint free towel or loose plastic wrap and let them rise an additional 40 minutes at room temperature. They will be slightly less than doubled.
  11. In the meantime, prepare the oven by placing a pan on the bottom oven rack. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  12. Five minutes before the rolls are to go into the oven, pour 1 cup of hot water in the pan to form steam and provide a moist environment for the rolls. Be sure to use Hot water.
  13. Uncover the rolls, carefully turn them right side up, and spritz lightly with an atomizer of water.
  14. Place the pan of rolls on the middle shelf of the hot oven.
  15. After three minutes lightly spritz the oven walls with water.
  16. Midway through the bake period turn the sheet around so that the rolls bake evenly. They are done when crispy brown all over, in about 20-25 minutes.
  17. Remove the rolls from the oven and cool on cooling rack.

-Hahn, Gebruder, Vollständiges Hannöverisches Kochbuch, 1808,, p.179.

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Green Beans Grune Bohnen  

These are really good fresh but guaranteed terrible if taken from a can. Sit down a few people for a few hours and clean and chop beans- put them in cold water and they will be fine then invest some time on a really good traditional sauce. So many green bean sauces why go plain?

-Bielfeld, A., Vollständiges rheinisches Kochbuch, 1840,  p,41.

-Schaefer, Luise, Die vollkommene Köchin; oder, Neues schwäbisches Kochbuch, 1838.

Boiled Snap Beans (german Fashion). — String them and with a sharp knife cut in fine crosswise slices enough to make three pints; add a minced onion size of a walnut, boil till very tender, add a tablespoonful of flour and butter rubbed together to the liquor in which they were boiled (they are not drained), salt and pepper to taste and two tablespoonfuls rich sweet cream. They are boiled an hour and a half, and are delicious.

Boiled Snap Beans. — Another way. To two pounds of fresh beef, boiled until half done, add three pints of snap beans in inch lengths, a small carrot cut into dice, and a sprig of summer savory. Boil till very tender, add a tablespoonful of flour mixed with two tablespoonfuls of sweet cream, let simmer a few minutes, and serve, after adding salt and pepper to taste.

- Ingals, J.F., Ingall's Home and Art magazine, Vol. 3, 1890, p.410.

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Dessert Recipes
There are lots of sweet desserts which tend to be served with Sauerbraten- German Chocolate Cake, Black Forrest Cake. I find these too sweet  and rich. They do not continue the spice and aromatic nature of the Sauerbraten. It is as if they smother it in sweetness bringing the eating experience to a halt. So I would tend toward the aromatic desserts. Follow those up with a good herbal schnaps such as Yaegermeister. Here are some ideas-all traditional.

German Spice Cake
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
teaspoon salt
1 4/4 cups flour
Cream butter and sugar; add milk gradually, then salt, egg, flour with baking powder. Cover top lightly with sugar and cinnamon. Bake in shallow pan, fifteen or twenty minutes. A simple little cake quickly made; nice to eat warm.

-River Forest Women's Club, The Book of a Thousand Recipes, 1912.p.179.


- Vollmer, William, The United States Cook Book, 1874. , p.156.

-Bimbach, Juilie,  Kochbüchlein für die Puppenküche, 1859, p.50.

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Historically Correct Traditional Recipes

Historically Correct?
General Process
Mrs. Beeton
Germans in America 1879
Praktisches Kochbuch für die gewöhnliche
 und feinere Küche, 1897
Neudecker, 1835 Jungius 1864 Emma Meier, 1898 Davidis, Henrietta, Die Hausfrau, 1870

Rheinischer Sauerbraten


German American Cookbook, 1897

Why it is important to be "historically correct".
Traditions and recipes, including correct processes and ingredients are treasures which require time,  effort energy and attention to detail. Convenience and expense both in  terms of finances and labor do not enter into the equation. For holiday cookery especially cookery is a religious sacrifice.  Close adherence to the oldest traditions is important. Declaring that whatever you happen to choose to do is "traditional" is incorrect. Your DNA and ancestry do not enter in to it. Food ways are learned and handed down.  The challenge is not to break the chain for convenience but to make the sacrifice and investment of protecting and passing on the treasures.  What you do can be your contemporary or recent tradition but it is not for example "traditionally German" or traditionally "ethnic". To call something modern or American "German" or "traditional" is lying.

At times ingredients or equipment may not be available. These temporary adaptations are often perpetuated. Because of this tendency of recipes and practices to drift.  Maintenance of the tradition requires occasional monitoring, research and correction back to the traditional methods and recipes. Course correction insures  that we are indeed preserving and transporting a legacy from generation to geneation. This is no doubt harder work and often more costly than simply proceeding with adulterated practices and recipes however, the extra work and expense is required . Preservation of food ways is priceless. By excavating the original recipes from ancient texts we can help to make this process possible. This does not mean that there can not be variation, but, only that it is historical variation often based upon regional traditions that are worthy of revival and preservation.

