Rouladen – German Beef Roll-Ups [Instant Pot and Slow Cooker]

Plate with German rouladen made of beef and stuffed with onion, bacon, and pickle.

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Craving comfort food but bored with the same old recipes? This mouthwatering traditional German beef rouladen (roll-ups) recipe with pickles and bacon is just like the one Oma used to make.

 

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Sliced German beef rouladen with red cabbage and potato dumplings.

Update Notes: This recipe was originally published in February 2012. It was updated in February 2020 with new photos and extensive recipe tips.

 

German Beef Rouladen

 

A filling of mustard, bacon, onion, and pickles is warmly hugged by thin-sliced top round steak. Smother these braised beef rolls with gravy, and serve alongside red cabbage and potato dumplings to complete this delectable dish.

 

The gravy is an absolute requirement to round off the dish and is usually poured over the meat. The ultimate comfort food that is pretty simple to make!

 

Good comfort food is hearty, and these authentic Deutsche Rindsrouladen (also Rinderrouladen) are sure to leave you satisfied.

 

Stuffed beef roll-ups in the pan.

 

WHERE DOES ROULADEN COME FROM? 

 

It comes from the word “rouler,” which is French for “to roll.” Fun fact: a roulade can be sweet too, such as this no-bake peanut butter potato candy.

 

Ways to make rouladen with beef:

 

My favorite German dish, these stuffed beef roll-ups, are easy to make on the stovetop but do take longer to cook. It’s one of those dishes we traditionally make on weekends or holidays.

 

But, if you own an instant pot/pressure cooker, you can have this meal done in the nick of time any day of the week. Check the post and recipe box to learn how to make it on the stovetop and slow cooker.

 

You can also cook it in the oven instead. Just transfer your Dutch oven from the stovetop to oven but note, it takes much longer to cook, though – about 1 1/2 hours on 350F. Also, make sure the handle on the lid is metal and not plastic or it will break. 

 

Delicious German recipe for hearty beef roll-ups.

 

A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON GERMAN CUISINE

 

German food took me on a journey through one of the world’s most hearty cuisines. You can dine at a high-end restaurant or grab a bite from a street vendor, either way, you’ll be feasting.

 

Put it this way – there’s very little chance you’ll leave Germany feeling hungry.  I blame German food for the extra cushion around my waistline!

 

I had no shame rolling out of the bed around midnight, crawling to the kitchen and making pan-fried potatoes, Bratkartoffeln, topped with a sunny side up egg or two.

 

As a matter of fact, it became a habit and I just made it the other night (not at midnight though). My American husband approved; my Bosnian midsection not so much. 😆

 

What’s in these German rollups?

 

PROTEIN: Beef – Thin cut beef slices (see below for best cut) and bacon – thin slices or a piece of thick-cut bacon.

VEGETABLES: Onion – Yellow or white onion, carrot, and celery.

SPICES: Paprika.

SEASONINGS: Salt and pepper.

HERBS: Bay leaves.

FAT: Butter and vegetable oil.

CONDIMENTS: Yellow mustard, pickles (baby dill gherkins), and sour cream.

LIQUID: Beef broth and dry red wine (like Merlot).

 

Ingredients for delicious German rouladen.

 

How to make German beef rouladen:

 

  1. Spread thin beef slices with a layer of yellow mustard.
  2. Season the meat with salt and pepper.
  3. Place a piece of bacon, onion, and pickle on one end; roll up then braise in oil.
  4. Add to pot vegetables, spices, and broth and cook until done. 

 

How easy is that? But if you like to follow more step-by-step instructions, scroll down to the bottom of this post for recipe box or click on the “Skip to Recipe” button above.

 

Step by step instructions on making beef roll ups.

 

People also asked:

 

1. WHAT CUT OF BEEF SHOULD I USE FOR ROULADEN?

 

For this popular German dish of rouladen with beef, it’s best to use round steak (rump steak), chuck, or sandwich steak. You can also use topside beef or silverside, which is a cheaper cut.

 

2. WHAT IS THE BEST SIZE OF BEEF SLICES FOR ROLLUPS?

 

There is no rule; however, they shouldn’t be smaller than your hand (at least 6×8-inch), or you won’t be able to roll them up. Keep in mind that you can serve either two smaller or one large roulade per person.

 

If you can’t find pre-cut slices, ask your butcher to slice it for you about 1/8-1/4-inch thick.

 

black plate on a dark blue background with rouladen, red cabbage, and dumplings.

