German Beef Rouladen

Germade beef roulade recipe

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 4 to 6 roulades
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
387 Calories
24g Fat
4g Carbs
34g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 387
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 30%
Saturated Fat 9g 46%
Cholesterol 125mg 42%
Sodium 317mg 14%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 34g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 372mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

German rouladen is made with thin slices of beef. Browned, then braised, this delicacy makes use of inexpensive cuts of beef and transforms them into a favorite German meal. The sauce can be very simple (beef broth) or more complex with vegetables and cream. This recipe uses a little red wine for flavor, but you can make the dish without the wine.

Rouladen is often rolled around a pickle, mustard, onion and bacon mixture, in which case it is called rindsrouladen.

The adjectives hausfrauenart (literally, "wife's method") and hausmannskost (literally, "husband's repast or meal") added to the name of a dish means it's a simple concoction served at home, often made without written recipes.

If you're not quite at the hausfrau level, don't worry, we've got you covered with a rouladen recipe.


  • 2 pounds beef brisket, or rump, thinly sliced 

  • 1 to 2 gherkins, or sour pickles, or 1 dill pickle

  • 1 medium onion

  • 2 slices bacon

  • 2 tablespoons mustard

  • 1/2 tablespoon clarified butter

  • 1/2 tablespoon oil

  • 1 carrot, diced

  • 1 to 2 stalks celery, diced

  • 1/2 cup dry red wine

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Germade beef roulade
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  2. Slice the beef about 1/4-inch thick across the large surface (horizontally). This can be done with a slicing machine, by the butcher, or by hand with a very sharp knife. This works best when the meat is partially frozen. You should be able to get 4 to 6 slices from the meat. Lay beef out flat.

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  3. Cut pickle lengthwise into strips and dice the onion and bacon very finely and set aside.

    Pickle and onions
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  4. Spread each beef slice with mustard; fill one end with 2 slices of pickle, 1 to 2 tablespoons of onion, and some diced bacon.

    Spread mustard
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga 
  5. Roll up from the filled end and tie with string (tie like you are wrapping a present or use a modified blanket stitch), or use turkey lacers (in Germany they are called rouladennadel) to keep the rolls tightly closed.

    Wrapped beef
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  6. Melt the butter and oil in a saucepan or Dutch oven and brown the outside of the roulades in it. Remove the roulades to a plate.

    Melt the butter
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  7. Add the diced carrot and celery, which is known as a suppengrün or mirepoix, to the same pan the rolls were braised in. Sauté for a few minutes, until soft.

    Add diced carrots
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  8. Place the beef rolls back on top of the vegetables, add the red wine and a little water, to make about 1/2-inch of liquid in the pan.

    Place beef on vegetables
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  9. Add the bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon of salt (depends on how salty the bacon is), and some grinds of pepper.

    Add bay leaf
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  10. Cover and braise over low heat for 2 hours, or until beef is tender.

    Cover and braise
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  11. Remove beef roulades and keep warm.

    Remove beef
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  12. Purée sauce and thicken (optional) with a little cream, sour cream, or Wondra flour (known as sossenbinder in Germany). Season to taste with more salt and pepper as needed.

    Puree sauce
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  13. Place roulades back in the sauce until serving time.

    Place roulades back
    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  14. Serve with boiled potatoes (dampfkartoffeln or parsley potatoes) or spaetzle noodles and red cabbage.

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga
  15. Enjoy!

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga