Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (2024)

  1. Home
  2. German Meat Recipes
  3. Rouladen Recipe

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (1)

by: Gerhild Fulson / Cookbook Author, Blogger, German Oma!

This post may contain affiliate links, whichmeans I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extracost to you. Please readfull disclosurefor more information.

This traditional German beef Rouladen recipe, aka beef rolls, steak rolls, or beef birds, served with potato dumplings and red cabbage is my most cherished German food from my childhood and still our very favorite.

What could be better than to serve this as your traditional German Christmas food or other holidays or birthdays… or anytime you have something special to celebrate?

What's better than to have a special feast meal that is actually quite easy to make? On top of that, there are so many versions of this braised beef Rouladen recipe, that it is easy to find one that matches your tastes and favorite method.

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (4)

One major difference is in the ingredients that the Rouladen are filled with. The differences stem from the different regions of Germany.

This actually makes it possible to have many traditional recipes for Rouladen that are so different from each other, meaning you can find one with a stuffing that matches your German food taste buds.

Then, there are four different methods for making these stuffed beef rolls. I grew up with my Mutti making them on the stove top. As years went by and Mutti got her first slow cooker, that became her favorite way of making them. She would cook them on low heat for 6-8 hours. Always so tender. Check out the hints section of the recipe for this version.

In Germany, the most popular ways are usinga pressure cookeror the oven. Each method has its following. I vary between all four of them, depending on the situation and how much time I have.

My favorite? I think it would be pressure cooker if I'm making just a few ('cause they are so tender and moist) and the stove top for making enough for the whole family.

Interesting Rouladen Facts

  • Different versions of Rouladen (thought to come from the French) are throughout Europe: Italy has Braciole, France has Paupiette, Czech Republic has Španělské ptáčky, Hungary has Szüz tekercsek, and Hungary, as well as Germany, have Rouladen.
  • Some of the interesting names are beef birds, olive birds, steak birds, bacon rolls, and stuffed rolls. These are filled with a variety of ingredients, such as vegetables, cheese, and other meats.
  • Originally, venison and pork were used although now beef (Rindsrouladen) or veal are usually used. However, I've also enjoyed using thinly sliced chicken breast for these.

How many Rouladen do I need to make?

  • I usually make two rouladen for each person, but this really depends on the size of the top round slices I get from the butcher. Sometimes they are quite large and one roulade is all that's needed for one serving.
  • I find that even though one SHOULD be enough per person, because they are so good, most people like to take a second one. Or, oftentimes they will share a second one with someone else.
  • Because of this, I usually make as many as my budget allows, hoping for leftovers, because these taste so great the next day, heated gently in their gravy.

There’s something absolutely mouth-watering about having a German meat-and-potato dinner. Get Oma's revised collection of her favorites inGerman Meat Dishes.

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (5)

Take a peek at all Oma's eCookbooks. They make sharing your German heritage a delicious adventure!

How to make this Beef Rouladen Recipe, easily…

Clear your work surface and set up an assembly line…

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (6)

Prep all your ingredients, pound your beef, season it, and spread mustard on it (if using).

Then distribute the fillings over the top.

How to tie your Rouladen ...

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (7)

Above, I've used metal skewers (the kind sold to truss poultry) to fasten my rouladen, a bit of a fiddly job. You can also use wooden picks, kitchen string, and, of course, the popular rouladen clamps.

Brown your Rouladen ...

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (8)

Always brown your meat in small batches. For the large lot I was making in these photos, I did this in three batches.

When all are nicely browned, add a bit of water to scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the saucepan and then return all the rouladen to the saucepan.

Add the liquid, bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer till tender.

When tender, make that heavenly Gravy!

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (9)

These rouladen are done. Tender and almost ready to serve. Remove to a warm plate and carefully remove the skewers, or whatever you used to hold them together. Cover and keep warm.

Then, make that rouladen gravy. (If these German beef rolls need to be gluten free, make sure your cornstarch doesn't have any flour in it.)