The General Process from Wikipedia


A solid cut from the bottom round[ or rump is marinated for three or four days, or as many as 10, before cooking.

Red wine vinegar, wine, and/or water typically forms the basis of the marinade, which also includes earthy aromatic spices such as peppercorns, juniper berries, cloves, nutmeg, and bay leaves and less commonly coriander, mustard seed, cinnamon, mace, ginger, and thyme. The marinade may also include vegetables such as onions, celery, and carrots. The acidic marinade helps tenderize the meat (which is typically a tougher cut) before it cooks. Buttermilk is also used as a marinade in certain regional varieties.

It is frequently advised to marinate the meat in an earthenware, glass, plastic, or enamel container rather than one made of metal, so the acidic marinade does not react with the vessel during the extended marinating process.

After the meat is removed from the marinade and dried, it is first browned in oil or lard and then braised with the strained marinade in a covered dish in a medium oven or on the stovetop. After simmering for four hours or more, depending on the size of the roast, the marinade will continue to flavor the roast, and as the meat cooks, its juices will also be released resulting in a very tender roast.

After the roast is cooked, the marinade is strained and returned to a saucepan where it is thickened (often with crushed gingerbread, lebkuchen, or gingersnaps, flour, sour cream, brown sugar, and/or roux) which brings both body and flavor to the sauce. Before it closed its doors in 1982, Luchow's famous German restaurant in New York City used crushed gingersnap cookies to season and thicken the gravy of its sauerbraten, one of the favored dishes. This style was made popular in the U.S. after the publication of “Luchow's German Cookbook: The Story and the Favorite Dishes of America's Most Famous German Restaurant” by Jan Mitchell in 1952. In the popular Rhineland version (Rheinischer Sauerbraten), sugar beet syrup and raisins are added to the gravy to give the dish some countering sweetness.

Venison or other game are often prepared as sauerbraten as the spices and vinegar take away the "wild" taste of the meat.

Sauerbraten can be made with any of kind of roasting meat.

Mrs Beeton 2935.-SAUERBRATEN. (Sour Roast.)

Note: an English source but a 19th century one.

 Ingredients-- 5 to 6 lbs. of the inside fillet of the sirloin or of the rump of good fat beef, 1 quart of beer vinegar or mild vinegar, 4 bay leaves, 2 nutmegs, 2 oz. of butter, 2 oz. of suet, 1 dessertspoonful of flour, salt, pepper, ground cloves, 2 small carrots, 3 or 4 good-sized onions, a piece of the crust of brown bread, and a small cupful of fresh cream.

Mode.—Wash the meat, lay it in the vinegar boiled with the bay leaves and grated nutmegs; keep in a cool place for 3 to 4 days in summer, and 8 to 10 in winter, frequently turning it with a wooden fork. Before cooking, lard with lardoons dipped in a mixture of salt, pepper and ground cloves. Scatter a little salt over the meat, and brown in a stewpan with the butter and suet, adding the flour. When a golden brown, pour in sideways sufficient boiling water to cover the meat. Cover up the pot, and in a few minutes add the carrots, onions and brown bread. Cover the pot again, weighting the cover, and let the whole simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, adding the cream half an hour before serving. Take out the meat, put it in a hot plate in the oven, whilst the gravy is prepared. Thicken the gravy with flour, or thin with water or milk if too sour, according to necessity; pass through a sieve, bring to a boil, pour a little over the meat, and serve the rest up in a sauce-boat.

Time 2 1/4 to 2 3/4  hours. Average Cost. 15. 4d. per lb.

Sufficient for 10 persons.

Seasonable at any time.

--Beeton, Isabella, The Book of Household Management, 1888, p.1291.


Take a solid piece of meat, say about five or six pounds, put it in a deep earthen jar and pour enough boiling vinegar over it to cover it; you may take one-third water. Add to the vinegar when boiling four bay leaves, some whole peppercorns, cloves and whole mace. Pour this over the meat and turn it daily. In summer three or four days is the longest time allowed for the meat to remain in this pickle; but in winter eight or ten days is not too long. When ready to boil, heat some nice poultry drippings in a stew pan. Cut up one or two onions in it; stew until tender and then put in the beef, salting it on both sides before stewing. Stew closely covered and if not acid enough add some of the brine it was pickled in. Stew about three hours and thicken the gravy with flour.

-Kramer, Bertha,F, Aunt Babettte's Cook Book, 1889  p.62.

