A lot of people think that German food is just schnitzel, sausage and beer. But there’s so much more to it than that. Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite German dishes, beef rouladen.
Rouladen is a very traditional dish of thinly sliced beef, rolled around a filling of bacon, onions, pickles and hearty German mustard, and slowly braised until it is tender. After the beef is cooked, you make a nice thick gravy, and serve that over the rouladen.
Because it uses inexpensive cuts of beef, this was originally a workingman’s dish. But now, it is popular throughout Germany, and in fact, you usually see it at holidays, festivals or in restaurants. Over there, beer or wine is often added to the beef stock to bring out a richer flavor.
To make it really traditional, you should serve it with cooked red cabbage and either spatzle (a type of German egg noodle), potato dumplings, or boiled potatoes. But it is also good with mashed potatoes and roasted winter vegetables, like squash, Brussels sprouts or carrots.
1 1/2 lbs. flank steak
1/2 lb. thick-sliced bacon
2 large onions, sliced
10 German pickles (Gundelsheim is the best) sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup German mustard
2 tsp corn starch
Cut the flank steak into thin filets; about 1/4” thick and 3 inches wide.
Generously spread one side of each filet with mustard to taste. Place bacon, onions and pickle slices on each filet and form into a roll. Use string or toothpicks to hold the roll together.
Heat a skillet over medium heat and melt butter. Place the rolls in the butter and sauté until browned.
Once browned, pour broth over rolls, cover and simmer for an hour or until tender. When beef is tender, remove from skillet and keep warm.
Place corn starch in small mixing bowl and add enough water to make a slurry. Be sure to dissolve corn starch well for a smooth sauce. Add this mixture to the skillet and bring to boil. Once sauce is thickened, return rouladen to pan, cover with sauce and serve.