German Rouladen Recipe for Authentic Beef Rouladen

German rouladen recipe

German rouladen are one of the tastiest dishes from Germany. You can get pork rouladen too although beef rouladen are especially popular. These mouthwatering meaty treats are stuffed with bacon, mustard, pickles, and bacon. After that, they are simmered gently in a rich, hearty brown gravy.

German rouladen are ideal for any occasion, whether it’s a speedy weeknight supper in the chilly months or a meal to impress your family or friends.

This beef dish from Germany is a popular option for Sunday dinner, and also beloved for special occasions such as Easter or Christmas Eve. Whether you pair yours with fries, mashed potatoes, spaetzle or noodles, you’re going to love how richly flavored they are. Oh, and make extra gravy because it’s just that good! If you like German cuisine, try sauerkraut and pork too.

Can You Make a German Beef Rouladen Recipe in Advance?

You can prepare them and then keep them refrigerated until cooking. They aren’t hard to prepare but they can be fiddly and take a while, so if you’ll be pressed for time in the evening when you’re going to cook, you might wish to assemble them a day ahead. Alternatively, just make and cook extra because they do reheat well the following day.

Should You Thicken the Gravy with Flour or Cornstarch?

Actually you can use either one. You’ll get more of a clear gravy with cornstarch (UK: cornflour).

What’s the Best Side Dish for German Rouladen?

Boiled potatoes, bread dumplings, potato dumplings, and red cabbage are all popular side dishes served alongside a rouladen recipe in Germany, but you can serve any kind of starch you want and any kind of veggies – perhaps Hispi cabbage or even broccoli or asparagus.

What Does Roulade and Rouladen Mean Exactly?

The words “roulade” and “rouladen” (plural) refer to a dish which has ingredients rolled up in a main ingredient. For example, here the beef is rolled around the filling. There are both savory and sweet roulade recipes. Swiss roll, for instance, is a sweet roulade. The French word “rouler” means to roll and that’s where the name of the dish originated.

With meat roulades, the beef, pork or protein of choice is wrapped around a filling of meat, cheese, vegetables, or something else, and then it’s braised in broth or a wine mixture until the meat is tender. To secure the filling, kitchen twine or toothpicks can be used. Remember to take them off before serving roulade recipes though! To serve, the roulades are typically sliced and served along with the cooking liquid (which is thickened to make a tasty gravy). Different countries have their own versions of roulades.

Rouladen in Other Countries

A Czech recipe called “Spanish birds” is the closest to the German version, although wine isn’t usually used and the filling is likely to have frankfurter or hard boiled egg wedges. These are much smaller than the German ones so they’re served whole typically.

In the Netherlands, pork is usually used in place of beef and the “rollade” (as it’s known there) isn’t usually filled. Nutmeg, salt and black pepper are common seasonings, and sometimes allspice too. In France, a popular dish is the “paupiette” which is a veal roulade stuffed with vegetables, sweetmeats or fruits.

Italy has involtini, which is thinly sliced pork, beef or chicken wrapped around shredded cheese and sometimes also egg. Other ingredients in involtini recipes might include prosciutto, breadcrumbs, mushrooms, onions, pine nuts, spinach, Italian sausage, and ham. Swordfish and other kinds of fish are sometimes used in Sicily where fish are abundant, in place of beef, pork or chicken. Eggplant (aubergine) can also be used to make vegetarian involtini.


German Rouladen Recipe

One of the tastiest German recipes, beef rouladen are richly flavored, meaty and just oozing with incredible flavors. If you like beef and you want something hearty, there’s no way you will regret making this fantastic and authentic German beef recipe.

  • Author: Victoria Haneveer
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main dishes
  • Cuisine: German


  • 8 slices top round beef (see notes)
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 4 lengthwise sliced German pickles (gherkins)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) German mustard
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the Gravy:

  • 1 tablespoon canola, olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1 chopped small leek
  • 1 cup (250ml) dry red wine
  • 1 chopped celery stalk
  • 1 tablespoon tomato concentrate
  • 2 cups (500ml) strong beef broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter
  • Flour or cornstarch dissolved in a splash of cold water, for thickening


  1. Lay out the beef and spread 2 teaspoons of mustard over each one and then add salt and pepper.
  2. Add bacon, pickles and chopped onions, then roll them up and secure with twine or toothpicks.
  3. Melt the butter with the oil in a skillet and brown the beef rouladen all over.
  4. Set the rouladen to one side.
  5. Add the onions to the skillet (leave the browned bits in there too – that makes the gravy richer!) and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, and then add the carrots, celery and leek, and cook for 5 minutes more.
  7. Add the wine, bring the mixture to a boil and cook for a minute.
  8. Turn the heat down and simmer for 3 minutes.
  9. Stir in the broth, tomato concentrate, sugar, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
  10. Put the beef rouladen back in the skillet and cook uncovered on the stovetop until fork tender (about 1 1/2 hours) or else in the oven at 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).
  11. Once the beef is tender, remove it from the pot and set to one side, and then pour the contents of the skillet through a colander to remove the solids.
  12. Put the liquid back into the skillet (see notes about the veggies).
  13. Thicken the mixture with your flour or cornstarch slurry, simmering gently until thickened to your liking.
  14. Whisk in the cold butter until it melts into the gravy.
  15. Add mustard, salt and black pepper to taste.
  16. Remove and discard the twine or toothpicks from the beef rouladen and warm them back up in the gravy, then serve hot with your preferred side dishes.


  • The beef should be about 6 x 4 inches (15 x 10 cm) in size and about 1/4 inch (3/4 cm) thick. If they’re thicker you can pound them yourself or have the butcher do it.
  • If you want to cook the beef rouladen in the oven, not on the stovetop, either use an oven-proof skillet for both, or else transfer the rouladen into an oven-proof dish first.
  • Either serve the strained vegetables on the side or puree them into a soup, so as not to waste them.
  • You can add a splash of cream to the gravy if you want it a bit creamy.

Keywords: beef rouladen, rouladen recipe, German recipe, rolled beef, stuffed beef

German beef rouladen recipe