Sauerbraten (Pickled Beef).—A piece of beef must be placed in a deep vessel and a cupful of vinegar poured over it, and it must remain soaking for three days, turned and basted daily, after which it must be wiped quite dry. Cut fat bacon in narrowish strips and season well with salt, pepper, and pounded cloves. Make holes in the meat with a large skewer and put in the pieces of bacon. Melt some butter in a stewpan just large enough to hold the beef, lay it in, and place it over a quick fire, letting the steam escape to hasten the browning; dredge with flour and turn as soon as one side is browned. Then add a pint of hot stock, a couple of carrots quartered lengthwise, a large onion sliced, two bay leaves, a teaspoonful of whole pepper, a little mace, a piece of lemon peel, and some salt. Cover closely and let all steam together for two and a half to three hours, adding a little salt now and then. When it is done, take it up and keep hot, skim the fat off and strain the gravy. Garnish the dish with the carrots and add either lemon or vinegar to the gravy. Thicken with flour and boil up. Pour some of the gravy over the meat and send some to table in a sauce boat.

-DeSalis, Mrs., (harriet Anne,The Housewife's Referee, 1898,p.148

Germans in America Cook Book 1879

-Davidis, Heennette, Koch-Buch fur die Deutschen in Amerika, 1879, pp.77-78.

Praktisches Kochbuch für die gewöhnliche und feinere Küche, 1897

-pp. 140-141.

-Davidis, Henriette, Praktisches Kochbuch für die gewöhnliche und feinere Küche, 1897, pp 626-7.

Neudecker, 1835

- Neudecker, Maria, A.,
Die Baierische Köchin in Böhmen als Hausfrau und Wirtschafterin, 1835.

Jungius 1864

 -Jungius, L.F.,
Deutsches Kochbuch für bürgerliche Haushaltungen, 1864, p.88.

Emma Meier, 1898

 -Meier, Emma, Die moderne Küche, 1898., pp.123-124.

Davidis, Henrietta, Die Hausfrau, 1870

-Davidis, Henrietta, Die Hausfrau, 1870, p. 353-4.

Rheinischer Sauerbraten   (Rhineland Sauerbraten)

The Rhineland Sauerbraten is served with a sweet-sour sauce which has raisins.

1 cup Red Wine Vinegar
1 1/2 cups Water
1/2 teaspoon Black Peppercorns
2 Cloves
5 Juniper Berries
2 Bay Leaves
2 lb Beef Roast (boneless)
4-5 slices Bacon, minced
2 Onions, coarsely chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
1 Celery Stick, chopped
4 tablespoons Oil
Freshly Ground Pepper
3-4 Lebkuchen
1/2 cup Red Wine
3/4 cup Raisins
Apple Butter, Apple Juice, or Red Current Jelly, to taste

Add water and red wine vinegar to a pot. Bring to a boil. Grind down peppercorns, cloves, and juniper berries slightly. Add this, as well as the bay leaves to the boiling liquid. Cook for 2 more minutes, then remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place the beef roast in a medium-sized bowl. Pour the cooled red wine vinegar mixture over the beef, so that the beef is completely covered in liquid. Cover meat tightly and refrigerate for 3 days, rotating meat daily.

To cook the meat, begin by heating oil in a roasting pot. Add bacon and cook until much of the fat has been rendered.

Remove the beef from the marinade. Pat the meat dry with a cloth or some papertowels. Season meat with salt and pepper. Place meat in the roasting pot and sear each side. Add vegetables to the pot with the meat and allow them cook with the meat.

Pour the marinade through a strainer into a pot. Heat marinade to a boil.

Add about 1 cup of the hot marinade to the meat along with the Lebkuchen. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and cook the meat for 2 hours. About half way through the cooking, add the red wine.

Once the meat is finished cooking, remove the meat from the pot. Cover and keep warm. Pour the liquid and vegetables from the pot through a strainer into a bowl or pot. Return the liquid to the original pot. Mix in raisins and allow the sauce to cook down, until it is thicker. Season with salt, pepper, and optionally the apple sauce or red current jelly.

Slice the Sauerbraten and serve with the sauce.


3 lb Beef Roast (boneless)
3 cups Water
2 Onions, chopped
1 Carrot, chopped
8 Juniper Berries
5 Whole Allspice Berries (aka Pimento and Jamaica Pepper)*
10 Peppercorns
2 Bay Leaves
4 Cloves
1 tablespoon Salt
1 tablespoon Sugar
2 cups Vinegar (traditionally Red Wine Vinegar is used)
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1 slice of Bread (choose a dark bread, like Schwarzbrot)

* If you can't find the whole allspice berries, you can substitute it with 1/2 teaspoon ground (powdered) allspice.

Add water and vinegar to a pot. Add vegetables, spices, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and cool completely.