 

3. WHAT TO SERVE WITH ROULADEN?

 

The Germans traditionally serve beef rouladen with sweet and sour red cabbage (Rotkohl), and either homemade bread dumplings (Semmelknödel) or potato dumplings (Kartoffelknödel or Kartoffelklösse).  

 

They are also commonly served with boiled or mashed potatoes and German Spätzle.

 

Tip: you can usually find German-style jarred red cabbage at almost any grocery store, or try this slightly different (but also delicious) version of braised red cabbage

 

These hearty, traditional German beef roll-ups (#rouladen) are the ultimate comfort meal. Easy recipe for #instantpot, #stovetop, and #slowcooker. #comfortfood #GermanClick to Tweet

 

Beef rouladen, traditional German recipe.

 

4. CAN I MAKE ROULADEN IN A SLOW COOKER?

 

Absolutely! “Set it and forget it” is my favorite way to cook when I’m away from home for hours and have no time to “babysit” my pot. 😁

 

  1. Follow the recipe steps 1 and 2 below in the recipe box for the stovetop.
  2. Then, place the butter, onions, carrots, and celery on the bottom of your slow cooker. Top with braised rollups and pour in the broth and wine. Add bay leaves and paprika.
  3. Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours, low 6-8 hours. 
  4. Follow steps 8 and 9. Enjoy! 

 

CAN I MAKE ROULADEN IN ADVANCE?

 

Beef rouladen are easily made in advance and reheated the next day.

 

5. HOW DO YOU REHEAT BEEF ROULADEN?

 

Microwaving makes the meat tough, so it’s best to place it in an oven set to 350 F until thoroughly heated.

 

Rouladen on a plate and in the pan.

 

Recipe Notes/Pro Tips:

 

  • Line your ingredients for rouladen assembly-style. Rolling them up will be a breeze. 
  • If your pickles are too thick, slice them in half lengthwise.
  • You can use twine instead of toothpicks to hold the roll-ups in place. 
  • Chop all your vegetables for the gravy the same size.
  • If your gravy is too thin, add either cornstarch or flour slurry to the sauce and cook until thickened. The slurry is a mixture of equal parts of cornstarch and water or flour and water. You can add a tablespoon of tomato paste if you prefer darker gravy.

 

More hearty German recipes you’ll love: 

NOTE: For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links.

 

ESSENTIALS

for German Beef Rouladen


 

 

Sliced rouladen with bacon, onion, and pickles.

 

MAKING THIS RECIPE OR OTHERS?

Don’t forget to post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #ALLTHATSJAS.

 

I can’t wait to see your spin on it! Scrolling through the photos of recipes you tried is my favorite!

 

How to make German Beef Rouladen

 


Sliced rouladen with bacon, onion, and pickles.
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Rouladen - German Beef Roll-Ups

These hearty, traditional German beef roll-ups with pickles and bacon are the ultimate comfort meal.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: German
Servings: 6
Author: Jas

INGREDIENTS:

For roll-ups:

  • 6 thin-cut beef slices about 2 ½ lbs
  • German or yellow mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 small onion cut into wedges
  • 6 baby dill pickles
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the gravy:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 large carrot finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk finely chopped
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1-2 dry Bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream optional

DIRECTIONS:

Instant Pot

  • Gently pound the beef slices with a meat mallet until they're a little thinner, being careful not to beat holes into them.
  • Spread each beef slice with mustard (about 1 teaspoon) and season with salt and pepper. Top with bacon and place an onion wedge and one baby dill pickle in the broader end. Roll up beef tightly from the filled end holding in place with toothpicks.
  • Select the "Sauté" to pre-heat your Instant Pot. When the word "Hot" appears on display, add one tablespoon vegetable oil and brown the beef roll-ups on all sides for about 3 minutes (work in batches if necessary); remove roll-ups to a plate.
  • To the pot, add one tablespoon butter and 1 of each: chopped onion, carrot, and celery stick; sauté until soft. Press "Cancel" to turn the cooker off.
  • Place the beef rolls back on top of the vegetables, add 2 cups beef broth, 1/2 cup red wine, 1-2 bay leaves, and 1 teaspoon paprika.
  • Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Select "Meat/Stew," "Pressure Cook" or "Manual" and set the timer (+/- button) to 20 minutes.
  • When time is up, open the lid using Quick Release (press "Cancel" and then turn the steam release handle on the lid to the "Venting" position.)
  • Remove Rouladen from the pot, remove toothpicks or string and let rest. Puree sauce using an immersion blender or a food processor and thicken if necessary (see recipe notes).
  • Stir in a tablespoon of sour cream (if using), then return the roll-ups to the pot until serving.

