How to Make German Beef Rouladen

Embark on a delectable journey to the heart of German cuisine with this Authentic German Beef Rouladen recipe. This dish is a staple in German kitchens, known for its tender slices of beef rolled with a savory filling of bacon, onions, mustard, and pickles, then braised to perfection in a rich gravy. Each bite of this hearty dish transports you to a family table in Germany, where tradition and flavor are celebrated in equal measure. Whether you’re a connoisseur of global cuisines or simply looking for a comforting meal that promises to delight, this Beef Rouladen recipe is a culinary adventure worth taking. It’s a testament to the rich, comforting flavors that define German cooking, making it a must-try for anyone looking to expand their culinary horizons.



Why You’ll Love Authentic German Beef Rouladen:

  • Rich and Flavorful: The combination of beef, bacon, and pickles, enriched with mustard and braised in a savory gravy, offers a symphony of flavors.
  • Cultural Experience: Brings the taste of Germany right into your kitchen, offering a glimpse into its culinary traditions.
  • Special Occasion Worthy: Though perfect for a cozy family dinner, its elegance makes it ideal for holidays and special gatherings.
  • Interactive Cooking: The process of assembling the rouladen is fun and engaging, making it a great recipe to prepare with loved ones.

Ingredients Notes For Authentic German Beef Rouladen:

  • Beef: Thinly sliced beef top round is traditional, offering the perfect balance of tenderness and flavor.
  • Filling: A savory mix of finely chopped bacon, onions, mustard, and thinly sliced pickles adds depth and character to each roll.
  • Gravy: A rich and hearty gravy made from the pan drippings, beef broth, and a touch of flour or cornstarch for thickening.
  • Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and a hint of paprika or German mustard enhance the overall taste.

Recipe Steps:

  1. Prepare the Beef: Pound the beef slices to about 1/4 inch thickness for easy rolling.
  2. Assemble the Rouladen: Spread mustard on each beef slice, then top with bacon, onions, and pickles. Roll up tightly and secure with toothpicks or kitchen twine.
  3. Brown the Rouladen: In a heavy skillet, brown the rouladen on all sides to develop flavor.
  4. Braise: Add beef broth to the skillet, covering the rouladen halfway. Simmer covered for about 1.5 to 2 hours until tender.
  5. Make the Gravy: Remove the rouladen, and thicken the cooking liquid with a flour or cornstarch slurry to create a rich gravy.
  6. Serve: Remove the toothpicks or twine, slice the rouladen if desired, and serve with the gravy.

Storage Options:

  • Refrigerate: Keep leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Freeze in a sealed container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat gently.


How to Make German Beef Rouladen

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Author: Maria


For the Rouladen:

  • 4 slices beef top round thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • 4 teaspoons German mustard or Dijon mustard
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 large onion finely sliced
  • 4 small pickles sliced lengthwise
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toothpicks or kitchen twine for securing

For the Gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine optional
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Bay leaf optional


Prepare the Beef:

  • Lay out the beef slices on a work surface. Pound them gently with a meat mallet to flatten them further if necessary. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Add the Fillings:

  • Spread a teaspoon of mustard on each slice. Place a slice of bacon, some slices of onion, and a pickle on one end of each beef slice.

Roll and Secure:

  • Roll up the beef slices tightly around the filling, starting from the end with the filling. Secure each roll with toothpicks or kitchen twine.

Brown the Rouladen:

  • In a heavy-bottomed pan or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Brown the rouladen on all sides, then remove them from the pan and set aside.

Make the Gravy:

  • In the same pan, add a bit more oil if needed. Stir in the flour to make a roux, cooking for a minute or two. Gradually whisk in the beef broth and red wine, if using. Add the tomato paste and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until the gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper.

Braise the Rouladen:

  • Return the rouladen to the pan, spooning some of the gravy over them. Cover and simmer on low heat for about 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the meat is tender.


  • Carefully remove the toothpicks or twine from the rouladen. Serve them with the gravy and your choice of side dishes.


  • Meat Selection: Ask your butcher for beef top round slices specifically for rouladen, or buy a top round and slice it thinly at home.
  • Cooking Time: Adjust the braising time based on the thickness of the beef slices. The goal is for the beef to become very tender.
  • Thickening Gravy: If the gravy is too thin after cooking, you can remove the rouladen and bring the gravy to a boil. Mix a little cornstarch with water and whisk it into the boiling gravy to thicken it.
  • Serving Suggestions: Traditional sides include mashed potatoes, spaetzle, or boiled potatoes, and red cabbage or green beans.

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