German-Style Braised Rouladen

Landon Nordeman, Saveur

Landon Nordeman, Saveur

Rouladen is one of my absolute favorite German dishes. My mom was born and raised in Munich, Germany so every time I am home, I always request that she cook a traditional, German meal for me to chow down. Even though I’m the one who went to culinary school to be a classically trained chef, my mom is one of the best cooks I know and she can whip up some amazing meals in the kitchen. It’s delicious meals like these that remind me to spend more time with my mom in the kitchen.

I’ve already posted this recipe before but I had to re-post because my family and I just booked plane tickets to Munich, Germany in August to celebrate my mom’s 60th birthday! I am sooo excited!!! The last time I was in Germany was 2014 and the last time my entire family and I were all together in Germany was probably… 2010?? This will be Mitch’s first time flying out of the U.S. (I know.. way overdue) and I am so looking forward to experiencing this adventure with him and seeing him light up just from being immersed in a totally, different culture.

This trip will certainly be bittersweet for my family and I. My Opa (Grandpa) passed away two years ago. Every time we would visit Germany, we would always stay at his apartment… the apartment where my mom and her brother grew up. There are so many cherished, wonderful memories from being a child and experiencing half of the summer in Germany at my Oma & Opa’s home. I already know tears will shed when we walk by their apartment building.

For those of you who aren’t familiar, rouladen is a German meat dish consisting of bacon, onion, and mustard wrapped in thinly sliced beef which is usually braised in a skillet or pressure cooker. We actually had to prepare and cook rouladen in my “Cuisines Across Cultures” class at Le Cordon Bleu. It is a hearty meal with so much flavor and with a few, additional ingredients, you can produce a beautiful sauce to go along with it. Next time you are cooking dinner for family and/or friends, bring your table all the way to Germany with this amazing, super flavorful dish. You’ll be pleased and your dinner guests will be blown away.

For this recipe you will need:

3 (1-pound) packages 1/2″-thick top round steaks

1 small onion, thinly sliced

6 slices bacon, cut in half

2 Tbsp whole grain mustard

Toothpicks, for securing

3 Tbsp butter or margarine

1 cup water

1 cup beef stock

2 Tbsp tomato paste

Salt and Pepper to taste

First, cut the steaks in half lengthwise and place between sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap or wax paper. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, flatten the steaks to a 1/4″ thickness. Evenly spread a thin layer of mustard onto the steak and place a couple slices of bacon and onion on top. Roll up each steak strip, starting with a short end, and secure with a toothpick. Repeat the same process for each steak strip.



Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add each steak roll and brown heavily on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the steak rolls and transfer to a plate. Add 1 cup of water and scrape the bottom of the skillet to release the flavored brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Then, add the beef stock and tomato paste and whisk until the tomato paste has dissolved. The tomato paste acts as a thickener and will give the sauce a beautiful color. Return the steak rolls to the skillet, reduce the heat to low, and cook covered for 1.5 hours, or until tender.

We love to serve our rouladen with homemade spaetzle, potato salad, or red cabbage. This recipe definitely has the perfect flavors and can be enjoyed any night of the week. I recommend making a big batch and saving some for leftovers. I hope you love this traditional, German meal. Alles Gute zum Appetit!


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