Stovetop

  • Follow steps 1 and 2 above.
  • In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil and brown the beef roll-ups on all sides for about 3 minutes (work in batches if necessary); remove rollups to a plate.
  • To the pot, add one tablespoon butter and 1 of each: chopped onion, carrot, and celery stick; sauté until soft.
  • Follow step 5. Cover and simmer over low heat for 45-60 minutes, or until beef is tender.
  • Follow steps 8 and 9. Enjoy!

RECIPE NOTES:

  • Line your ingredients for rouladen assembly-style. Rolling them up will be a breeze. 
  • If your pickles are too thick, slice them in half lengthwise.
  • You can use twine instead of toothpicks to hold the roll-ups in place. 
  • Chop all your vegetables for the gravy the same size.
  • If your gravy is too thin, add either cornstarch or flour slurry to the sauce and cook until thickened. The slurry is a mixture of equal parts of cornstarch and water or flour and water. You can add a tablespoon of tomato paste if you prefer darker gravy.
  • Read all my other tips in the post above.
Tried this recipe?Snap a photo and mention @all_thats_jas or tag #allthatsjas on Instagram for a chance to be featured!

NUTRITIONS:

Nutrition Facts
Rouladen - German Beef Roll-Ups
Amount Per Serving
Calories 474 Calories from Fat 189
% Daily Value*
Fat 21g32%
Saturated Fat 8g40%
Cholesterol 153mg51%
Sodium 1189mg50%
Potassium 1083mg31%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 57g114%
Vitamin A 2077IU42%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 96mg10%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

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20 Comment

  1. Reply
    Jack
    March 25, 2020 at 5:53 am

    5 stars
    This recipe looks delicious. Great colours and lovely flavours!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      March 26, 2020 at 11:44 am

      Thank you so much, Jack! πŸ™‚

  2. Reply
    Brittany
    February 25, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe looks incredible! I love how you wrapped the baby dills in the middle. I can’t wait to try this out myself! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 25, 2020 at 9:08 pm

      Thank you, Brittany! πŸ™‚

  3. Reply
    Toni
    February 18, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    5 stars
    I loved that it is so easy to make!! So perfect for for weeknights!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 19, 2020 at 8:58 am

      I agree with you, Toni! Nothing better than a quick meal that looks like you spent hours cooking. πŸ™‚

  4. Reply
    Traci
    February 18, 2020 at 11:42 am

    5 stars
    You had me at pickles and beef…and that sour cream is a must for me πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing another winner…a truly unique recipe!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 19, 2020 at 8:59 am

      Thanks, Traci! Nostalgic recipes that our grandmas used to make are always the best. πŸ™‚

  5. Reply
    Erika
    February 18, 2020 at 11:19 am

    5 stars
    This looks delicious! I have most of these ingredients on hand already.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 19, 2020 at 9:00 am

      Don’t you love it when you can make a delicious meal with simple ingredients already on hand? Thanks for stopping in! xx

  6. Reply
    Haley D Williams
    February 18, 2020 at 11:02 am

    These look so good! I love this idea so much! Great for St. Patrick’s Day!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 19, 2020 at 9:01 am

      Yes, they are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day too! πŸ˜€ Thanks, Haley!

  7. Reply
    Taylor Kiser
    February 18, 2020 at 10:55 am

    Oh my! I think I just found my new favorite comfort food dinner!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      February 19, 2020 at 9:01 am

      It really is the best! Thanks, Taylor! πŸ™‚

  8. Reply
    Lori at Encourage Your Spouse
    July 20, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    One of our family favorites for Christmas Eve! Our adult children still require me to make them… I remember my mom and Omi making them when I was a child. ( Just the way you described!) These are so delicious. If anyone is hesitating to try this recipe… please go ahead!!! It’s easy and the taste is to die for – especially the gravy. The dill pickles add this unique flavor that everyone loves. (even if they aren’t German)

    1. Reply
      Jas
      July 20, 2017 at 11:43 pm

      Oh my, you found this old post, ha! It definitely needs an update and a revamp it deserves. Such a flavorful dish and I’m so happy you appreciate it as much as I do πŸ˜€

  9. […] over to my house, I’d be more than happy to cook some good German meal for you, like these rouladen or German […]

  10. Reply
    Veal Rolls with Smoked Cheese -
    October 9, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    […] delicious! There’s something festive about stuffed and rolled up meat. Have you tried rouladen – German style beef roll ups? Yummy in my […]

  11. Reply
    Jas
    February 23, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks Judy, you’re too kind.

  12. Reply
    Judy Haughton-James
    February 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    This looks so delicious Jas! The presentation is great. Have a good weekend.

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