The gravy is really the best part of this classic German dish... well, along with the meat. Once done, you're ready to serve.

Can you freeze leftover Rouladen?

Absolutely! In fact, I usually make extra Rouladen, just to have leftovers. Just make sure your meat rolls are covered in gravy in the container.

To reheat Rouladen, you can place them in 350-degree oven, covered, until hot, about 30 minutes. You can also microwave them or just put them, thawed, into a saucepan and gently bring to a simmer. Simmer until heated through.

Alana making her rouladen:

Instead of using slices of bacon, she put a slice of Black Forest ham down the length of the rouladen. A delicious variation on the traditional beef rouladen recipe, one I'll be doing often.

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (10)

Wunderbar! Here my granddaughter, Alana, made these for her 13th birthday dinner party:

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (11)

Two years later, Alana made these for her 15th birthday dinner party. She does love her rouladen!

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (12)

Wanting to use your pressure cooker instead to make this traditional German dish?

Yes, it's easy to make this classic German recipe with your pressure cooker. The result is a quicker meal and it's fork-tender always. I use my Instant Pot pressure cooker, but any will do.

Check out the recipe right here.

Oma says,

Does your budget say "too expensive" to make these German rouladen often? Want something a bit easier for everyday?

Trymy own flatladen recipe.Created by me for my boys. We ALL love it! I use whichever cut of beef is on sale and we get that same great rouladen and gravy taste without all the work or expense.

Go to recipe >

Or try my delicious Slow Cooker Roast Beefrecipe that also tastes amazingly like rouladen. Another great way to save time and money.

Go to recipe >

What to Serve with Rouladen?

If you're wanting a traditional German beef rouladen dinner, there are several side dishes that are a MUST! Of course, there are other ones that also pair perfectly with rouladen and its fabulous gravy.

The Top 10 German Recipes to serve with Rouladen are:

  1. Potato Dumplings
  2. Red Cabbage
  3. Click to see the rest of theTop 10 Side Dishes to serve with Rouladen.

Ready to make this Authentic Rouladen Recipe?

Is the recipe below locked?Here'swhy.

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (16)

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls

This German beef Rouladen recipe, served with traditional dishes likepotato dumplings and red cabbage, is my most cherished German comfort food from my childhood. It is still a popular choice in our family for Sunday dinners, birthday dinners, and other special occasions.

This comforting dish is also fabulous with other sides like creamy mashed potatoes and green beans. What's better than to have a special occasion dish that's so versatile and is actually quite easy to make?

Prep Time

30 minutes

Cook Time

2 hours

Total Time

2.5 hours


Makes 6 servings


  • 6 slices top round (see hints below)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • regular or Dijon mustard, to taste
  • 3 slices lean bacon, cut into pieces
  • 3 garlic dill pickles, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 - 2 cups water
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  1. Season the thin slices of beef with salt and freshly ground pepper. Thinly spread mustard on top of each slice.
  2. Divide pieces of bacon, dill pickle slices, and onion slices on one end of each of the beef slices.
  3. Roll up slices, tucking the ends in and securing each roll with a skewer, wooden co*cktail stick, or string.
  4. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown beef rolls 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.
  5. Once all rouladen are well browned, add 1 to 2 cups of hot water, gently stirring up browned bits. Place beef rolls, along with any accumulated juices back in the skillet, bring to simmer, and cover.
  6. Simmer for about 1½ hours.
  7. Remove beef roulades. To thicken gravy, make a cornstarch slurry: combine cornstarch in a little cold water and stir gently into cooking liquid until slightly thickened.
  8. Season gravy to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. If you wish, add sour cream for a nice rich gravy.
  9. Remove strings, wooden picks, or skewers from rouladen.
  10. Ladle gravy over the tender beef rolls to serve.


  • Have your local butcher cut beef top round steak (or flank steak) 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 vegetables, others minimize the fillings. Use Black Forest ham instead of bacon. Use spicy brown mustard for a little heat.
  • You can use beef broth or beef stock instead of water.
  • If you're wanting to use your crock pot, in step 5 put everything into the slow cooker and cook on high 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours.
  • You can also make rouladen in your pressure cooker.
  • Take a look atWhat to Serve with Rouladen.