Place the beef roast in a medium-sized bowl. Pour the cooled marinade over the beef, so that the beef is completely covered in liquid. Cover meat tightly and refrigerate for 3 days, rotating meat daily.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

To cook the meat, begin by melting the butter in a roasting pot. Remove the beef from the marinade. Pat the meat dry with a cloth or some papertowels. Season meat with salt and pepper. Place meat in the roasting pot and sear each side.

Pour the marinade through a strainer into a pot. Reserve liquid. Add vegetables (now in the strainer) to the roasting pot. Add the tomato paste to the roasting pot. Add half of the marinade to the pot and mix to dissolve the tomato paste.

Cover the pot and cook meat in the oven for 2 hours. During this time, turn the meat and baste the meat with the liquid in the pot occasionally. After 1 hour of cooking time, add the bread slice to the liquid in the pot.

Once the meat is finished cooking, remove the meat from the pot. Cover and keep warm. Pour the liquid and vegetables from the pot through a strainer into a bowl or pot. Return the liquid to the original pot and mix in the sour cream. Season with sauce with salt and pepper.

Slice the Sauerbraten and serve immediately with the sauce.

German American Cookbook, 1897

-Schreyer, Woldemar, German American Cookbook, 1897, p.85.
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The German Kitchen Equipment and Spices

From Wikipedia
Sauerbraten seasonings are available in pre-made packets from Unilever as Knorr Sauerbraten (Pot Roast) recipe mix[ and from Alba Gewürze GmbH & Co. KG.

Mrs. Beeton on German Cookery
(Image on left)
Note: An English source but a 19th century one.



2915. Cookery in Germany. —In these days the facilities offered for travelling are so great that visiting the continent comes within the reach of many of us. Indeed, Germany, France, Italy and other countries, formerly unknown quantities to most of us, are now familiar, and the inhabitants of those lands mix so freely with us that we cannot but acquire some of their habits and customs. Amongst the many subjects that claim our attention in foreign countries there is one which cannot fail to interest us wherever we may be, namely, cooking.

The cookery books of the present day teem with foreign recipes, but unfortunately, unless, indeed, in larger establishments, but few of them are ever tried, our English cooks adhering obstinately to their own manner of preparing dishes, and mistresses, after a slight struggle or two, giving up the matter in despair. Prepared food we all must have, but how great is the difference in the preparation we well know.

Many of us on first going abroad find fault with most of the dishes set before us, often declining this thing or that, without so much as tasting it, simply because it is cooked in a manner different from that to which we have been accustomed. Many a delicious morsel has thus been cast aside, which later on is frequently much appreciated by the very individual who rejected it at first. The best course is to make a point of tasting everything offered to one, and with unprejudiced mind and palate to select the best, find out how the dish is prepared, and try it in one's own home. One thing is certain, that in England cookery in general offers comparatively little variety, and in these days of internationalism we should do well to learn from our foreign neighbours.

2916. Variety of Dishes.—A great contrast is offered to our own in every-day German cookery, for example. Here the soups, roasts, made dishes, salads, game, sweets and cakes, are endless in number and variety. Doubtless there are many dishes, for the goodness of which I can vouch however, which might never find attraction for the British palate. Snail soup, for instance though not made, be it remarked by the way, from the ordinary snail so common amongst us, but from a peculiarly large, white snail, carefully fattened on flour— might not become a special weakness of ours. Nor might we even become enchanted with the thighs of frogs—a dish generally solely accredited to the French—so delicately prepared and served up in a dainty sauce of a bright golden colour; but English people living in Germany soon take kindly to the nutritious food of the country.

The knowledge of cookery runs through all classes, and is an essential part of a girl's education. German ladies not only give their morning orders to their cook, but supervise personally the preparation of the family meal. Without necessarily themselves putting a hand to the actual cooking, they are careful to watch that ingredients are rightly and properly mixed, and that stove and oven are of the right temperature.

Our acquaintance with these facts makes us often in England regard the Hausfrau as a sort of upper housekeeper, but this is a great mistake, as her extensive knowledge of cookery is only a part of a thorough general education.

2917. A. German housewife cannot be the dupe of her cook through ignorance. A cook is quick indeed to find out whether her mistress is simply capable of giving an order to send up some sort of game or fish, adding, "with the right sort of sauce, you know," or whether she knows all about the preparation of the desired article, and quick indeed also is the said cook to take advantage of any ignorance displayed.

There is one thing certainly which may, perhaps, account in some degree for the German mistress having her cook under close supervision. The great majority of families belonging to the middle class in Germany, even those who may be termed wealthy, live in flats, and consequently have no stairs by which to descend to underground kitchens, or to climb back to their apartments.

