Sauerbraten (German, from sauer sour + Braten roast meat) is a roast from Rhineland, Saarland, Silesia, and Swabia. While Rhineland Sauerbraten is sweetish and contains raisins and lebkuchen, Swabian Sauerbraten contains neither sweetening nor raisins. Sauerbraten was originally made from horse meat or venison, but today beef is more commonly used, except by traditionalists.
For the Rhineland version the meat is marinated in vinegar, a sweetening agent such as sugar beet syrup, apple syrup, or sugar, and seasonings containing juniper cones and cloves, and then braised. The sauce contains raisins and often crushed lebkuchen spice cookies. The town of Eschweiler has a long horse butcher tradition, and sauerbraten is one of its culinary specialities.
For the Swabian Sauerbraten the meat is marinated in vinegar, water, salt, cloves, and bay leaf. The meat is then braised in the oven in a sauce of beef broth and white wine. Swabian Sauerbraten is traditionally served with Spätzle or dumplings.