* * * * *

Unless otherwise noted recipe, images and content © Just like Oma |

01.12.2022 revision update

* * * * *

Wanting to know about different cuts of beef? Check out this post.

* * * * *

You might like these

  • What To Serve With Pot Roast – Oma's Best Side Dishes

    Pot roast is something very comforting, so you want some comforting and classic sides to serve with it. As you scroll through these sides, you can find loads to pair with your favorite roast recipe.

  • Traditional German Goulash (Slow Cooker) – Anna's Gulasch Rezept

    Anna's German goulash is her mother's that she's altered for use in the slow cooker. I LOVE using the slow cooker! Thanks for sharing this with us, Anna!

  • What To Serve With Rouladen – Top 10 German Side Dishes for Rouladen

    Knowing what to serve with Rouladen doesn't have to be a stressful task. Check out this wunderbar variety of delicious side dishes that make the perfect pairing.

Follow Oma on Social Media:

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (21)

Leave a comment about this recipe or ask a question?

Pop right over to my private Facebook group, the Kaffeeklatschers. You'll find thousands of German foodies, all eager to help and to talk about all things German, especially these yummy foods.

Meet with us around Oma's table, pull up a chair, grab a coffee and a piece of Apfelstrudel, and enjoy the visit.

Newest Recipes

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (22)

  1. The Best Jagerschnitzel Sauce: Oma's Mushroom Gravy for Jägerschnitzel

    Jagerschnitzel: Rich creamy bacon & mushroom gravy over crispy breaded pork schnitzel (cutlets). HEAVENLY! A traditional German meal that's PERFECT anytime.

    Go to Recipe

  2. How to Make German Schnitzel Recipe: Oma's Classic Schweineschnitzel

    Discover the ultimate German schnitzel recipe with Oma's quick and easy method - perfect for any occasion! Taste the authentic flavors of Germany today.

    Go to Recipe

  3. Oma's Favorite Finds offer a range of Oma’s favorite German-inspired must-have items that make cooking and entertaining more enjoyable, yummy, and efficient.

    Go to Recipe

* * * * *

PIN to SAVE this recipe to your Pinterest board!

And let’s be friends on Pinterest!

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (28)

Make every day a WORD-filled day!

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."

Psalm 19:14 (NLT)

Top of Beef Rouladen Recipe

Oma's Authentic Beef Rouladen Recipe – German Beef Rolls (2024)


What is the best cut of meat for rouladen? ›

Beef for Rouladen: Use top round roast (sometimes called topside or beef round roast) beef for Rouladen, and more importantly, ask your butcher to cut it for you! You want long thin slices about ¼ inches thick and 6-10 inches long and 4-5 inches wide. Mustard: I've found really great German Mustard at Wold Market.

Do you use top or bottom round for rouladen? ›

Top round is perfect for this. It's not the toughest piece of meat, but it has some collagen that will enrich our sauce and lend tenderness to the finished meat roll. You can often find top round thinly sliced and sometimes sold as “beef roulade meat,” but if not, ask your butcher to slice it for you, about 1/8″ thick.

What is Rouladen called in English? ›

A roulade (/ruːˈlɑːd/) is a dish of filled rolled meat or pastry. Roulade can be savory or sweet. Swiss roll is an example of a sweet roulade. Traditionally found in various European cuisines, the term roulade originates from the French word rouler, meaning "to roll".

Can you freeze German Rouladen? ›

To freeze: Take the cooled rouladen and liquid and place into freezer safe container(s) covered with the cooking liquid. Thaw, then warm through as described above, and then make the gravy. Or if the gravy is already made, then cover the cooled rouladen with the gravy and freeze.