In the very highest class, daughters take their turn, week about, in superintending the management, thus learning housekeeping and cooking from early youth, and in the lower class also few indeed are the workmen engaged in outdoor employment whose wives do not prepare for them at least a nutritious, hot soup, consisting, it may be, only of vegetables, peas, lentils and the like, but so carefully seasoned with herbs, pepper and salt, all so perfectly blended together that it might satisfy the tastes of the most fastidious, and a dish of smoking potatoes, these latter, too, fragrantly perfumed with delicately-shred onions, fried gold brown in a little butter, bacon fat, or oil.

2918. Germans, Veiny much earlier risers than ourselves, break their fast at a far earlier hour, six o'clock being no uncommon time in private families for the first meal, which, however, is not set out with the same care and attention to appearances as our breakfast. The cloth is often laid without either plates or knives and forks, a bread tray full of hot rolls, and the steaming coffee-pot and jug of milk, with a sugar box—literally a box, either in silver or japanned—forming all its decoration. To this meal the family seldom sit down together, each member partaking of it as he or she makes his or her first appearance.

About ten o'clock there is a sort of snatch repast; in the summer consisting frequently of fruit only, in the winter of cakes or sweetmeats.

Then comes the equivalent of our luncheon, or early dinner, either at twelve or one o'clock, called the midday meal or mittagessen. This is the heaviest meal of the day, and consists in the ordinary every-day course of soup, bouilli flanked with all kinds of good pickles and sauces made at home, a roast of some kind, two vegetables and a sweet.

Next follows the four o'clock coffee, at which uninvited guests constantly tumble in; hence, perhaps, its familiar term caffteklatscht, or coffee gossip. At this meal substantial cakes are generally in abundance, and here let me note a difference between Germans and ourselves.

2919. German Cakes.—In these days Englishwomen who do not employ professed cooks often buy their cakes, not to mention pastry, at the pastrycook's or grocer's. In Germany, every household makes, or can make, its own plain cakes and rich cakes, bread tarts and foam tarts—the foam being a com Dination of white of egg and sifted sugar—as well as open tarts, not made with preserve as ours are, but of the lightest dough rolled out and cut into long or round shapes and thickly overlaid with fresh fruit, sprinkled with sugar and currants, none of the juice of the fruit being lost, but permeating the crust and making it most appetising.

2920. Supper.—Half-past seven or eight is the hour of supper, or tuukUssrt. served hot or cold according to the season of the year. In the summer-time in Southern Germany it often consists of so-called " thick milk" only.

The milk is taken fresh from the cow, and, being placed in large stone jars carried to the cellar. Here it is carefully watched day by day, say for three or four days, and then taken forth quite solid. The mass of cream, often two inches thick, is removed from the top of the jar, placed in a tureen, made quite smooth with a wooden spoon then the milk broken up and added spoonful by spoonful until the whole is perfectly smooth. This is served up with grated bread-crumbs, powdered sugar and cinnamon, and is really most delicious.

In winter the suppers are heavier; often hot soup, wurst of course, varying from the ordinary pork sausage, to every kind of delicate brawn, galantine, liver pate, and tiny sausage, made for the most part at home.

2921. Late dinners are not customary in the Fatherland, that is to say invitations are issued for a supper, but there is in reality very little difference either in the hour or arrangements of the table. Frequently, however—a fact which would shock many an English mind—tea and cakes make the first course, with cold viands, upon which follow varieties of hot entrees and sweets, and this in the very highest circles also.

With regard to the table arrangements, there is but little difference between the two countries, the supper-table being laid out very much as our own dinnertables are, decorated with flowers and shining glass and plate. In the matter of carving we do not resemble the Germans. In the Fatherland, either en famille or at small parties, the master of the house cuts up the whole of the joint that is set before him, upon which it is handed round the table. Poultry, too, is dissected in the same way and handed round, and it is a common thing for the daughters of the house to wait on the guests at one side of the table, whilst the parlour-maid
or footman waits at the other.  At larger parties as with us , the carving is done at the sideboard or in the kitchen.

2922. A German kitchen is a picture of cleanliness, with its large, shining stove, and its rows of glowing copper, tinned and enamelled vessels ranged in perfect order and flanked by a host of wooden spoons, colanders, egg-poachers and the like. German cooks are scrupulously attentive to the cleansing of their vegetables, frequently using a large tub of water in washing a lettuce.

With all their predilection for cake making, Germans seldom make bread at home. How well German bakers perform their task is proved by the fact that hundreds of them are employed in London, and none of us who have lived in Germany are ignorant of the variety of brown bread and white, and rolls of every complexion. Still, maybe it has been reserved to the few to taste the Commissbrod or black soldiers' bread, baked in huge round loaves, their surface shining in blackness. A little of it goes a long way, but it is not positively nasty. The best way to try it is to cut it into the thinnest of slices, which may be interlarded between white bread and butter.

