Slow Cooker Sauerbraten with Thyme Spaetzle

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sauerbraten Recipe

Slow cooker Sauerbraten with thyme spaetzle conjures us so many fond memories from when I was a little girl, and my grandpa Hugo would make spaetzle with dinner.

This was my first attempt at making these little German pasta bits and I was quite nervous to give it a go.

I soon found out I had no need to be scared. The combo of the Sauerbraten and spaetzle was so delicious that they brought tears to my eyes in remembering my grandpa’s efforts in the kitchen.

Not bad for a simple Sunday dinner.

2 t. cooking oil
1 beef rump roast (5-6 pounds)
2 onions, sliced
1 C. apple cider vinegar
2 c. beef stock
1/4 c. lemon juice
2-3 lemon slices
3 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 t. allspice
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 T packed brown sugar
1/4 c. ketchup
12 gingersnaps

-In a large skillet over high heat, brown rump roast well, on all sides.
-When the meat is fully browned, place meat in the slow cooker along with remaining additional ingredients (except gingersnaps).
-Cover and cook on high for 7-8 hours.
-During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add gingersnaps and let them get soggy in the liquid.
-Discard the bay leaves, lemon rinds, and thyme stems.
-Remove the beef to a plate and keep warm.
-Use an immersion blender on the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker and blend well to make a thick gravy.


2 large eggs (whisked)
3-4 c. all-purpose flour (plus more for cutting)
2 t. water
1 T. thyme leaves

(This is not the traditional way to make spaetzle, this was the was that worked best for me.)
-Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl until an extra firm dough forms and it becomes hard to mix with a wooden spoon. *Note -Please be aware, you may need to add more flour if dough is too soft.
-Turn the dough out onto a heavily floured cutting board and begin cutting the dough into tiny pieces. Adding additional flour at this point is critical so that the dough pieces do not clump back together.
-Gently mix the dough bits and flour during this process to prevent them from sticking. What your looking for are small pebble sized, individual pieces of dough.
-Bring 4-5 cups of salted water to boil on stove top.
-Drop dough into rapidly boiling water for a few minutes until the spaetzle float to the surface. This is the time you know they’re cooked and ready to serve.
-Drain spaetzle and toss with butter if desired.
Sauerbraten with Thyme Spaetzle Recipe
To serve, slice the Sauerbraten across the grain and serve over buttered spaetzle but do not forget to liberally add the gingersnap gravy!  I also served this dinner with some sauteed spinach with a light touch of nutmeg! I think I’ve died and gone to heaven!
Sauerbraten with Thyme Spaetzle Recipe

So here you have it. My recipe for turning back the clock.  I think my grandpa would be proud!

Well, until next time…Auf Wiedersehen!!!


  1. I too think that your Grampa would be very proud!

  2. Renee, you are amazing and an inspiration to me! Love what you do!


  3. Yum, this actually sounds really good. I'm ashamed to admit I have a German heritage, my dad's father was German, and I have NO knowledge of their foods or culture. Hmmm, sounds like a good series to share on my blog. Bookmarked your recipe. 🙂

  4. I’m soo exited to make your recipe I was looking for one in a thousand and yours sounded the most delicious I will let you know how it turns out. Guten Appetit

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