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Rolled Beef – Rinder-Rouladen

Beef rouladen

Remembering my childhood this meal was something my mother cooked on a Sunday. The whole house would be filled with the scent of the meat and gravy. It doesn’t need a lot of attention while it is simmering on the stove, most of the work is quickly done ahead of cooking. This gives you the opportunity to prepare some desert while the Rouladen are getting ready.

Beef rouladen

Rinder Rouladen (that’s how we call it in Germany) or Braised Beef Rolls / Beef Rouladen seem to be just one version of the many beef roll-ups I have noticed on the internet. It seems that especially in Asia there are some versions of it, too. None of those have the typical mustard that gives the German Rouladen it’s unique taste.


German Rouladen Video

The Perfect Sauce / Gravy

Besides these absolute delicious Rouladen, der sauce is an absolute dream come true of sauce. If you cook the beef and have some soup vegetables in the pot with it, it even increases the taste and makes it a perfect sauce for this meat. I highly recommend adding some kohlrabi, root celery and leek to the broth while cooking. In the end, you will pour the sauce through a sieve and just squeeze some of the vegetables through the mesh of the sieve and you will have all the great taste in the liquid.

There is one thing I want to mention though: The broth that I am using for the sauce, always seems to be too salty. I recommend either using a low sodium broth or mixing the broth with a part of water. You can always add salt if you need more but it is often difficult to reduce the salt at the end without reducing the taste of the gravy.

beef rolls

Rolled Beef for Dinner Guests

These beef roulades are a perfect meal for dinner guests! The preparation can be done ahead of time and you can prepare other courses like a desert while they cook on the stove. I also never met anyone who didn’t like this meal, except for vegetarians and even they were tempted by the wonderful scent.


Roll and fix

As you can see in the video, I have some special meat needles to fix the meat once it is rolled. I am assuming that you don’t have such needles but don’t worry, you can also use some toothpicks or some kitchen yarn.


In the video I show how to do it with the kitchen yarn: Wrap it around one end twice, then lead it to the other end and wrap it twice again. cross the ends in the middle and make two knots (or whatever knot you have learned at the scout’s meetings that is appropriate for this case).

German Rouladen

Beef Roularden are a German specialty and very delicious. They are easy to cook, too!



Rolled Beef – Rinder-Rouladen

This is a very traditional German dish which you will find in every area of Germany.
4.50 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch (or Dinner), Meat Dish
Cuisine German
Servings 4


  • 4 slices beef, thin cut or 8 smaller thin slices
  • 4 tbsp mustard maybe a little more
  • 4-8 slices bacon
  • 1 glass pickles
  • 4 carrots carrots, fresh
  • 1 onion
  • 500 - 750 ml beef broth or water and beef-broth concentrate
  • 2-3 tbsp oil for cooking
  • some salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • ½ piece root celery (optional)
  • 1 leek (optional)
  • ½ kohlrabi (optional)
  • 2 carrots (optional)


  • Flatten your already thin sliced meat with a meat hammer.
  • Season the beef slices with salt and pepper, then spread mustard on top.
  • Cut pickle, carrot and Onion into sticks with the width of the slices.
  • Put a thin carrot stick, a thinly sliced pickle, and some onion at the upper end of the meat.
  • Roll the beef up, starting with the end that has the veggies.
  • Secure the end with tooth picks ...
  • ... or metal picks or kitchen twine.
  • It should look like this.
  • Heat oil in a lage pan and brown the beef from all sides. Next add some broth.
  • Optional but recommended: cut the root celery, kohlrabi and leek into small pieces and add them to the pot - this will add a great taste!
  • Let cook for 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • You know that it's ready when the beef is tender and almost falls apart if you poke into it.
  • Remove the beef rolls from the pan, so you can work on the gravy.
  • If you added the vegetables to the broth, pour the sauce through a sieve and try to squeeze some of it through the mesh. Discard what is left in the sieve and work with the sauce.
  • Mix cold water and corn starch and add it to the sauce. Maybe you will have to add some more water or broth, too. Let boil for a few minutes and spice as needed to taste with salt, pepper, and mustard.
  • Best served with potatoes and if you want to go all German: Add red cabbage (Rotkohl) to the menue.