2923. Contrasting German with English cookery, perhaps one of the greatest differences between the two consists in the more constant use of seasoning of every description employed in the former. We mean seasoning principally with fresh or dried herbs of all kinds. In fact, many of the meats and vegetables which we at home look upon as ready for the table, would be considered in Germany to be only half-prepared. For example, all that we deem necessary is to shake salt over a joint and let the fire do the rest. What can be better than a joint of English prime roast beef, if roasted? But in our time the greater part of the meat is not roasted, but baked, and consequently loses a good deal of its flavour. This, scientific seasoning would more than compensate for.

Possibly the fact of foreign beef and mutton being on the whole inferior to our own, may have been the origin of more trouble being taken by the French and Germans to make it palatable. At any rate, German cooks do take a great deal of trouble in the preparation of every kind of meat. Joints to be roasted, after having been thoroughly wiped and deprived of every little bit of superfluous fat, gristle, or any unsightly scrap, are thoroughly rubbed with a mixture of herbs, selected according to the different nature of the meat to be dressed. Then onion, allspice, pepper and salt, occasionally, too, cloves, are placed in the pan, and the joint is basted frequently with the gravy thus flavoured, all of which adds a refined and delicate savour to its taste.

In the matter of vegetables, too, their manner is more artistic than our own. At home we are quite satisfied, for instance, with a delicate savoy cabbage tho roughly boiled in salt and water. Were we, however, to taste that same cabbage after a German handling, with the addition of shalot delicately fried in clarified butter, pepper, parsley, and just a soupcon of flour, many would not care to eat it again dressed in simple fashion.

We English are rather liable to call German cookery greasy, but how many of us can judge of it only by what we get in hotels, probably at a table-d'liute, where the dishes have become cooled before they ever reach us. It is in the private houses that the real excellence of German cooking would be appreciated by all who could have the opportunity of tasting it.

Germans enjoy good appetites, and are certainly highly critical in the matter of cooking. It would be impossible to find a more hospitable people, and a German hausfrau will undergo any amount of trouble in order to produce some exquisite dish for a friend's arrival. On the whole, it must be admitted that the Germans live better than we do. Their mode of cooking is, taken all round, more expensive, but here again their wonderful management and thrift comes in.

2924. Economy.—Via in England have no idea of their capabilities of saving at every turn. Contrary to our English custom, meat is cut up into very small joints, a circumstance highly beneficial to families where there are few members. A German housekeeper is not likely, if she asks for one pound of rump steak, to carry away two, simply because the butcher should happen, either accidentally or intentionally, to make the heavier weight. Clarified butter, of which a large quantity is used in the preparation of almost everything, is made in the middle of summer when butter is at its cheapest. A large quantity of one day's churning is placed over the fire in a copper vessel and allowed to simmer gently, being continually skimmed until all the dross is removed, when it is poured off clear as water, and stored away in stone jars until wanted. This butter will keep six or eight months. Eggs, new-laid, are rubbed over with salad oil and put away by the hundred, at a season when their average cost does not exceed 9d. a dozen, whereas their winter price might be almost double. Eggs thus treated will keep six months. Another instance. We in England, when making apple jelly, peel the apples and throw away the peels. In Germany the jelly is made from the peel of apples and the fruit itself is utilised for tarts or compote.

Stewed fruit is frequently used at German tables as a substitute for a second vegetable. With roast pork, for example, a huge basin of stewed plums generally makes its appearance, instead of the small sauce boat of apple sauce to which we treat the joint. Apple compote is served in the same way with roast veal or fowl. Ducks, geese and turkeys are, generally speaking, stuffed with chestnuts and spices, instead of sage and onions, or lemon stuffing such as we use at home.

A great institution in German cooking are nudeln, a sort of macaroni. There are nudeln of every kind, size and shape. Nudeln for soups, nudeln to be eaten with roast meat, especially veal, and nudeln as a sweet, to be eaten with fruit.

Perhaps as great a delicacy as any to be met with is the mariniert or pickled fish of all kinds, which is to be procured in large or small quantities at the Delicatessen Handlung (Delicacies Warehouses) throughout Germany. We have all heard of the national linsensuppe, sauirbraten, sauerkraut, wurst and nudeln, but few of us have ever tried the preparation even of these in our own homes. The recipes subjoined of dishes in frequent use amongst the Germans are well worth trying, and none of us would regret the introduction of them into our home menu.

