Zwiebelrostbraten is a favourite dish served in most German restaurants. It is a roast (usually beef) that's been marinated for 3 to 4 days in vegetables and various spices.






Skill level

Average: 2.8 (10 votes)

Marinating the meat acts as a tenderiser, resulting in soft, juicy meat. It's then cooked with root vegetables and herbs, like a pot roast, and served with a rich onion jus.


  • 5 kg beef chuck tender, sinew trimmed
  • 4–5 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 300 g carrot, cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 200 g celery, cut into  1 cm cubes
  • 200 g celeriac, cut in 1cm cubes
  • 300 g onion, cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 3 litres brown beef stock
  • 6 red onions, sliced
  • cooked pasta, steamed broccoli, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 3 days

  1. Place beef in a dish. Scatter with half each of thyme, rosemary and garlic. Season with salt. Rub marinade into meat. Chill for up to 3 days.
  2. Preheat oven to 130°C. Heat a little oil in a large heavy-based, flameproof baking pan over medium heat. Cook beef, turning, for 5–10 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Remove from pan.
  3. Add a little more oil to pan and add carrot, celery, celeriac and remaining garlic. Cook for 15–20 minutes, or until vegetables are soft and coloured.
  4. Add onion. Cook for 10–15 minutes, until soft and coloured.
  5. Add remaining thyme and rosemary, peppercorns and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
  6. Deglaze pan with half of red wine. Stir to dislodge caramelised bits from base of pan.
  7. Add beef stock and stir to combine.
  8. Return beef to pan, along with any juices and herbs from the dish. Transfer to oven. Roast for 2 hours, turning halfway through cooking time.
  9. Meanwhile, heat a little more oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add red onion and cook for 5–10 minutes, or until golden. Deglaze pan with remaining red wine.
  10. Strain pan juices from roast beef and add to red onions. Stir to combine.
  11. Thickly carve beef. Add to sauce in pan and spoon over to coat.
  12. Serve with pasta and broccoli. 


This recipe is from Lee Chan's World Food Tour on SBS Food (Channel 33). Stream episodes via SBS On Demand.