If you were lucky enough to have a German grandmother, then beef rouladen was a common sight on the dinner table!
Genuine comfort food served atop mashed potatoes, rice, or macaroni, this easy German beef rouladen recipe will be out of the oven and on the table in minutes!
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What is Rouladen?
Beef rouladen is a German dish made from beef that is seasoned with mustard and slices of bacon and then rolled up around a pickle. It’s either cooked on the stove top or in the oven— in this case, both (searing and braising).
A savory sauce is made from the drippings and served over the finished rouladen.
Perhaps a cooked pickle sounds unusual, but trust me, it is so delicious! Even if you decide to leave the pickle (my family’s favorite part), you’ll love the rest of the tender, tasty beef! I make a few types of roast beef, and one of them is with pickles too. So good!
Where to Buy Rouladen
The best beef rouladen meat cut is beef inside round, but flank steak will do as well. Look for round steak, or skirt steak at the supermarket. Often, these cuts of meat will be labeled ‘beef for roulade’ or ‘beef for rouladen.’
Look for a cut that’s even, otherwise place the meat between two pieces of plastic wrap and gently pound the meat so it is equal in thickness. This will ensure it cooks equally all the way through!
How to Make Rouladen
Don’t let the fancy name get in the way, it’s not hard to make rouladen!
- Saute onions in butter until soft.
- Layout beef slices spread with mustard, and top with bacon slices and sautéed onions (per recipe below).
- Place a whole dill pickle at one end and wrap meat into a roll. Secure with a toothpick.
How to Cook Rouladen in Oven
Once the Rouladen is wrapped and ready, this one-pot dish is ready to be browned and oven-roasted!
- Brown rouladen in a dutch oven on the stovetop.
- Cover and roast in oven with beef broth, carrots, and extra pickles (optional).
- Remove finished rouladen from pan and prepare gravy using the cooking juices.
If you love lots of gravy as I do, add a little extra beef broth to the pot. You can never have too much gravy!
What Do You Serve with Rouladen?
Rouladen goes well with so many things.
- Stick with the German theme and serve red cabbage or German Potato Salad.
- Mashed potatoes and oven-roasted beets go well with rouladen too.
- Don’t forget a thick slice of sourdough or whole wheat bread to soak up that amazing gravy…and all that extra gravy 😉
How to Heat Leftovers
Beef Rouladen with pickles, onions, and carrots is so good any day of the week and it makes for great leftovers too! Actually, it might even be better the next day! Some people in my family eat the leftovers as a sandwich (cold!)!
Heat on a plate in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or on the stovetop with a little beef broth until heated through.
To freeze, place leftovers in an airtight container, Stasher bag, or zip-top bag and label with the date. Rouladen should last about 6 months in the freezer!
To thaw, leave in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as directed.
To Prepare Ahead
Freeze unbaked rouladen on a cookie sheet until frozen. Transfer to an airtight container, Stasher bag, or zip-top bag and label with the date.
Leave in the refrigerator overnight to defrost and bake as directed.
Beef Rouladen Recipe
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 onions
- 1 ½-2 pounds beef rouladen meat 6 pieces, inside round
- 3-4 Tablespoons mustard yellow
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 6 dill pickles
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- ½ cup pickle juice
- 1 ½ cups beef broth possibly slightly more or less depending on pan size
- 6 dill pickles optional
- 3 carrots peeled and halved, optional
- 1 can mushrooms with juice
- 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 Tablespoons water or broth
- salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a Dutch oven or skillet, melt butter and fry onions on medium low, until soft and slightly browned, about 5-6 minutes.
- Lay beef rouladen out on work surface (Cover the workspace with plastic wrap to help with cleanup).
- Spread mustard over entire beef rouladen. Top with a piece of bacon and fried onions.
- Add a pickle to one end and roll each rouladen up tightly. Add toothpicks to secure.
- In a Dutch oven or skillet, melt butter on medium heat and brown rouladen on all sides in two batches. Add all browned rouladen to Dutch oven or a roasting pan. Add pickle juice* then enough beef broth to cover rouladen about two thirds of the way up. Add pickles and carrots if desired.
- Cover** and roast 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours, until beef is tender, turning rouladen over after 1 hour (if desired).
- Remove rouladen (and pickles and carrots) from pan and cover until gravy is ready for serving. Remove toothpicks before serving. Serve with elbow macaroni, rice, or mashed potatoes along with the vegetables and gravy.
- Add mushrooms and juice to pan and heat on medium high, scraping brown bits on the bottom and sides of the pan, until boiling.
- Create a slurry with the cornstarch and water. While whisking the juices in the pan, slowly add the slurry until the gravy reaches desired consistency. Add additional beef broth and pickle juice as desired to make extra gravy. Add salt and pepper to taste.
**If using a roasting pan (other than a Dutch oven), I recommend using parchment paper under your lid or foil paper.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.
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