Beef Rouladen – Jo Cooks

German beef rouladen recipe slow cooker


recipe from Beef Rouladen features thinly sliced beef wrapped around bacon, pickles, carrots and onions and then stewed in a red wine sauce until it melts tenderly. This German homemade meal will warm your soul!

Aerial shot of meat rouladen in a large white bowl with a serving spoonThe best meat rouladen


I learned how to make this amazing recipe from my good friend, Sharon, with a magical twist for a perfect rouladen. She has been making rouladen for decades as her family’s favorite dinner on Sundays. I was lucky enough to learn your secrets to making the perfect rouladen, and I’m so excited to share it with you!

I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve made steak or chicken roll-ups, but this is completely different. Meat wrapped around a pickle? and a carrot?! It sounds strange, but the flavors are out of this world. After braising for a few hours in a delicious red wine sauce, everything comes together to create a symphony of delights.

pieces of meat rouladen on a white plate with sauce

What is rouladen meat?

This is a classic German recipe, popular for Sunday family dinners, and always made in abundance for the Oktoberfest. Everyone has their own special twist on this comforting dish of stewed meat, but there are a few pieces that always stay constant: thinly sliced steak wrapped around mustard, bacon, onion and pickles, then stewed to tender perfection.

Everyone has their own preference for mustard. Virtually every recipe you’ll find will use a different variety! It all depends on preference, but my friend swears by Keens mustard. He also uses carrots in his rouladen to give a little extra flavor and umph.

oversizing all the ingredients needed to make meat rouladen

Beef rouladen

  • – I found this thinly sliced variety of beef at my local butcher and it is usually labeled as rouladen. It is usually a top round steak in thin slices.
  • Hot mustard – I used the Keens brand. It’s definitely best for this recipe, but you can use a different brand if you can’t find it.
  • Onions: White onions work best, but you can use yellow or red if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Carrots – I used large carrots. If yours are small, use more than I have ordered.
  • Pickles – I used dill pickles. If you like sweet pickles more, or have some homemade ones, you can use them.
  • Bacon – Be sure to find fine cut. This will ensure that it does not become too rubbery from being wrapped.
  • Vegetable oil – to fry the meat rouladen before making the sauce.
  • Salt and pepper – Season to taste.
  • Water and flour

  • – Make a suspension with water and flour and this is what we use in our sauce. If you want to go gluten-free, you can use 1/2 cup of cornstarch instead.
  • Red wine – A dry variety such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot or Shiraz.
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process shots showing how to assemble meat rouladen
  1. Prepare meat: If your meat comes in fairly long pieces, cut them in half, we’re looking for chunks that measure about 4×4 inches (roughly cut).
  2. Prepare the rouladen

  3. : The easiest way to do this is to assemble a bunch of rouladen at once, like on an assembly line (see image above), so place the pieces of meat on a cutting board, as many as you can fit. Start by spreading about a teaspoon of mustard on each piece of beef, followed by a teaspoon of onion, a piece of bacon, season with a little salt and pepper. Next, add a piece of carrot and pickles, you can add 2 of each, depending on how big they are. Roll them up and secure each rouladen with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  4. Seal the rouladen: Heat some of the vegetable oil in a pan or pan. Add a few rouladen to the pan, about 6 or more depending on the size of your pan, but don’t fill up. Sear the rouladen everywhere. Transfer the charred rouladen to a large Dutch oven that is safe for the oven and has a lid.
  5. Make the sauce

  6. : In that same pan make sauce from the drips. In a bowl, whisk 1 cup of flour with about 3 to 4 cups of water. Pour about 1 cup of this suspension into the pan with the drips. Whisk until it begins to thicken and the flour cooks a little and then add about 1/4 cup of red wine. Continue cooking for a couple more minutes while whisking, then pour this sauce over the charred rouladen in the Dutch oven. Clean the pan and repeat with the remaining ingredients. You may need to do this in 3 or 4 batches. There should be enough sauce to cover all the rouladen.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the middle.
  8. Bake: Cover the Dutch oven with the lid and transfer it to the preheated oven. Bake for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
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process shots showing how to seal rouladen meat and make sauce

How to find the right type

of meat

I went to my local butcher and found some sliced rouladen meat. If your butcher doesn’t have any ready, you can have them cut a few top round steaks into 1/4″ slices.

The flank steak,

cut 1/4″ thick, will also work for you if you don’t have access to a top round steak.

Aerial shooting of rouladen meat in a large Dutch oven after stewing

How to serve

I served my rouladen with some classic German red cabbage and creamy mashed potatoes. The perfect container for all that amazing sauce


Want to change it? Try some of these sides!

  • Frying pan Green beans
  • Garlic

  • Herbs Roasted
  • carrots Italian Roasted Mushrooms & Vegetables
  • Rosemary Crushed potatoes
  • Instant pot Potato puree
  • Soft Whey Dinner
  • rolls

  • Garlic Parmesan
  • Unkneaded
  • rolls Bread

Slow cooker Meat Rouladen This

beef rouladen is ideal to be made in the slow cooker. Follow the instructions as described, including scorching and preparing the sauce, but place the rouladen and sauce in your slow cooker. Simmer for 6 to 8 hours.

beef with sauce, mashed potatoes and red cabbage on a white plate


Your rouladen will last 3-4 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Be sure to store your rouladen topped with the sauce. I know it may seem like a ton of sauce that you end up with, but it’s a great way to make sure your rouladen doesn’t dry out.

Reheat in the microwave or covered in the oven to 375F until heated. When reheating, use plenty of sauce, again, to prevent your rouladen from drying out.


You can also freeze leftovers. Transfer the rouladen to an airtight container, with the sauce, let it cool on the counter, and then store it for up to 3 months. Defrost by transferring to the fridge overnight.

To freeze

rouladen before braising but after burning, prepare the rolls, place them on a baking sheet, cover with plastic and freeze for 2 hours. Transfer your frozen rolls to a large freezer bag or airtight container. They will last from 6 to 12 months. You can put them directly in the pot from the freezer to cook. Give them an additional 10-20 minutes of stew time.

beef rouladen with lots of sauce in a big white bowl

More Great recipes to try

the Argentine stuffed flank fillet Italian stuffed flank fillet

  • Instant pot Beef breast
  • Flank fillet Toast
  • Chimichurri Steak Quesadillas
  • German potato salad
  • Bulltail stew
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