Roast Beef German Style – Fried Beef with Onions in Gravy named “Zwiebelrostbraten”

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Today I’ll show you my chef’s German Roast Beef Recipe – Fried Beef with Onions in Gravy named “Zwiebelrostbraten”.

The Steak with Onions and Gravy is a classic dish of the South German and Austrian cuisine.

The roast beef is best served with an onion sauce.

Cover the roasted meat with freshly fried onions.

In Germany, in the Swabian area around Stuttgart, Spätzel are common as a side dish.

In Bavaria and Austria there are rather fried potatoes or parsley potatoes, rarely 🙁 ribbon noodles.

In this article I will show you my variation of onion roast and give you many tips on how to prepare it at home.

1. Recipe Zwiebelrostbraten

Find here the Guide for German Roast Beef – Fried Beef with Onions in Gravy named “Zwiebelrostbraten”.

Since I have been living in Vienna for 20 years, I show in the recipe below the preparation of the Viennese style fried beef with onions in gravy with fried potatoes.

The Swabian style fried beef with onions in gravy and the Allgäu style fried beef with onions in gravy is served with Spaetzle as a side dish.

Therefore I have prepared a German Spaetzle recipe, find it bellow the Recipe.

Zwiebelrostbraten German Roast Beef with Onions in Gravy

Cooked, photographed and written down by chef Thomas Sixt.

Servings 2
Calories 591
Total Time 60 Min.
Preparation Time 30 Min.
Cook Time 30 Min.

Simple guide for german steak with onion sauce.

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Zwiebelrostbraten German roast Beef Recipe Image
Zwiebelrostbraten German Roast Beef Recipe Image © Thomas Sixt


Side dishes

6 pc small potatoes (Alternatively prepare the recipe for Spaetzle)
caraway seed
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp majoram

Fried crispy onions

2 pc onions
2 tbsp freshly sieved flour
1 tsp Paprika noble sweet
600 ml Sunflower oil

fried roast beef

2 slices roast beef (steaks with a meat thickness of 1,5 cm)

onions gravy

1 pc onion
1 tbsp clarified butter
1 tsp wheat flour
300 ml veal stock
20 ml port wine
1 tsp Cold butter


The roast beef, also called beef sirloin, is the right meat for onion roast
Meat for onion roast beef. The white tendon must be cut before roasting so that the steak does not bulge when roasting.

Provide meat

Remove the meat from the fridge and place at room temperature.

Fresh potatoes
Use a predominantly waxy variety of potato for potato pancakes.

Cook potatoes

First cook the potatoes for the fried potatoes in their skin in salted water with a little caraway or prepare spaetzle.

Freshly prepared spaetzle as a side dish.
Spaetzle German Noodles Spätzle Recipe Image © Thomas Sixt

Alternative spaetzle

Alternatively, you can prepare spaetzle.

roasted onions
Fried Onions Recipe Picture © Thomas Sixt

Prepare onions

Peel one onion per person, plane finely, turn in flour with some paprika and fry until crispy.

Notice my step by step photos in the article above.

Place the fried onion rings on a baking tray with kitchen paper and season with salt.

Classic fried potatoes in the pan with onions.
Fried potatoes recipe picture. In this post I will show you how to prepare fried potatoes step by step.

Prepare potatoes

Cut half an onion per person into fine cubes. Pour off the potatoes, peel, cut into slices and fry in a pan with clarified butter.

Cut rib eye steak at the tendon.
Use a sharp knife to make several incisions in the tendon on the side of the rib eye steak. So the steak can NOT curl when seared.

Prepare steak

Prepare the meat:

Lightly platter the meat, spread with some Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper.

Rump steak nicely fried in the pan.
Steak nicely fried in the pan.

Fry Steak

Fry the meat over high heat in a pan with some clarified butter for 2 minutes on each side.

Roux with butter, diced onion and flour

Prepare sauce

Remove the steaks from the pan and put them on a plate.

Fry the onion cubes in the pan with the remaining clarified butter until light brown, dust with some flour in order to bind the sauce well later.

Now add the port wine and the veal stock to the onions and bring to the boil.

Medium fried rib eye steak.
In my case, I fried the steak medium and ate it right away … © Thomas Sixt Foodfotograf

Stew meat

Place the meat in the sauce and, if necessary, cover to cook to the desired degree.

Finish the fried potatoes with herbs and spices as well as with butter.
Finish the fried potatoes with the spices, herbs and butter.

Finish potatoes

Season the fried potatoes with salt, pepper, cumin, parsley and marjoram and serve on warm plates.

Zwiebelrostbraten German roast Beef Recipe Image
Zwiebelrostbraten German Roast Beef Recipe Image © Thomas Sixt


Place the roast slices (steaks) on the plate with the fried potatoes and season the onion roast gravy with butter, salt and pepper.

Arrange the sauce with the onion over the meat on the plate.

Decorate the roast with fried onions and serve.


2. Nutritional Values and Calories

3. How do you prepare the Classic Zwiebelrostbraten

Pre-order the meat from the butcher or butcher!

For the roast roast you need hung meat. Roast beef should be matured for at least 4 weeks before the meat is cooked in the pan.  

Alternatively you can buy the meat vacuum-packed or buy it fresh and let it vacuum-pack and let it mature in the fridge for a few more days.

You can also buy Dry Aged Beef directly.

Important: Cut the tendon of the roast meat several times so that the meat does not bulge when roasted!

Tip from Chef Thomas Sixt
Meat for roast onion. The white tendon must be cut before roasting so that the steak meat does not bulge during roasting. The thick layer of fat is usually removed beforehand.

4. Fried Crispy Onion for Zwiebelrostbraten

I will show you how to fry the onions step by step.

Place the 1 mm thick planed onions in a bowl and prepare a mixture of flour and sweet paprika.
Mix the raw onion rings shortly before frying with flour and paprika.
Fry the prepared, floured onion rings at 160-170°C in the deep fryer.
Only Freshly fried onions make Fried Beef with Onions in Gravy named “Zwiebelrostbraten” perfect.

5. Star Chef Tips to Prepare Zwiebelrostbraten

I have already described the important points for meat selection in point 1.

I use a homemade veal stock and some port wine to prepare the sauce for roasting onion.

I will show you how to make veal stock yourself in another article, you can also use a purchased veal stock.

The port wine to the sauce is important, it replies the sweetness of the onion.

This was revealed to me by a Swabian star chef as his kitchen secret.

German Fried Beef with Onions in Gravy and Spaetzle noodles, a classic of Swabian and south Germany cuisine.

6. German Spaetzle as typical Side Dish for Zwiebelrostbraten

Spätzle Dough Recipe:

Recipe for 2 Persons

  1. In a bowl, mix 250 g freshly sieved flour with 4 pinches of salt, 2 pinches of black pepper and 2 pinches of nutmeg and mix with 3 eggs and 80-100 ml lukewarm water.
  2. Beat the dough with a wooden spoon until it is thick and bubbles.
  3. Drive the spaetzle dough through a spaetzle grater directly into boiling salted water.
  4. If you can, scrape the noodles off the board.
  5. If the noodles swim in salt water on top, please remove immediately with the skimmer and quench in cold water.
  6. Mix the drained noodles with vegetable oil so that they do not stick together.
  7. Shortly before serving, I wave my spaetzle in some butter or nut butter and taste the spaetzle with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Update: Find a German Spaetzle Recipe elsewhere on the Food Blog

Freshly prepared spaetzle as a side dish.
Spätzel as a side dish. Spätzla, Spatzen and Spätzli, Nockerl, this is a German pasta!

7. More Beef Recipe Ideas

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