Beef Rouladen Recipe

Alana's birthday rouladen

This beef rouladen recipe, along with potato dumplings and red cabbage, are among our most cherished authentic German recipes.

What could be better than to serve this as your traditional German Christmas food!

This is a real treat, especially for company, birthdays, and holidays ... or anytime you have something special to celebrate. And they're easy to make. Here, my granddaughter made them for her birthday.

I find it just as easy to make twice as many of these beef rolls as I need. The extras freeze well, as long as they are covered in their gravy. Thaw them in the fridge and then reheat.

There are many versions of this beef rouladen recipe, with a difference in filling being the usual change. 

Some add pickles, others don't. Some add other vegetables, others minimize the fillings. Use Black Forest ham instead of bacon. 

If you love rouladen, but want something a bit easier for everyday, then try my own flatladen recipe. Created by me for my boys. We ALL love it!

Beef Rouladen Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices top round (see hints below)
  • 3 slices lean bacon
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic dill pickles, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • mustard, salt, pepper, corn starch
  • 1 - 2 cups water

Instructions:

  • Season beef slices with salt and freshly ground pepper. Thinly spread mustard on top of each slice.
  • Divide bacon, pickle, and onion slices on one end of each slice.
  • Roll up slices, tucking the ends in and securing with skewers, wooden cocktail picks, or thread.
  • Heat butter in skillet. Brown rouladen well on all sides. Do not crowd rouladen in skillet, or they will not brown nicely. Do in small batches if necessary. Add extra butter if needed.
  • Once all rouladen are well browned, add 1 - 2 cups of hot water, gently stirring up browned bits. Return all rouladen and any accumulated juices to skillet, bring to simmer and cover.
  • Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Remove rouladen. To thicken gravy, combine about 1-2 tbsp corn starch in a little cold water and stir gently into cooking liquid until slightly thickened.
  • Season gravy to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. If you wish, add sour cream to the gravy.
  • Remove skewers, picks, or thread to serve rouladen with their gravy.
Hints:
  • Have the butcher cut beef top round into thin slices, about 3/8 inch thick. Each roulade should measure at least 6 inches by 4 inches. Gently pound meat until it is about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Be careful not to put holes in the meat. The larger the roulade, the easier it is to roll up. 

More Beef Rouladen Recipe Tips:

I usually make two rouladen for each person, but this really depends on the size of the top round slices I get from the butcher.

Sometimes they are quite large and one roulade is all that's needed for one serving.

But I find that even though one SHOULD be enough per person, because they are so good, most people like to take a second one.

Or, often times they will share a second one with someone else.

Because of this, I usually make as many as my budget allows, hoping for leftovers, because these taste so great the next day, heated gently in their gravy.

Does your budget say "too expensive" to make these German rouladen often? Then, do try my flatladen recipe. It's what a created to give the same great rouladen and gravy taste without all the work or expense.



Want nutritional information for a recipe? Copy and paste the ingredient list and the number of servings into Calorie Count. It will give you an approximate calculation.



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› Rouladen

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Rouladen

rouladen preparation

If you prepare all your ingredients and then work 'assembly line' style, you'll find that the preparation time for making rouladen is minimized.


Alana making rouladen

Alana making her rouladen. Instead of using bacon strips, she put a slice of Black Forest ham down the length of the rouladen. A delicious variation on the traditional recipe, one I'll be doing often.


rouladen

Here's an inside look at my rouladen, covered with delicious gravy. So scrumptious with potato dumplings . You'll find another version as Rinderrouladen


flatladen and dumplings

Love rouladen, just not the work? Then try our family recipe for Flatladen. Same taste, same gravy, less work, less expense.  What's not to like? Here they are being served with potato dumplings stuffed with croutons. 


red cabbage

Both rouladen and flatladen taste even better when accompanied with a traditional side dish of red cabbage.


Black Forest Cake

Follow this authentic German meal with a traditional German Black Forest Cake. This one is really easy to make. All it takes is a cake mix, whipping...(more)


What others are saying . . .

Anne says, "Just made this last week for my Birthday. I usually add walnut pieces or almond slivers. Can't believe it looks exactly the same as my Mama taught me some 40 years ago, the only thing what we did different, we use a fork to make the ridges in the apples. But they do open up better the way you do it with the knife. And you are right, this recipe never fails :)"

Gabriele H. says, "What a wonderful place to find German recipes without having to call family in Germany. I'm loving it."

Catherine R. says, "Tomorrow is a good day to try this!"

 


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Joy B: Our family always used white vinegar instead of lemon juice, and added paprika ... but I think I'd like this version better!   

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