German Beef Rouladen

The Ultimate Guide to German Beef Roulade


German Beef Rouladen is a classic dish that embodies the rich culinary traditions of Germany. This hearty meal consists of thinly sliced beef rolled with a savory filling, typically bacon, onions, and pickles, before being braised to perfection. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the history, ingredients, preparation methods, and variations of this beloved dish.

History of German Beef Rouladen

The origins of Beef Rouladen can be traced back to traditional German cuisine, where resourcefulness and flavor were paramount. This dish likely evolved as a way to transform economical cuts of meat into a flavorful and satisfying meal. Over time, it became a staple in German households and is now celebrated both domestically and internationally for its delicious taste and hearty nature.


To prepare authentic German Beef Rouladen, you will need the following ingredients:

For the Rouladen:

  • Thinly sliced beef (typically from the round or flank)
  • Bacon strips
  • Onions, thinly sliced
  • Dill pickles, whole
  • Mustard (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

For the Sauce:

  • Beef broth
  • Red wine (optional)
  • Tomato paste
  • Flour or cornstarch (for thickening)
  • Bay leaves
  • Thyme

Preparation Method

Step 1: Prepare the Beef

  1. Lay out the thinly sliced beef on a clean surface.
  2. Season each slice with salt and pepper.
  3. Optionally, spread a thin layer of mustard on each slice for added flavor.

Step 2: Add the Filling

  1. Place a strip of bacon, a few slices of onion, and a dill pickle on each slice of beef.
  2. Roll up the beef tightly, securing it with toothpicks if necessary.

Step 3: Brown the Rouladen

  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add some oil.
  2. Brown the rolled-up beef on all sides until golden brown.

Step 4: Braise the Rouladen

  1. Transfer the browned rouladen to a pot or Dutch oven.
  2. Add beef broth, red wine (if using), tomato paste, bay leaves, and thyme to the pot.
  3. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the beef is tender.

Step 5: Thicken the Sauce

  1. Remove the rouladen from the pot and set aside.
  2. Mix flour or cornstarch with water to create a slurry.
  3. Gradually add the slurry to the sauce, stirring constantly, until it reaches your desired thickness.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy

  1. Remove the toothpicks from the rouladen.
  2. Serve the rouladen hot with the sauce spooned over the top.
  3. Accompany with traditional sides such as mashed potatoes, red cabbage, or spaetzle.

Variations and Tips


  • Vegetarian: Substitute the beef with thinly sliced seitan or tofu for a vegetarian version.
  • Stuffed: Experiment with different fillings such as mushrooms, cheese, or herbs for a unique twist.
  • Slow Cooker: Prepare the rouladen in a slow cooker for added convenience.


  • Tenderizing: Pound the beef slices with a meat mallet to ensure tenderness.
  • Preparation Ahead: Prepare the rouladen ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze for later use.
  • Serving Suggestions: Pair with a glass of German beer or Riesling wine for an authentic experience.


German Beef Rouladen is a timeless dish that continues to delight food enthusiasts around the world. Whether enjoyed as a comforting family meal or showcased at special gatherings, its hearty flavors and comforting aromas never fail to impress. By following this guide, you can master the art of making delicious German Beef Rouladen and create memorable dining experiences for yourself and your loved ones.

Now, roll up your sleeves and get ready to savor the culinary delights of Germany with this classic dish!

Written by Best Food

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