Eat like a German - German Recipe:
Rouladen (1)

Rouladen (1)
[ source: Flickr]

Serves: 4 persons

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

Rouladen (or Rinderroulade) is a German meat roulade usually consisting of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef which is then cooked. In some countries the roulade is also known as Beef Olive.

Beef or veal is used as meat though some food scholars tend to believe that the original version was probably venison or pork. The beef rouladen as we know them today have become popular over the last century. The cut is usually Topside Beef or Silverside since this is the cheaper cut. The more expensive version would be the round steak - or also known as rump steak. The meat is cut into large, thin slices.

The filling is a mixture of smoked and cooked pork belly (danish bacon), chopped onions and chopped pickles (gherkins) which is at times varied by adding minced meat, sausage meat and pine nuts. The mixture varies from region to region. Rouladen are traditionally served for dinner. Red wine is often served with this dish but mostly it is enjoyed together with beer.

How is it done?

In preparation more or less hot Mustard is spread onto the thin slices of meat and the prepared filling mixture is added on top. Once the filling is added, the meat is rolled up to a traditional elongated shape similar to a cigar. A thread (traditional) or toothpick (modern) is used to hold the roll together. The rouladen are first seared in a roasting dish together with carrots, celery, onions and bacon until they are nicely browned and the vegetables are somewhat caramelized. Red wine or beer and chicken or vegetable stock is then added, then slowly roasted until the meat is tender. The slow roasting takes between one and two hours depending on the meat and preferences.

Traditionally the pan was covered and placed on a raised iron mount in front of an open fireplace for the slow roasting period. The height of the iron mount and the distance from the fire determined the temperature of the slow roasting process.

Today you either put the dish into an oven with the lid on at 175 degrees Celsius (350 degree Fahrenheit) or leave the dish on the stove at low temperatures and gently simmer until the meat is tender.

The Rouladen are then removed and some more beer, red wine or vegetable stock is added to the liquid. When the liquid is added, it lifts the flavor from the bottom of the dish to make a sauce for the meat. This liquid is reduced and then thickened to a gravy. The rouladen are then returned to the gravy and gently reheated.

How do you eat it

Rouladen are usually served with either Spätzle, potato dumplings or boiled potatoes and red cabbage. Roasted winter vegetables are another common side dish. The gravy is an absolute requirement to round off the dish and is usually poured over the meat. The Spätzle are a good compliment to the dish since they soak up the gravy well.

This dish was considered a dish for common people however it is nowadays enjoyed by many as a festive dish.

[ source: Wikipedia ]


For the Rouladen

  • 4 large slices of topside beef
  • 3 tablespoons of mustard
  • 1 can of beer (330 ml)
  • 250 ml of chicken stock
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 100 gr. danish or streaky bacon cut into cubes
  • 2 tblsp. Olive Oil

For the Filling:

  • 150 gr. danish or streaky bacon cut into cubes
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 4-6 pickled gherkins - chopped


Mix the ingredients for the filling and set aside. Lay out slices of top side and slightly beat flat. Spread mustard evenly over all slices. Now spread the filling evenly over all slices on top of the mustard, then roll up the slices and fix with tooth pics so they look like big cigars. Heat up olive oil in frying dish, add one chopped onion and 100 gr. bacon and gently fry until onions are glazed. Add rolled up rouladen and brown them from all sides. Once browned, pour in 1 can of beer and 250 ml of chicken stock. You can substitute the beer for red wine if you desire. Bring to boil then reduce heat until the liquid only slightly simmers. Put the lid on and gently simmer for about 60 - 90 minutes but keep checking so you don't loose too much liquid. Top up with beer, wine or stock if necessary but make sure rouladen are not submerged. Once the meat is tender, remove the rouladen from the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce and thicken gravy. Reduce heat, add a dash of creme fraiche for flavor and color then return the rouladen and gently reheat them.

Serve with either Spätzle, potato dumplings or boiled potatoes and red cabbage.

Ask a Local for special travel insider tips!

We make it easy for you to post your travel questions and get them answered by local residents and our property owners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This way you get unqiue travel tips, personalized to your needs. Just type in your destination in the search box and go to your desired destination guide. From there look for the "Ask a Local" box, type in your question and submit. Typically you'll get 2-3 responses within less than 24 hours.

Download free eBook: 10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation!

Download free eBook: 10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation!Register for our free monthly Germany travel newsletter and download as a gift this valuable eBook: "10 Tips on how to Live Like a German during your Germany Vacation" - written by Bettina Kraft, owner of the Live Like a German site.
[ + ] More Details