My German friend taught me this dish, and my hubby has been requesting it weekly since!

The dish we’re delving into today is German Beef Rouladen, an absolute classic in German cuisine.

This dish hails from the European tradition of stuffed meat dishes, variably known in France as roulade and in Italy as involtini.

Rouladen consists of thinly sliced beef rolled around a savory filling of bacon, onions, mustard, and pickles. It’s traditionally served on special occasions and holidays.

Someone might want to make this to explore the rich flavors of German cooking or to offer a show-stopping entrée at a dinner party.

To complement the deep, layered flavors of Beef Rouladen, one might serve Rotkohl (braised red cabbage) and creamy mashed potatoes or Spätzle (soft egg noodles). These sides embrace the comforting essence of German cuisine and balance the meal beautifully.

German Beef Rouladen
Servings: 4 servings

My German friend taught me this dish, and my hubby has been requesting it weekly since!

German Beef Rouladen



– 4 slices top round beef, thinly sliced (about 1/4 inch thick)
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
– 4 teaspoons German mustard (Dijon or a spicy mustard can be used as a substitute)
– 4 slices bacon
– 1 onion, thinly sliced
– 4 small dill pickles, sliced lengthwise
– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
– 1 cup beef broth


1. Begin by laying out the beef slices on a work surface, tenderizing them with a meat mallet if needed to ensure uniform thickness. Season each with salt and pepper.

2. Spread a teaspoon of mustard on each slice, then top each with a slice of bacon, followed by an even distribution of onion slices and a pickle.

3. Carefully roll up the slices, tucking in the sides to enclose the fillings, and secure them with toothpicks or kitchen twine.

4. Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven. Brown the rouladen on all sides, then remove them from the pan.

5. Deglaze the pan with a splash of beef broth, scraping up any browned bits that have adhered to the bottom of the pan for extra flavor.

6. Return the rouladen to the pan and add the remaining beef broth. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook on low heat for about 1 to 1.5 hours, until the beef is tender.

7. Remove the beef rouladen from the pan, and if desired, thicken the pan juices with a little flour or cornstarch slurry to create a rich gravy.

8. Remove toothpicks or twine before serving the rouladen with the gravy, and enjoy with your chosen sides.

Variations & Tips:

– To accommodate different dietary needs, you can create a gluten-free version by using gluten-free flour or cornstarch for thickening the gravy.

– Smoked bacon can add an extra layer of flavor to this dish.

– For a richer sauce, you can incorporate a splash of red wine into the broth for deglazing.

– Adventurous cooks might want to experiment with additional fillings, such as finely chopped mushrooms or a smear of horseradish.

– Leftover rouladen are excellent when sliced thin and served cold or reheated gently, making for wonderful leftovers.


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