The smell of Beef Rouladen wafting from my grandmother’s kitchen is one of my fondest childhood memories. These delicious beef roll ups are made with thinly sliced beef bacon, onions, and a dill pickle!
What is Rouladen?
Just the one of the finest comfort foods of all time!
If you hail from the Northeastern part of the USA, especially in states like Pennsylvania, or if you come from a German heritage, you probably grew up with beef Rouladen. These tender beef rolls were the one dish my grandmother and mother made that I crave! Rouladen is a truly classic German meal with mustard and pickles and it is rolled up, baked in the oven and served with a savory gravy.
Roulade means ‘to roll’ in French and rolling up the roulade meat with the other ingredients is the hardest thing you’ll have to do…and it’s still easy!
Beef for Rouladen
Some grocery stores in my area actually sell beef labelled as “Rouladen”.
You will want pieces of beef that are about 8″ to 10″ long x 4.5″ wide and 1/4″ thick. You can ask your local butcher or use thinly sliced flank steak as well. In a pinch, thin round steaks will work but you will likely need to layer two to get a 10″ length.
How to Make Rouladen
While it may sound slightly intimidating this recipe is truly as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Layout the beef slices and gently pound them with a meat tenderizer until they are all uniformly thin.
- Top with mustard, bacon, onions, and roll around a whole dill pickle, secure with a toothpick.
- Brown the outside and then roast in a casserole dish with remaining ingredients until done.
Don’t have time to wait at home for this recipe to cook, trying making it in the slow cooker all day for a delicious recipe to come home too! Follow the same recipe instructions but place in the slow cooker on low for 7-8 hours.
To Make the Gravy
- When done, remove from the pan and pour the juices into a stockpot on medium heat.
- Make a Slurry by whisking cornstarch with an equal amount of water or beef broth until it is fully dissolved. When the pan juices are boiling, whisk in the slurry a bit at a time and cook until the desired gravy thickness is reached.
- Tip: I always add a can of mushrooms with juices to my rouladen gravy just the way my mom made it.
My absolute favorite way to enjoy rouladen is on top of elbow macaroni with lots of gravy spooned over top. Of course it’s great over mashed potatoes or rice too.
To Freeze Rouladen
This easy dish can be prepared and the rolls can be frozen either before or after cooking. Simply prepare ad directed, place on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen transfer to a freezer bag or air tight container.
To enjoy from frozen, defrost in the refrigerator overnight and cook as directed in the recipe.
What to Do with Leftovers
Rouladen tastes great the next day! It makes a perfect work-day lunch over mashed potatoes or even cauliflower rice! You can also chop up the roulade and add the gravy to a soup!
Tasty Side Dishes
- German Potato Salad – ready in 30 mins!
- Creamy Broccoli Slaw – crisp, crunchy & creamy side!
- Braised Red Cabbage – nutritious and filling
- Perfect Baked Potatoes – soft & fluffy inside!
- Colcannon Recipe – made with cabbage & potatoes
- 6 slices beef round or thinly sliced flank steak*
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 onion sliced
- 6 dill pickles
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups beef broth low sodium
- 1/4 cup pickle juice
- 1 can mushrooms with juice (optional)
- salt & pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- mashed potatoes or elbow macaroni for serving
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
Layout beef slices and gently pound using a meat tenderizer.
- Spread a thin layer of mustard over each slice and season with pepper.
- Lay bacon over each slice. Top with onions and a dill pickle.
Roll each Rouladen jelly-roll style and secure with toothpicks.
Heat butter in a pan and brown each roll. Place in a roasting dish, add broth, canned mushrooms and 1/4 cup pickle juice (and extra onions if desired). Roast 90-120 minutes or until fork-tender.
To Make Gravy
Remove Rouladen from the juices, set on a plate and cover.
Heat juices over medium-high heat until boiling, making sure to scrape up any brown bit. Combine cornstarch with an equal amount of water. Add cornstarch mixture to the boiling broth while whisking until it reaches the desired thickness.
Serve Rouladen over mashed potatoes or elbow macaroni with gravy.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)