German Beef Rolls are thin beef slices stuffed with salt, pepper, mustard, bacon slices, pickled cucumbers, and chopped onions. The rolls are secured with toothpicks, kitchen twine, or special clips. We love serving our beef rolls with lots of gravy, german potato dumplings (made either only from cooked potatoes or from cooked and raw potatoes), and Traditional German Red Cabbage. In other regions of Germany, they like serving those with Homemade Spätzle or mashed potatoes.
My grandmother made pretty simple, but delicious German beef rolls. As soon as I tried the beef rolls my husband’s grandmother made, I knew that there is room for improvement. So I added some soup vegetables and lots of wine and I did it! The gravy was richer and had a lot of flavors. I knew that this will be our new family recipe.
What meat to use for the German Beef Rolls?
The best meat to use for beef rolls is large and thin slices from the top round or thick flank.
What to serve with German Beef Rolls?
The best side dishes for the German Rouladen are:
Traditional German Potato Dumplings
Traditional German Apple Red Cabbage
Traditional German Spätzle
Creamy German Mash Potatoes
What we are trying to achieve
- Tender and insanely delicious beef rolls
- Rich dark gravy, lots of it!
To make those insanely delicious beef rolls I would advise you to use a dutch oven. Those uniform heat circulation and therefore the food cooks evenly without the need for constant surveillance. They are perfect for browning and braising a large amount of food.
Store beef rolls in an airtight container covered with sauce for up to 3 days.
Freeze beef rolls in an airtight container covered with gravy for up to 6 months.
Traditional German Beef Rolls
For the Beef Rolls Gravy
- 500 g soup vegetables 4 carrots, 1/8 celery root, 2 leeks
- 4 onions
- 3 tbsp clarified butter
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 bottle of dry red wine
- 1 l beef fond
For Stuffing the Beef Rolls
- 7 beef slices (from top round) 0,5cm thin, around 1kg of meat,
- salt & pepper
- 180 ml german mustard
- 200 g bacon slices
- 7 pickled cucumbers
- 3 onions
- 2 tbsp clarified butter
Make the sauce
- Peel and chop all soup vegetables.
- Preheat clarified butter and fry the vegetables with salt on high heat and roast the vegetables for 2-3 minutes. Keep on turning the vegetables so they don't get burnt.
- Add the tomato puree and fry for another 2 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium and pour the wine over the vegetables.
- Keep on simmering for at least 15 minutes.
- In the meantime prepare the beef rolls.
- After 15 minutes you can add the broth, simmer for another 5 minutes and set aside.
Make and fry the beef rolls
- Pound out the beef slices until they are 5mm thin. I bought already very thin beef slices that don't need pounding.
- Cut the pickled cucumber into quarters and peel and chop the onions.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over the beef slices. Spread 2 large teaspoons of mustard per slice evenly. Then add 2 bacon slices, and 4 pieces of pickled cucumber and sprinkle the chopped onion all over the meat slice.
- Fold the long sides of the beef slice to make sure that the filling stays inside while cooking.
- Take one end of the slice and start folding up over the stuffing.
- Continue rolling until its completely rolled.
- Secure the end of the roll with a skewer, or kitchen twine, or use roulade clips. I use kitchen twine and I tie it around the roll as I do around a gift box.
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
- Take a dutch oven and preheat the clarified butter on high heat.
- Brown beef rolls from each side.
- Pour the gravy all over the rolls. Cover the dutch oven with a lid and braise the beef rolls for at least 1,5h in the oven or until soft.