Zoervleis (Sour Beef Stew)

‘Zoervleis’ is an Authentic Dutch Recipe from the very south of The Netherlands: Limburg. It’s eaten with applesauce, mayonnaise and fried potatoes (which some call ‘friet’ and some call ‘patat’). The recipe I made was baselicy the recept published by Café Sjiek, but I did use another type of gingerbread, one that’s popular in the far north of The Netherlands; Friesland.

There is no English word for Zoervleis, but as the recipe will show ‘Sour Beef Stew’ is an accurate translation. In the end the meat isn’t really all that sour. It’s more a kind of sweet-sour. Originally Zoervleis is made of horsemeat. But, since not so many people are prepared to eat meat from a horse (not in my family anyway) I used beef. You should try Zoervleis yourself. It’s a great taste! If you don’t want to make it, come to beautiful Limburg and by a plate of Zoervleis there ;-).


Recipe by Berend QuestCourse: MainCuisine: Dutch, LimburgsDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time






  • 0,75 kg beef (ribbing, sukade cuts)

  • 0,4 ltr white vinegar

  • 0,4 ltr water

  • 1/2 kilo onions

  • 3 tablespoons apple-pear syrup

  • 3 bay leaves

  • 2 cloves

  • 150 grams brown sugar

  • salt and pepper

  • Butter

  • 2 slices of gingerbread


  • Day 1
  • Cut the meat in pieces (3×2 cm). Put the meat in a bowl, together with the bay leaves, cloves, salt and pepper and the vinegar and water. Put in the fridge for 24 hours.Zoervleis
  • Day 2
  • Peel the onions, cut them roughly and bake them for about 5 minutes in a tablespoon of butter.
  • Get the onions out of the pan, put in some more butter and, on a high lit, bake the drained meat. After a view minutes deglaze the beef with the marinade. Put in the onions, sugar, the apple-pear syrup and bring it to the boil. Cook slowly for 2 hours.Zoervleis
  • After 2 hours cut the gingerbread to pieces and mix with the stew. This will thicken the sauce. Serve with some apple sauce and fried potatoes.Zoervleis


  • You want to make your own fried potatoes? It’s simple: Clean (not peel) a kilo potatoes, cut them in thick sticks. Boil them for 7 minutes and the drain them. Warm you oven to 200 degrees celsius (400F), take a big plate drizzle it with olive oil and heat up the plate for 4 minutes. Now divide the potatoes over the plate and frie for 1 hour. Turn every 20 minutes.


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