Celebrating Oktoberfest doesn’t have to be all about the German beer. Especially when German Sauerbraten and Spätzle are ready to celebrate Oktoberfest right along with you!

Oktoberfest is this weekend and along with Germans, brats, and beer, I wanted to have a little something something for celebrating Oktoberfest with here at Pass the Sushi. So, I grabbed my heavy beer stein took my blend of NyQuil and Sudafed and with no knowledge of anything remotely German food-wise, made a giant mess in the kitchen.

The spaetzle was a challenge, as the directions called for a batter like dough, with an ingredient list that simple didn’t produce something of that consistency. I added more water to account for the thickness and even then, still had problems getting the dough through the holes in the colander. My spaetzle making skills were definitely not bringing their A game. I have never had spaetzle before, so I am not sure if the dough should have been thinner or if the NyQuil was effecting my ability to shove dough through tiny holes over a pot of boiling water. Be warned, don’t steam your arm hairs off – but let me know what the deal is.

The sauerbraten, where not my prettiest plating, was quiet tasty. The gingersnaps added a great flavor at the end.

Celebrating Oktoberfest with German Sauerbraten and Spätzle Recipes \\ passthesushi.com

Come on… we’re celebrating Oktoberfest in a delicious way!


Sauerbraten with Spaetzle

From Food Network Magazine October 2009

Celebrating Oktoberfest with German Sauerbraten and Spätzle Recipes \\ passthesushi.comIngredients:

  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 large onions, cut into large chunks
  • 5 cloves garlic; 3 crushed, 2 chopped
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon chopped leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries (available in the spice aisle)
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1 3-to-4-pound boneless beef top chuck roast
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons crushed gingersnap cookies
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Spetzle, for serving (see page 152)
  • Sour cream, for serving (optional)
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


Combine 2 cups broth, the wine, vinegar, 1 chopped onion, the crushed garlic, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, juniper berries, peppercorns and cloves in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Place the beef in a large resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 2 to 3 days, turning daily.

Preheat the oven to 350. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry; season with salt. Strain the marinade, discarding the solids. Heat a large ovenproof pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the meat and brown on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes, then transfer to a plate. Add the carrots, celery and the remaining onion to the pot and cook until slightly softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped garlic and chopped thyme and cook 1 minute. Sprinkle in the flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the strainedmarinade and the remaining 1 cup broth and bring to a simmer. Return the meat to the pot, cover and cook in the oven until tender, 2 hours 30 minutes.

Remove the meat and transfer to a plate. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in the gingersnaps and simmer until thickened; season with salt and pepper. Thinly slice the meat; serve withspaetzle, the vegetables and sauce and sour cream, if desired. Top with parsley.

Homemade Spaetzle


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter; 2 tablespoons melted
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish


Mix the flour, eggs and a pinch of salt in a bowl, then gradually stir in up to 1 cup water to make a smooth, batter-like dough. Beat with a wooden spoon until bubbles form, then stir in the melted butter.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Place about 1 cup of the dough in a colander with large holes; use a rubber spatula to push the dough through the holes and into the boiling water. (Or use a spaetzle press.) Cook for about 1 minute after the spaetzle float to the surface, then transfer with a slotted spoon to another colander. Repeat with the remaining dough. Rinse the spaetzle in cold water if not serving immediately and set aside.

Before serving, saute the spaetzle in a skillet with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter until warmed through. Season with pepper and garnish with parsley.


Celebrating Oktoberfest with German Sauerbraten and Spätzle Recipes \\ passthesushi.com

I promise prettier dishes for all celebrations for this point out. Pinky promise even.


  1. Interesting… I used to eat spatzel (sp?) as a kid at my Grandma’s but I think it was Bird’s Eye frozen brand… hahahaha.

  2. Love these hearty fall foods – I’d love to soak up all that great sauce. Have fun at the festivities.

  3. Don’t apologize for the pix. That will make me feel bad about my pix because I absorb guilt so easily. This looks delicious. I hope you get better soon and have a blast at the festival. I love the fall and all the wonderful comfort foods the weather brings.

  4. Oh, my dad loves sauerbraten….I should make it for him sometime. And I LOVE spetzle…and my neighbor has a spetzle maker that is so much easier than a colander. I need to borrow it again as you’ve gotten me in the mood 🙂

    1. I considered purchasing one just for this dish after all the work (and mess I made)!

  5. Oh wow..that looks amazing..what a flavorful dish! Love your photos, so beautiful and I can almost smell it! Yumm!

    1. Aw! i’m sure he would appreciate that!

  6. I can’t say I’ve ever tried making spaetzle, and you haven’t exactly sold me on the process! 😉

    But your pictures look fine. And tasty.

  7. Kita, I’ve never had this, but everything about that dish sounds utterly fantastic! I’ve always been intrigued how spetzle is made. It looks like fun!!

  8. I wouldn’t worry about prettier dishes….this one looks pretty darn good now! I’m impressed that you made sauerbraten! Everything looks delish!

  9. Looking at this picture I got excited – it’s the time of year we can fully enjoy warm meal from the pot. I love one pot food – easy, delicious and really comfort food. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe. I really love how you served the meal in a rectangular plate. I would never thought of using a rectangular plate! Very nice!

  10. Just found your blog on tastespotting and I’m so hungry now browsing through it!! My advice for the Spätzle dough: Only use flour, water and salt. I’m from Germany and that’s the way I know it and it always worked so far 😉

  11. For never having made spaetzle before, you did an outstanding job! I’m fixing to load up on Bavarian food. Switzerland-bound, baby! You’ve made the Germans proud my snuffy-nose super chef. Buzzed!

  12. Looks wonderful! As to the spaetzle….I admire your ambition in tackling it. I would with a press; as I don’t have one I’ll buy it.

  13. My kids adore spaetzle and I haven’t made them in ages. Just a note…my recipe (from my German Great grandmother) calls for 2 cups flour, 3 eggs and only about 1/2 cup milk to moisten. That ratio makes the noodles more eggy and rich..
    Anyway, your post is good motivation to go make some…thanks.

    1. I can use all the notes and help I can get on this one – I am convinced it was not just the cold meds that was making that recipe difficult!

  14. I have made spatzle many times, my kids call them “favourite noodles”. You are essentially making an egg noodle. The recipe is very easy white flour probably 2-3 cups I use 1 egg per person so my recipe needs 4 eggs then you add a generous amount of salt to the dough as well as salt to the boiling water and just enough water to make a thick batter or loose dough the spatzle press is not an expensive tool and if you live near china town you can also use what they call a ricer for mashing potatoes I believe.

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