Authentic German Rouladen Recipe (2024)

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One of Germany’s most famous and delicious dishes, Rouladen are beef roulades filled with bacon, onions, mustard and pickles, then browned and simmered in the richest gravy imaginable. Mouthwateringly delicious, this authentic Rouladen recipe is the only one you’ll ever need!

Authentic German Rouladen Recipe (1)

Growing up in Stuttgart, we regularly enjoyed family dinners with my Oma and Opa. My Oma was famous for her Kasseler, Kartoffelpuffer, Sauerbraten and her Rouladen. When a meal included gravy she always knew to make extra when we came over because I would heap copious amounts of it over my meat, potatoes, Knödel, Rotkohl, Sauerkraut, you name it. (I still do.) For me the gravy was one of the primary highlights of the meal. Rouladen is one of my all-time favorite German dishes and its accompanying gravy is arguably the king of all gravies. Today I’m sharing my homemade Rouladen recipe with you and I’m confident you’re going to love it as much as we do!

What Are Rouladen?

Rouladen is a traditional German dish featuring long, thin strips of meat slathered with mustard and filled with bacon, onions, and pickles. The filling is enclosed by rolling up the meat strips and the roulades are then browned and slow-simmered in a rich gravy.

Rouladen are enjoyed throughout the year in Germany but are often associated with Sunday dinners and special occasions like Christmas Eve.

Authentic German Rouladen Recipe (2)

Can Rouladen Be Made Ahead Of Time?

You can save time by assembling the rouladen in advance and chilling them until you’re ready to cook them. They are also good reheated.

How Large Should the Slices of Beef Be?

They need to be large enough to stuff and roll up, at least 4×6 inches in size and about 1/4 inch thick. This recipe makes 2 rouladen per person. Alternatively you can make larger rouladen and serve one large rouladen per person.

Flour or Cornstarch to Thicken the Gravy?

You can use either. Cornstarch will make a more translucent gravy and flour will make a slightly opaque gravy. It just comes down to personal preference and/or allergies.

What Do I Serve With Rouladen?

Traditionally, Rouladen are served with Rotkohl and boiled potatoes or Knödel – either Semmelknödel (bread dumplings) or Kartoffelklöße (potato dumplings). Instead of potatoes or Knödel, they are also commonly served with Spätzle.

Get our recipe or Authentic German Rotkohl

Authentic German Rouladen Recipe (3)

Get our recipe for Authentic German Semmelknödel (Bread Dumplings)

Get our recipe for Authentic German Spätzle

Authentic Rouladen Recipe

Rouladen aren’t hard to make, but they do take time. You can shave off some time on the day of your meal by assembling the rouladen ahead of time and chilling them until you’re ready to cook them.

Rouladen are made by spreading some German mustard on thinly cut slices of beef, adding bacon, sliced German pickles and chopped onions. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and roll them up, securing the rolls with toothpicks or cooking twine. Next you generously fry the rouladen in oil until they’re nicely browned on all sides. They’re then removed and set aside so you can saute the onions and vegetables for the gravy. Add the liquids and spices to the cooked veggies and nestle the rouladen in this mixture to simmer on low until the meat is fork tender. The rouladen are removed, the sauce is poured through a strainer, and the resulting gravy is returned to the pot and thickened. The rouladen are returned to the gravy, heated through and served with Rotkohl and boiled potatoes, Knödel, or Spätzle.

Below we’ve provided step-by-step pictured instructions to ensure your success!

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© Arkadiusz Fajer | Dreamstime

Let’s get started!

Lay the beef slices out on a work surface. Spread each beef slices with about 2 teaspoons of German mustard and sprinkle with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place a strip of bacon on each beef slice so it’s running the same length as the beef. Place the sliced German pickles and chopped onions on each beef slice. Authentic German Rouladen Recipe (7)

Roll up the beef slices, tucking in the sides as best you can and securing the beef rolls with toothpicks or cooking twine.

Authentic German Rouladen Recipe (8)

Heat the butter and oil in a heavy Dutch oven or pot (make sure it’s oven-safe if baking in the oven) and generously brown the rouladen on all sides. Browning them well will ensure a rich and flavorful gravy. Set the rouladen aside on a plate.

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*Do not remove the browned bits in the bottom of the pan, it’s key to the most flavorful gravy!

Add the onions to the pot and a little more butter or oil if needed. Cook the onions until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the leek, carrots and celery and cook for another 5 minutes. Pour in the red wine, bring to a rapid boil for one minute, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2-3 more minutes.

Authentic German Rouladen Recipe (10)

Add the beef broth, tomato paste, bay leaf, salt and pepper.

Nestle the rouladen in the pot.

Oven or Stovetop: You can cook the rouladen, covered, on the stovetop on low for about 90 minutes or until fork tender but for the most even cooking we recommend transferring the pot (make sure it’s oven-safe) to the oven preheated to 325 F and cook it there for about 90 minutes or until fork tender.

To Make the Rouladen Gravy:

When the beef is fork tender, remove the rouladen from the pot and set aside. Pour the liquid and vegetables through a strainer and reserve the liquid. (You can set the veggies aside for another purpose, they are yummy. Or, as some of our readers have mentioned, you can puree the veggies in the blender and then return them to the gravy.)