-Beeton, Isabella, The Book of Household Management, 1888, p. 1282

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The Difference between Traditional and Adulterated

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Sauerbraten in Literature and Music

Thomas Hood, 1839,

Mr. Doppeldick did come home—and he said nothing to it at all. He only pulled his tobacco-bag out of one coat-pocket, and his tobacco pipe out of the other, and then he struck a light, and fell to smoking, as complacently as if there had been no Captain Schenk in the world. The truth was, he had none of that nervous nicety of feeling which his partner possessed so eminently, and, accordingly he took no more interest in her domestic dilemma than the walnut-wood chair that he sat upon. Moreover, when he once had in his mouth his favourite pipe, with a portrait of Kant on the bowl of it, he sucked through its tube a sort of Transcendental Philosophy which elevated him above all the ills of human life, to say nothing of such little domestic inconveniences as the present. If the house had been as big as the hotel de Nassau, at Schlangenbad, with as many chambers and spare beds in it—or a barrack, with quarters for the captain and his company to boot—he could not have puffed on more contentedly. The very talk about beds and bedding appeared to lull him into a sort of sleep with his eyes open; and even when the voice and words of his helpmate grew a little sharp and querulous in detailing all her doubts, and difficulties, and disagreeables, they could not raise even a ripple in the calm placid expanse of his forehead. How should they? His equable German good humour might well be invulnerable to all outward attacks, which had so long withstood every internal one, — ay, in Temper's very citadel, the stomach. For instance, the better part of his daily diet was of sours. He ate "sauer-kraut,'' and "sauerbraten," with sour sauce and "sauer-ampfer" by way of salad, and pickled plums by way of dessert, and "sauer-milch" with sourish brown bread—and then, to wash these down, be drank sourish "Essigberger" wine, and "sauer-wasser," of which the village of Kleinewinkel had its own peculiar brunnen. Still, I say, by all these sours, and many others not mentioned besides, his temper was never soured—nor could they turn one drop of the milk of human kindness that flowed in his bosom. Instead, therefore, of his round features being ever rumpled and crumpled, and furrowed up by the ploughshare of passion, you never saw any thing on his face but the same everlasting sub-smile of phlegmatic philanthropy.

- Hood, Thomas,"The Domestic Dilemma", In:  Hood's Own..., 1839,p.439.

Münchhausen 1839

- Immermann, Karl Leberecht, Schriften:Münchhausen; 3, Volume 10, 1839  287-88

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Babcock, Erika M. L. (2002). Rika's Stories from the Other Side. IUniverse.

Barer-Stein, Thelma (1999). You Eat What You Are. A FireFly Book.

Casada, Jim & Casada, Ann (1996). The Complete Venison Cookbook: From Field to Table. *Krause Publications.

Clancy, Tom (2003). The Teeth of the Tiger (1st ed). G. P. Putnam's Sons.

Garrett, Theodore Francis (Ed.) (1898). The Encyclopedia of Practical Cookery. L. Upcott Gill, 170, Strand, W.C. London. Vol. III.

Hassani, Nadia (2004). Spoonfuls of Germany: Culinary Delights of the German Regions in 170 Recipes. Hippocrene Books.

Herter, George Leonard & Herter, Berthe (1995). Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices (9th ed.). Ecco.

Jackson, Michael (1998). Ultimate Beer. DK ADULT.

Kummer, Madison (2007). 1,001 Foods to Die For. Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Mitchell, Jan (1953). Luchow's German Cookbook: The Story and the Favorite Dishes of America's Most Famous German Restaurant. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc.

O'Neill, Molly (1992). New York Cookbook: From Pelham Bay to Park Avenue, Firehouses to Four-Star Restaurants. Workman Publishing Company.

Richards, Lenore & Treat, Nola (1966). Quantity cookery; menu planning and cooking for large numbers (4th Ed.). Little, Brown, & Co.

Saekel, Karola (December 28, 2005). “Sauerbraten recipe surfaces just in time”. San Francisco Chronicle, F-5.

Sales, Georgia (1977). The Clay Pot Cookbook. Wiley & Sons.

Schmidt, Gretchen (2003). German Pride: 101 Reasons to Be Proud You're German. Citadel Press.

Sheraton, Mimi (1965). The German Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking. Random House.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th Ed.). (2006) Houghton Mifflin Company.

The Culinary Institute of America Publisher (2006). The Professional Chef (8th ed.). Wiley, p. 178.

Wood, Morrison (1983). Through Europe with a Jug of Wine. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, p. 95.

Youngkrantz, Gini (1997). Authentic German Home Style Recipes (4th Ed.). B. G. Youngkrantz Company.

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Sour Beef is not a recipe it is Diseased meat!

