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Olde Worlde German Beef Rouladen Rolls with Gravy (“Rindsrouladen”)

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beef rouladen


When we were little, my mom used to make these German Beef Rolls every now and then, and they were one of my favorite dishes that she used to make! Though traditionally made with dill pickle spears, she always made hers with sweet dill pickle relish and they were absolutely divine! 


 “Rindsrouladen” is Germany’s version of the French roulade, and is typically thin slices of beef wrapped around a pickle spear, bacon, onion and mustard mixture, then slow simmered in broth until very tender. The broth is then thickened and served over the rolls.  

My mom just used regular table mustard, French’s, but you can use a spicy brown, whole grain, dijon, or a nice German mustard. No matter what mustard you use, they always turn out deliciously flavored! You can’t go wrong. 😉




I prefer to use flank steak for this, but I have my butcher cut the meat for me into 4 thin steak filets only a 1/4″ thick. I don’t know what type of beef my mom used, but it was probably flank steak as well.

You can also use a quality top round steak for this, and even though these cuts of beef are tougher cuts, they will get very tender while simmering. So you’ll be ok either way. Just make sure they are very thin, and that you roll them with the grain running lengthwise, so that when you go to slice bites to eat, you are slicing against the grain.

That way it will insure that it’s extremely tender. 


You don’t have to partially cook the bacon, but I do a little just to get some of the excess fat away. You can bake the bacon in a 375 degree oven for about 15 minutes on a foil-lined baking sheet for ease and minimal cleanup if you’d like.

You want to cook out a lot of the fat, but still have it pliable to roll. But, as I said, you can just add it uncooked if you’d like, too. Either way works just fine.  



beef rouladen rolls 2


If you can find the tomato paste in the tube, use that, or any that you already have open and handy. Otherwise, ketchup works perfectly fine. Seriously, not kidding. After all,  it is a spiced and condensed type of tomato sauce with nice flavor.

I’ve used it in place of tomato paste many times in a pinch when I only need a little bit. And it’s usually the main ingredient in most homemade bbq sauces, so go for it! 🙂


I like to add a bit of red wine into my gravies, too, but if you prefer not to, just substitute cold water for the wine, no problem. But almost all of the alcohol will cook out while simmering, if that’s the problem for you, and it always adds so much extra flavor! I highly recommend that you do add it. 😉 





And that’s pretty much it! 😀

These turn out SUPER tender with a remarkable flavor all of their own that you’ll not only instantly warm up to, but will be very sad when supper’s done and gone. (I highly recommend that you double this if you’d like leftovers.) 😉

These go FAST and are enjoyed by everyone I’ve served them to, including my hubby, who swears he hates anything with pickles of any kind, shape or form. I love it when I’m right. 😉

But mostly, I love it when something new is introduced to someone, and thoroughly enjoyed!! Making others happy makes me happy. 😉  




So don’t wait. Add the ingredients, most of which you probably already have, to your next grocery list and make these soon! Pick up some crusty rolls, and serve this with some mashed potatoes and a side vegetable and you’ll have a wonderful meal that will please the whole family!

The prep work is minimal, so you can easily make this on a weeknight, or take your time and do the whole meal up royally for a heartwarming Sunday dinner!  




I hope you all enjoy this recipe, take care, and I’ll see you tomorrow! 😀 ~Kelly 



Yield: 4 servings

Olde Worlde German Beef Rouladen Rolls with Gravy ("Rindsrouladen")


  • 4 thin slices flank steak or quality beef top round steak filets (1/4" thick), *have your butcher do this for you (at least 1 lb., a little more is fine)
  • salt and coarse ground black pepper, to taste
  • prepared spicy brown stone-ground German mustard
  • 8 Tbl. sweet or dill pickle relish, can sub garlic dill pickle spears if preferred
  • 8 slices bacon, partially cooked, (about halfway), to render fat
  • 1 large vidalia onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbl. butter
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. minced garlic, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ketchup (or tomato paste), both work fine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tsp. Superior Touch Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 Tbl. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbl. red wine, chilled
  • fresh parsley for garnish, optional


  • Season beef slices with salt and pepper and thinly spread top sides with mustard.
  • Evenly spread each with relish, top each with 2 slices of bacon, and sprinkle each with sliced onions. *If subbing pickle spears, place 1-2 on top of onions near edge closest to you so that when rolled, they end up in the very center.
  • Roll up slices tightly and tie with cooking string. *If using flank steak, make sure that you roll them up with grain running parallel to you, or lengthwise, so that when you slice them to eat, you are slicing them against the grain for maximum tenderness.
  • Heat butter in a medium-sized frying pan. (*One that has a lid.) Add beef rolls and sauté until well browned, turning as needed. When browned, add garlic and sauté, stirring garlic until fragrant, about 1 more minute. Add broth, bouillon/beef base, ketchup, and pepper.
  • Cover, turn down to a simmer, and simmer about 1 hour turning rolls 2-3 times, recovering.
  • To thicken sauce into a gravy, combine cornstarch and red wine. Stir slurry mixture into cooking liquid. Cook uncovered, stirring, until thickened.
  • Remove rolls to a warm platter, remove strings, ladle gravy over rolls, and garnish with chopped parsley or sprigs to serve.
  • Goes very well with mashed potatoes or colcannon, and a side vegetable such as buttered peas, carrots, green beans or asparagus.


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    Sunday 10th of December 2023

    I have followed this recipe for several years. It is terrific. Great German recipe.


    Monday 3rd of April 2023

    Hi, I made this today but I used my moms stuffing....thinly cut mushrooms, onions, porkbelly (diced small and cooked til golen brown) and pickles. It was delicious we had green beans, mashed potatoes and our garlic vinegar dressing untop of cucumbers (gurken salad).

    Julie Klemens

    Sunday 3rd of November 2019

    I used this version to amp up my husband's favorite harvest roll ups that utilizes sauerkraut and a slice of cooked bacon in the beef roll. I liked the addition of the tomato paste and the touch of red wine with the cornstarch. The gravy was sooo delish! We loved it and it's in the top five favorites.


    Sunday 3rd of November 2019

    What home remedy can I use to tenderize my beef rouladen rolls. I have top round steak. Thanks. Carolyn


    Thursday 23rd of November 2023

    @Carolyn, The long cook time tenderizes the meat. You can also lightly pound them with a meat hammer.


    Saturday 16th of March 2019

    Awesome, just made this while some family was visiting. St. Patricks weekend 2019. Nothing but compliments. Thanks Kelly.

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