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Return the strained liquid back to the pot and bring to a simmer. Thicken the gravy either with either a cornstarch slurry (for a clear/translucent gravy) or flour slurry (for an opaque gravy). For a creamy gravy you can also add a few tablespoons of heavy cream at this point. Simmer, whisking constantly, until the gravy is thickened.

Add the chilled butter, whisking constantly, until the butter is melted and incorporated. Add salt, pepper and mustard to taste. Note: If you’d like creamy gravy you can stir in some heavy cream at this point.

Carefully remove the toothpicks or cooking twine from the rouladen and return them to the gravy and heat through.

Authentic German Rouladen Recipe (12)

Serve the Rouladen with Rotkohl and either boiled potatoes, Semmelknödel (bread dumplings) or Kartoffelklöße (potato dumplings) or Spätzle.

Authentic German Rouladen Recipe (13)

For more authentic German dishes, be sure to also try our:

  • Sauerbraten
  • Käsespätzle (Cheese Spaetzle)
  • Swabian Potato Salad
  • Senfbraten (Roast Pork with Mustard Gravy)
  • Schnitzel
  • Jägerschnitzel
  • Maultaschen
  • German Potato Soup
  • Frikadellen

Authentic German Rouladen Recipe (14)

Authentic German Rouladen

Kimberly Killebrew

One of Germany's most famous and delicious dishes, Rouladen are beef roulades filled with bacon, onions, mustard and pickles, then browned and simmered in an incredibly rich and flavorful gravy.

Print Recipe

5 from 209 votes

Prep Time 30 minutes mins

Cook Time 1 hour hr 55 minutes mins

Total Time 2 hours hrs 25 minutes mins

Course Entree, Main Dish

Cuisine German

Servings 4 servings

Calories 392 kcal

Ingredients

  • For the Rouladen:
  • 8 slices top round beef, about 4x6 inches in size and 1/4 inch thick (*see note) (ask your butcher), gently pound the slices with a meat mallet until they're a little thinner than 1/4 inch (be careful not to pound holes into them)
  • 1/3 cup German yellow mustard
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 8 medium German pickles , sliced lengthwise
  • 1 medium yellow onion , chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Gravy:
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion , chopped
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 small leek , chopped, rinsed and drained in colander
  • 1 large carrot , chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk , chopped
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups strong beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chilled butter
  • cornstarch or flour dissolved in a little water for thickening (depending on how much gravy liquid there is you'll need about 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in 2-3 tablespoons of water or 2-3 tablespoons flour dissolved in 1/4 - 1/3 cup water)

Instructions

  • Lay the beef slices out on a work surface. Spread each beef slices with about 2 teaspoons of mustard and sprinkle with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place a strip of bacon on each beef slice so it's running the same length as the beef. Place the sliced German pickles and chopped onions on each beef slice. Roll up the beef slices, tucking in the sides as best you can and securing the beef rolls with toothpicks or cooking twine.

  • Heat the butter and oil in a heavy Dutch oven or pot (make sure it's oven-safe if baking in the oven) and generously brown the rouladen on all sides. Browning them well will ensure a rich and flavorful gravy. Set the rouladen aside on a plate.

  • *Do not remove the browned bits in the bottom of the pan (important for a flavorful gravy): Add the onions to the pot and a little more butter or oil if needed. Cook the onions until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the leek, carrots and celery and cook for another 5 minutes. Pour in the red wine, bring to a rapid boil for one minute, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2-3 more minutes. Add the beef broth, tomato paste, bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper.

  • Nestle the beef rouladen in the pot.

    Oven or Stovetop: You can cook the rouladen, covered, on the stovetop on low for about 90 minutes or until fork tender, but for the most even cooking we recommend transferring the pot (make sure it's oven-safe) to the oven preheated to 325 F and cook it there for about 90 minutes or until fork tender.

  • To Make the Rouladen Gravy:

    When the beef is fork tender, remove the rouladen from the pot and set aside. Pour the liquid and vegetables through a strainer and reserve the liquid. (You can eat the veggies on the side or puree them in the blender and then return them to the gravy.) Return the strained liquid back to the pot and bring to a simmer. Thicken the gravy either with either a cornstarch slurry (for a clear/translucent gravy) or flour slurry (for an opaque gravy). For a creamy gravy you can also add a few tablespoons of heavy cream at this point. Simmer, whisking constantly, until the gravy is thickened.

    Add the chilled butter, whisking constantly, until the butter is melted and incorporated. Add salt, pepper and mustard to taste. Note: If you prefer a creamy gravy you can stir in some heavy cream.

    Carefully remove the toothpicks or cooking twine from the rouladen and return them to the gravy and heat through.

  • Serve the rouladen and gravy with Homemade Rotkohl and either Homemade Spätzle, Homemade SemmelKnödel (or Kartoffelknödel) or boiled potatoes.

Notes

  • This recipe makes 2 rouladen per person. Alternatively you can make larger rouladen for one large rouladen per person.

Nutrition

Serving: 2rouladen | Calories: 392kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 1121mg | Potassium: 360mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2073IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg

Keyword Rouladen

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Authentic German Rouladen Recipe (2024)
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