Bavarian Pot Roast

“My husband, Bob, and I use to eat up at the Timber Topper Hotel in Portland, Oregon every once in a while. This was one of their recipes.” – Jean Hansen

“Called the ‘aristocrat’ of the woods, the full flavor of the great Pacific Northwest timberlands and the drama of the logging camp are captured in the authentic decor of the Timber Topper Restaurant and Lounge. Walls are made of native woods and the owner, Flavel Temple, has assembled a museum of early-day loggers tools. The Timber Topper menu encompasses many dishes, highlighted by barbecued meats such as its Top Sirloin Roasts, smoked over a hickory fire as they turn on the rotisserie.” (Newspaper Clipping)

“I prefer making pot roast on the stove top like I learned from my Mom, so I’ve provided alternate directions. Also, if you wrap the pickling spices in cheesecloth, it makes for easier removal at the end.” – April Ferre

Bavarian Pot Roast

Course: Main Courses – Beef
Cuisine: German


  • 4 Pound Choice Beef Roast Chuck or Blade
  • 1 Medium Onion Diced
  • 1 Small Stalk Celery Chopped
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Finely Chopped or Smashed
  • 1 Ounce Mixed Pickling Spices
  • 1/2 Cup Burgundy Wine (Pinot Noir)
  • 1 Quart Water or Enough To Cover Marinating Meat
  • 1 Ounce Sugar
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste


Original Method

  • Place roast in container and cover with wine, water, onion, celery, garlic, spices, salt, pepper and sugar. Marinate for 3 whole days, turning meat daily to allow even distribution of spices and wine.
  • Remove meat from liquid after 3 days and brown in hot oven (425 degrees). When brown, dredge with flour and make a light roux.
  • Add the liquid in which the meat was marinated to make gravy. (1/2 cup of tomato puree may be added as well). Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and simmer pot roast in the gravy, in an open roaster, until tender (1 1/2 to 2 hours).
  • Remove pot roast, strain gravy to remove onions and spices before serving.

April's Method

  • Wrap mixed pickling spices in cheesecloth. Combine all ingredients except beef and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool.
  • Place roast in container with marinade. Marinate for 3 whole days, turning meat daily to allow even distribution of spices and wine.
  • Heat oil in a large, deep frying pan. Remove roast from marinade and pat dry. Season well with salt and pepper. Brown well in hot oil.
  • Add marinade and spice packet to pan, adding extra water as needed to almost cover the roast. Cover and simmer until meat is very tender and ready to fall apart, approximately 3 hours.
  • Use a flour/water mixture to made gravy with the pan juices.
  • Serve with freshly made potato pancakes and green garden vegetables.

1950s Recipe – Jean Hansen – From the Timber Topper Hotel, Portland, Oregon

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