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Recipe: Rinderrouladen

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

If you’d like to make a German Christmas favourite, look no further than this recipe for Rinderrouladen (beef roulade). Though this combination of beef wrapped around bacon, onions and pickle is fairly time-consuming (taking 2 hours and 30 minutes hours to be precise!), the hearty meal is certainly worth your time. The dish is best served with Rotkohl and boiled potatoes.

Rouladen with red cabbage and potatoes. Photo: JaBB via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Rouladen (via The Daring Gourmet)

Makes 6 servings

Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 2 hours Total time: 2.5 hours


  • 6 slices top round (see hints below)

  • 3 slices lean bacon

  • 1 onion, sliced

  • 3 dill pickles, sliced

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • mustard, salt, pepper, cornstarch

  • 250-500ml water


  • Season beef slices with salt and freshly ground pepper. Thinly spread mustard on top of each slice.

  • Divide bacon, pickle, and onion slices on one end of each slice.

  • Roll up slices, tucking the ends in and securing with skewers, wooden cocktail picks, or thread.

  • Heat butter in skillet. Brown rouladen well on all sides. Do not crowd rouladen in skillet, or they will not brown nicely. Do in small batches if necessary. Add extra butter if needed.

  • Once all rouladen are well browned, add 1 - 2 cups of hot water, gently stirring up browned bits. Return all rouladen and any accumulated juices to skillet, bring to simmer and cover.

  • Simmer for about 1½ hours.

  • Remove rouladen. To thicken gravy, combine about 1 - 2 tbsp cornstarch in a little cold water and stir gently into cooking liquid until slightly thickened.

  • Season gravy to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. If you wish, add sour cream to the gravy.

  • Remove skewers, picks, or thread to serve rouladen with their gravy.


  • Have the butcher cut beef top round into thin slices, about ⅜ inch thick. Each roulade should measure at least 6 inches by 4 inches. Gently pound meat until it is about ⅛ to ¼ inch thick. Be careful not to put holes in the meat. The larger the roulade, the easier it is to roll up.

  • Some add pickles, others don't. Some add other vegetables, others minimize the fillings. Use Black Forest ham instead of bacon.

  • You can also make rouladen in your pressure cooker.

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