A Souring of Beef Caused by Bacillus MEGATHERIUM

By Hubert Bunyba

Veterinary Inspector, Pathological Division, Bureau of Animal Industry, United States

Department of Agriculture

The problem involved in the maintenance of a wholesome food supply for the public is without doubt one of paramount importance, concerning, as it does most intimately, the physical well-being of the Nation. Among the most difficult phases of this problem is that respecting the flesh foods. The long recognized fact of the communicability to man of certain animal diseases has made it imperative for the safeguarding of health that supervision be maintained over the extremely important industries engaged in the production of flesh foods.

But there are other considerations which stress the urgency of a proper watch over the character of the flesh foods to be offered to the people for consumption. Meats, to be acceptable to man, must be not only wholesome but palatable. It is quite conceivable that the flesh of a carcass which has satisfactorily passed a rigid inspection as to the existence of disease may subsequently be subjected to such a manner of handling as to render it utterly unsuitable for food. This is what actually occurs at times. *

Aside from the objectionable qualities which may be normal or incidental to animals presented for slaughter, such as the sexual odors and flavors of certain adult male animals or odors and flavors produced by the use of ill-smelling feeds, etc., the flesh of animals from the time of slaughter to the time of consumption is continually susceptible to the acquisition of undesirable properties. Some of these may be acquired by absorption and others by the action of bacteria, as in ordinary putrefaction.

There is a condition known as sour beef, which is familiar alike to butchers and inspectors, and one which doubtless occasions no little economic loss, especially to small butchering establishments and retailers who may not be equipped with facilities for the storage of meat to prevent this alteration. In reference to this condition the following statement is quoted from Ostertag's "Handbook of Meat Inspection":1

Stinking acid fermentation occurs in slaughtered domestic animals when the meat, while still warm, is stored in large pieces and in closed receptacles, or, in general, when it is subjected to conditions under which it can not cool. This alteration is characterized by the term "suffocated."

1 Ostbrtag, Robert, Handbook OF M8AT iNsPBCTioN . . Translation by Barley Vernon Wilcox, ed. », rev., p. 746-747. New York. 1905.

Journal of Agricultural Research,
Washington. D. C.

It is not definitely known that the souring of beef referred to by Ostertag is identical with that which is discussed in this study.

Certainly the conservation of the interests of the consuming public in this regard can be accomplished only by precautions of a far-reaching nature, involving vigilance from the abattoir to the platter.

The common stock of knowledge as to the definite cause of the phenomenon known as sour beef is probably more or less vague.

A specimen of sour beef was sent to this laboratory from one of the large packing establishments with a view to determining definitely the cause of the condition in this specific instance, as the meat was very decidedly sour. The specimen was assigned the number 1510.


An effort was made to isolate any organisms that might be found in the interior of the specimen. This was accomplished in the following manner: A site was selected favorable to making a deep cut into the body of the specimen, and the surface was then seared for a radius of several inches with a hot platinum spatula. With a sterile scalpel and forceps this surface was removed to a depth of % inch. The newly exposed surface was then similarly seared, and with the aid of a fresh sterile scalpel and forceps a small cube of meat was aseptically taken out and placed into a tube of bouillon medium.

This bouillon culture showed appreciable growth at the end of 24 hours' incubation at 370 C. It was then shaken thoroughly, and a loopful of the suspension of organisms was distributed upon the surface of each of three plain agar plates……

….The odor produced by organism 1510-B is strikingly characteristic; it is readily distinguishable from the yeasty or putrefactive odors, and it is not produced on raw beef by any of the other organisms used in this experiment……

…..The apparent identity of the organism 1510-B as Bacillus megatherium now appeared to be clearly established by its morphological and cultural likeness to the known organism of that name. It remained to be seen, however, whether the phenomenon of the souring of beef could be reproduced by a known culture of B. megatherium derived from a source other than sour beef. For a determination of this problem both cultures obtained from the American Museum of Natural History were used for the inoculation of sterile specimens of raw beef. A third specimen was inoculated with organism 1510-B. After 24 hours' incubation it was found that the typical odor of sour beef had become pronounced in each of the samples inoculated. It %vas therefore concluded that B. megatherium is capable of producing the condition commonly known as sour beef. …..


The phenomenon known as the souring of beef is a bacterial one.

The organism responsible for the souring of beef is Bacillus megatherium.

Bacillus megatherium will sour beef under a wide range of temperatures, but not in the absence of oxygen.

In the souring of beef by Bacillus megatherium propionic acid is produced.

Bacillus megatherium is nonpathogenic for experimental animals (rabbits and guinea pigs) and does not produce an appreciable amount of toxin when propagated upon raw beef.

U.S. Dept of Agriculture,  Jurnal of Agricultural Researh, 1921,-p689

Other Things

Song: Sauerbraten nach Husarenart by Franz Weckauff from Karnevals Oldies.

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