Which beef cut is the most tender? ›

The most tender of all cuts of beef, tenderloin steaks are lean and known for their delicate, butter-like texture and thick cut. These mouthwatering steaks are so tender they can be “cut with a butter knife.” Tenderloin steaks are commonly known as filets or filet mignon.

What meat is the most popular in German cooking? ›

The average annual meat consumption is 59.7 kg (132 lb) per person. The most common varieties are pork, poultry, and beef. Other varieties of meat are widely available, but are considered to be insignificant. Meat is usually braised; fried dishes also exist, but these recipes usually originate from France and Austria.

What does rouladen taste like? ›

Traditionally, Rouladen are made from beef, with the filling consisting of bacon, onions, and pickles. Braised for a long time with vegetables they literally swim in a flavorful, rich gravy.

Where did German beef rouladen come from? ›

Rouladen is the German version of the French roulade, which is a roll made with thinly-sliced meat. The German version is interesting in that it probably came from Germans using items they had on hand most of the time – mustard, pickles, onion, and pork – to make something that's unique in its own right.

What does Rouladen mean in German? ›

Rouladen is classic German food, with thin slices of beef, rolled up with mustard, onion, bacon and pickle. (Rouladen is based on the word Roulade, meaning “rolled”.)

How do you cut beef for Rouladen? ›

I usually use flank steak to make my rouladen (top round steak also works great), cut it into thinner steaks before flattening it with the flat (not tenderizer side) or a meat hammer. I then add mustard, season it lightly with salt and pepper and fill it with bacon, onion slices, and sliced pickles.

What part of Germany is Rouladen from? ›

Region: all over Germany, apparently French origins.

As so often in German cooking, Rouladen are a simple dish. Combined with sides like dumplings and cabbage they make up a true Germany classic. The traditional German Rouladen dish uses a thin and long cut of beef or veal.

What wine goes with Rouladen? ›

A California Zinfandel would be a good match for Beef Rouladen. Zinfandel is known for its bold, fruit-forward character, often with notes of blackberry, plum, and cherry.

What are traditional German foods? ›

Check out our list of 20 traditional German dishes that you need to try when you travel there.
  • Königsberger klopse. ...
  • Maultaschen. ...
  • Labskaus. ...
  • Sausages. ...
  • Currywurst. ...
  • Döner kebab. ...
  • Schnitzel. ...
  • Käsespätzle.

How do you cut a roast for Rouladen? ›

Open the roast up like a book and cut one side to 'unroll' the roast to be about ¾-inch thick piece of meat. Do the same with the other side so that you end up with a rectangular piece of meat that is about 3/4 inch thick. Using a meat mallet (tenderizer), pound the roast to about 1/2-inch thickness.

What kind of meat is Rouladen made from? ›

Rouladen is a popular, super flavorful German recipe made from beef steak stuffed with mustard, pickles, onion, and bacon! Using either your oven, crock pot, or cooktop, it's simmered in reduced wine and broth for roughly 90 minutes.

Which cuts of meat are the most tender? ›

Tenderloin steak and top blade steaks ranked first and second. Top round steak ranked last. Roasts were more tender than steak counterparts.

What is the most flavorful cut of meat? ›

The Ribeye is generally considered to be the most flavourful steak. These steaks are cut from the ribs and contain a lot of marbling throughout. The muscle from where the Ribeye is cut, isn't used often so the meat is very tender.

What is beef rouladen made of? ›

Rouladen are made by spreading some German mustard on thinly cut slices of beef, adding bacon, sliced German pickles and chopped onions. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper and roll them up, securing the rolls with toothpicks or cooking twine.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Prof. Nancy Dach

Last Updated:

Views: 5710

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (57 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. Nancy Dach

Birthday: 1993-08-23

Address: 569 Waelchi Ports, South Blainebury, LA 11589

Phone: +9958996486049

Job: Sales Manager

Hobby: Web surfing, Scuba diving, Mountaineering, Writing, Sailing, Dance, Blacksmithing

Introduction: My name is Prof. Nancy Dach, I am a lively, joyous, courageous, lovely, tender, charming, open person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.