German Romertopf Beef Roast – Clay Pot Recipe

roemertopf roast beef
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A special roast for your Sunday dinner could be the Romertopf Beef roast. It is a roast  that is cooked in a so called “Römertopf”, a special clay pot that is similar to a crock pot or slow cooker but is made 100 percent out of clay and will be used only in the oven.
The history of the clay pot is quite interesting. For centuries food has been cooked in earthenware pots over open fires or in brick ovens. Whole meals can be made in this pot and the best is it is in a completely healthy, natural way. Because the cooking process is using  just steam and natural juices.

These clay bakers were originated in Germany and got introduced to the International market in 1967.  Originally they were completely unglazed. More recently, partially glazed bakers are becoming popular for the ease of cleaning. Clay Bakers can be purchased in different sizes to fit anyone’s need. Small to large, they all work the same way with the same healthy, natural, delicious results (see below).

You can use the clay pot to cook a variety of vegetables, meats, casseroles, and breads in the home oven. The Römertopf should be made out of Terra Cotta and should not contain harmful substances such as lead or cadmium. In fact it should not be glazed even the modern versions are promoting it..
It is also possible to bake bread in this clay pot – Check out this site for more info –

Important INFO
It is vital that before each use, the pot must be soaked in water so that it can absorb a certain amount of moisture into the permeable clay. This moisture is slowly released during cooking, sealing in the natural juices and increasing the flavor and tenderness. Try out this German recipe – you will love it. Happy Cooking!

Ingredients German Romertopf Beef Roast

1 kg roast beef
salt, pepper to taste
3 tbsp clarified butter
5 layers of German Speck (Black Forest style bacon)
2 onions and 2 tomatoes
1 leek
1/2 celery root
2 carrots
4 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 lemon
200 ml broth, instant beef or vegetable
2 twigs thyme
200 ml red wine
How to make Beef Broth –
OR – How to make Vegetable Broth – 
200 g creme fraiche
2 tbsp corn starch (optional)

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Cooking Instructions

– Soak the Römertopf with the lid for 30 min in cold water – Important Step!
– Spice the roast beef evenly on all sides.
– Brown meat briefly in clarified butter all over.
– When browned remove from pan and set aside on a board.
– Fry the bacon slices in the same pan until transparent. When they bacon slices are done place them on top of the meat.
–  Place meat into the Römertopf.

– Chop onions, quarter tomatoes, chop parsley and thyme.
– Cut celery root in cubes, slice leek and carrots.
– Place all ingredients evenly around the meat, spice with salt and pepper, add red wine and warm broth (don’t use cold liquids).
– Sprinkle lemon juice over the meat.– Place the Römertopf in the COLD oven – Important Step! and cook on 390 F or 200 C for 2-3 hours.

– The meat needs to be soft and tender. Depending on the meat the cooking time might be shorter or longer.
– Remove from oven and place it on a pot holder, kitchen cloth (not on a cold surface).
– Place roast beef on a plate.- Drain the meat stock through a sieve, pour into a pan.
– Put the roast beef back into the Römertopf, and keep it in the oven without the lid for 10 min. That’s how you get a nice crust.
cooking in a clay pot

Two Ways to Make the Gravy

1. Squeeze the vegetables that were cooked in the Römertopf through a sieve by using a fork, pressing against the sieve. DO this over the pan where you will keep the gravy.

2. Puree everything with a stick mixer but the meat needs to be removed first, don’t puree the meat. After you have made the puree add red wine or broth, mix creme fraiche with starch and add to sauce, then bring to a brief boil. The starch is used to thicken the gravy.

Make a Marinade for the Meat

You can marinade the meat before cooking. The marinade will make the meat more tender.

Ingredients Marinade

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 rosemary twigs

– Mix all ingredients in a bowl and rub the meat evenly with it.
– Place meat in a freezer bag, add the rest of the marinade liquid, close it tightly and let sit in the fridge for 2 days.
– After 2 days remove the meat from the bag and place it on a wooden board, pat dry with kitchen paper. – Spice with salt and pepper. The best is to mix salt and pepper and rub it into the meat.

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