Rouladen, or Rinderrouladen, or German Beef Rolls

Terrie Hoelscher


My house smells SO good right now. I just finished making these, and my house smells like the "Pfungstädterstube", my favorite restaurant in Darmstadt, W. Germany, where I used to live.
My neighbor there used to make these, and we could smell them simmering all afternoon, throughout the apartment complex in which we lived. They were divine!
I make them the way my neighbor did, but you can adjust them to your family's tastes. I guess there are as many variations on these as there are on pot roast or brownies! ha!


★★★★★ 4 votes

20 Min
2 Hr


  • 6-8
    beef skirt steaks, about 1/4-lb each
  • ·
    or two round steaks, about 1½ lbs total, cut into 4"-5" pieces
  • 2 Tbsp
    german mustard, or any coarse-grain brown mustard
  • 2 tsp
  • 6 - 8 slice
    uncooked or lightly cooked, thin-sliced bacon
  • 1 jar(s)
    garlic or dill pickle spears, or some chopped dill or bread and butter pickle
  • 1 large
    onion, sliced, and rings separated
  • ·
    fresh ground black pepper & salt to taste
  • ·
    flour, enough for dusting the rolls after they're put together.
  • 2 Tbsp
    each, of butter & cooking oil, to brown rouladen
  • 2 c
    beef broth
  • 1/2 c
    red wine
  • 1 Tbsp
    worcestershire sauce
  • 1
    bay leaf
  • ·
    very small pinch of freshly-ground nutmeg, less than a 1/4 tsp.
  • 2 Tbsp
    flour or cornstarch
  • 1/2 c
    cold water
  • large
    dollop of sour cream
  • ·
    fresh pepper and salt, to taste

How to Make Rouladen, or Rinderrouladen, or German Beef Rolls


  1. A note on the skirt steaks:
    You can use roundsteak, cut it into large pieces, and pound until about 1/4" thick. You can also use a flank steak, and cut into thin slices. Whatever is available in your meat department or at your butcher. Just make sure you can pound it pretty thin w/ a meat mallet. It has to be thin enough to be "roll-able". Skirt steak is not a tender cut, but is very flavorful. It becomes very tender when you cook it for awhile, as this recipe directs.
  2. I use the polypropylene liner bags that are inside cereal boxes, when I tenderize any kind of meat ... they're tough, and they don't fall apart, therefore keeping the meat from spattering all over your counter, etc.
    Pound the meat into sort of oblong sizes, until it's thin enough to roll multiple times around the filling; set aside.
  3. Mix together the mustard and the horseradish. You can leave the h/r out, if you're not a fan. It does add a very nice flavor, though, and I think it helps tenderize the meat!
    Spread the mustard/horseradish mixture over each piece of flattened steak, covering the entire thing.
  4. Separate the onions into rings, and tear them in long pieces, so you can lay them out across the top of the meat pieces. Across the top of the onion strips, lay (length-wise) a piece of the uncooked bacon. Lay a pickle spear (cross-wise) across one end of the flattened meat. [I used chopped pickle in the photo, because it "rolls" easier].
  5. Roll each piece up, burrito style, making sure everything is nicely tucked in. Seal w/ toothpicks or cooking string. Season w/ salt and pepper.
  6. Roll each roulade in the flour, just enough to 'dust' it. Don't coat it heavily.
  7. In a counter top electric skillet, preheated to about 325°, melt the butter & oil together (I use a little of both, because the oil raises the burning temp of the butter). Brown the rouladen evenly, ensuring that you brown all sides.
    Tip: It helps to use TWO cooking utensils, like a turning fork and a pair of tongs, when turning these over, so you don't "splash" oil, and so you don't tear apart the rolls.
  8. When rouladen are nicely browned, pour in the beef broth, red wine, & Worcestershire sauce, all around the rouladen; add the bay leaf and just the tiniest pinch of freshly-ground nutmeg - go easy on the nutmeg! Cover securely, keep on LOW (about 275°), and let them cook gently for about 2 hours, or until very tender.
  9. After a couple of hours, gently remove the beef rolls to a warm platter.
    Turn heat up to med-high, or thereabouts ... high enough to bring the mixture to a slight simmer or low boil.Mix together the 2 T. of flour (or cornstarch) and cold water, breaking up all lumps. Stir this mixture into the broth, stirring constantly, until well blended and thickened. Return the heat to LOW! Allow to thicken a bit.
  10. Place the rouladen back into the pan w/ the gravy, and let them simmer for about a 1/2 hour on LOW.
    Just before serving, stir the dollop of sour cream into the gravy, and mix it in thoroughly. This will give a nice consistency to your gravy, thickening and enriching it with lots of good flavor. Bring the gravy back up to temp, but DON'T let it boil this time, now that you've added the sour cream!
    Season with more salt and pepper, to taste, if necessary.
  11. Serve with noodles or spätzle, a good green vegetable or some simmered red cabbage [Rotkohl], and some warm, chunky applesauce (apfelmus, in German - your basic applesauce that is a typical German accompaniment to roast meats like Schweinebraten or Rouladen).


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About Rouladen, or Rinderrouladen, or German Beef Rolls

Course/Dish: Beef

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