Rouladen – German Beef Rolls

Rouladen with Spaetzel & Red Cabbage

Now that the 2014 Winter Olympics are over and we have settled back down to our normal TV watching – and eating (since we seemed to be eating in front of the TV so as not to miss a moment of our favorite sequences, even if we knew who the winners were).

But as I watched the German teams, I realized I had some time back, promised you a recipe for Rouladen – a fabulous yet simple German mainstay meal that is as filling as it is delish! It is nothing more – well, a little more – than stuffing  some meat with dill pickles, braising them, making a bit of gravy and serving them and there you have it! Rouladen is traditionally served with stewed red cabbage – a sweet and sour dish favored in other eastern European states as well – and with either wide noodles lightly bathed in butter or (my favorite) spaetzel. Spaetzel is dumpling dough that can be scraped through a box grater or very coarse shredder into small lumps which are cooked and served as the starch and which helps sop up the gravy. Some make the dumpling round and serve them that way, too.

But however you choose to serve this dish, it’s surely one to please! It goes well with a strong German beer and even with a sturdy white or red wine. This is a $$$ saving dish because you can use top round, a lower priced steak that takes to braising well.

So, get out the Dutch oven and get this started! You’ll be glad you did!


  • 2 lbs. beef top round steaks, sliced into 8 slices, 1/4” thick
  • 1/4 c German-style mustard (Dijon style will work if you can’t find the German style)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 2 tsp. mild (sweet) paprika
  • 8 slices smoked bacon
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 16 small whole baby dill pickles (sometimes call gherkins)
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 c beef broth
  • 2 c your favorite red wine or water – or 1/2 water 1/2 additional broth)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 c cold water
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 2 Tbsp. shopped fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

Spread a thin layer of mustard on one side of each of the 8 steak slices. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika on top of the mustard. Place 1 bacon strip down the middle of each steak slice, add a few onion slices and 2 pickles on each meat slice. Roll up tightly and secure with wooden toothpicks or tie with kitchen string.

Melt butter in a Dutch over on top of the stove. Cook meat rolls on all sides until browned. Do this slowly so they are not crowded together. Add broth, wine and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 – 1-1/2 hours until tender.

Gently remove the beef rolls and cover with foil to keep warm. Strain broth and return to Dutch oven. In a small jar, combine water and flour. Cover and shake well until a slurry is formed. Slowly whisk slurry into broth, bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 2 – 3 minutes until thickened to make the sauce. Remove the toothpicks or string from beef rolls.

Please 1 – 2 rolls on each plate along with the sides of your choice. Pour a little sauce on the rouladen and the sauce into gravy boat to serve on the side.

Serves 6-8

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2 Responses to Rouladen – German Beef Rolls

  1. Eric says:

    How much Flour??? Measurement is missing. This looks and sounds fantastic and I am going to prepare it for out of town friends.


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