Suggested sides: Potatoes or dumplings or Spaetzle and red cabbage.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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11 thoughts on “Rolled Beef – Rinder-Rouladen”

  1. 5 stars
    Es gab niemals etwas so gut! (Nothing has ever been so good!)
    And your recipe does it justice. Stemming from German parents, I’ve had many occasions to enjoy this meal, and fortunately my mother passed on the recipe (with hands-on instruction) to my Canadian wife, before her passing. Now, 30 years later, we continue enjoy it regularly on special occasions, or with special guests.
    I think you mentioned a “special” German mustard early in the text, but never returned to the thought. Regular yellow mustard works well enough here, but we prefer a good Dijon. We’ve never used carrots, but may try that now. The pickle and a healthy wedge of onion are essential though (perhaps that extra onion has been our substitute for carrot?). Red wine in finishing off the gravy is of course optional, but certainly adds to the final result.

  2. Thorunn Sleight

    When I was a child in the sixties, my father was stationed at Rhein-Main Air Force Base in Hessen. My mother worked, too, so we had a cleaning lady twice a week who also cooked dinner. Rouladen was one of her regular meals, and I loved it! I shall definitely now try cooking it myself, and serve it with Spaetzle, as one more treasured opportunity to eat them!

    1. I’m actually not sure. Here at my grocery store, they sell them like this and I never looked at the lable what cut it is. I will check it out next time and let you know.

  3. 4 stars
    we only used extra scharf loewvwnsenf bacon onions in layers. when browning we added beef broth. extra mustard, to serve potato dumplings , red cabbage and mutti und ich machen eine saure sahne mit rotwein sosse. i have never any leftovers. i am serving this for easter.

  4. 5 stars
    Another Classic from my childhood, though ours was minus the Gerkin and Carrot but that may be the difference between Rinder Rouladen and our Rouladen.
    We served ours with boiled potatoes and red cabbage.

  5. Nice recipe of a classic dish. I liked that you tasted the sauce several times to get the salt right. I would have believed it was necessary to cover the roulades with aluminium foil to keep them warm while preparing the sauce and / or pour the sauce over the roulades and warm through perhaps in the oven on a low heat.

    1. Hi Frank,
      The roulades will be warm in no time once placed back into the pot. You could cover them with a deep dish plate while they are waiting for the sauce. I avoid using aluminum foil as good as possible. The bauxite ore mining for making aluminum and the energy and waste when producing aluminum has a really big, bad impact on the environment. I learned that many years ago in school but it seems to be still little known to most people. If I can’t avoid using aluminum, I make sure I recycle it properly.

      If you would like to know more about it, read this:
      “Overall, the entire process of transforming raw bauxite into aluminum is incredibly energy-intensive, requiring copious amounts of electricity, water, and resources to produce (that is the main reason why power plants are built solely to support the aluminum industry). Since pure aluminum ore is so stable, an extraordinary amount of electricity is required to yield the final product and, at least in the U.S., half of the smelting energy consumed is courtesy of coal, one of the most notoriously polluting fuel sources known to mankind. The EPA says that the release of perfluorocarbons during the aluminum smelting process are 9,200 times more harmful than carbon dioxide in terms of their affect on global warming. When bauxite is extracted from the earth, the strip-mining process removes all native vegetation in the mining region, resulting in a loss of habitat and food for local wildlife as well as significant soil erosion. The caustic red sludge and toxic mine tailings that remain are commonly deposited into excavated mine pits where they ultimately seep into aquifers, contaminating local water sources. Greenhouse gas emissions released during smelting and processing (which have been found to blanket surrounding regions with toxic vapors) include carbon dioxide, perfluorocarbons, sodium fluoride, sulfur dioxide, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon and a vast list of other problematic elements. Particulates released during processing that are known to compromise air quality include combustion byproducts, caustic aerosols, dust from bauxite, limestone, charred lime, alumina and sodium salt.” [source: https://recyclenation.com/2010/11/aluminum-extraction-recycling-environment/%5D

      But on the brighter side:
      “Compared to producing virgin aluminum from raw bauxite, recycling old aluminum consumes just 5% of the energy and releases a mere 5% of the greenhouse gases. Infinitely recyclable, aluminum loses none of its integrity even when it is melted down repeatedly, plus, the whole recycling process can be achieved in less than 60 days flat. Recycling just four cases of beer containing a total of 96 cans saves enough energy to keep a laptop computer running for well over a month. …”
      [source: https://recyclenation.com/2010/11/aluminum-extraction-recycling-environment/%5D


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