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German Fleisch Rouladen

Scrumptious German Fleisch Rouladen with spatzle is the specialty with step by step images with Valerie Cooking in the Kitchen with Margaret Bose-Johnson!
Course Main
Cuisine German
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 6 rolls
Author Valerie Lugonja via Margaret Bose-Johnson


Ingredients 6 Rouladen:

  • 6 thin slices of a know-your-farmer beef (partially frozen inside round works well)
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 6 dill pickles , julienned
  • 1 ½ cup chopped onion
  • toothpicks or cotton kitchen string
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Ingredients for Each Roulade:

  • 1 thin slice from a beef roast (the inside round works well)
  • about 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1 dill pickle , julienned
  • ¼ cup (60ml) chopped onion
  • toothpicks or cotton kitchen string
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Ingredients for Gravy Thickener:

  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup water
  • jar with lid

Ingredients for the Gravy:

  • 1 cup (240ml) red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 juniper berries or 2 whole cloves
  • water to cover
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Instructions for Filling each Roulade:

  1. Lay one roulade out on your cutting board thin side toward tummy in vertical position; spread lightly with Dijon
  2. Place 2 bacon slices side by side lengthwise along roulade, leaving 2 inches (5cm) of beef at one end free of bacon (less bacon, widthwise, depending upon width of roulade)
  3. Lay pickle strips horizontally along bacon slices; sprinkle chopped onion over bacon and pickle, also leaving the same 2 inches (5cm) of beef free of bacon

Instructions for Rolling:

  1. Start with the full end of beef closest: roll as tightly as possible, using both hands to tuck in filling
  2. Pull 2 inches of uncovered beef over to cover filling; secure with round toothpick

Instructions for Browning Rolls:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325°F; select heavy casserole or braising pan with lid that will hold rouladen in single layer
  2. Heat oil in heavy pan; sauté rouladen, turning to brown all 4 sides (about 4-5 minutes per side)
  3. Remove and place each in casserole in single layer; deglaze pan with red wine and pour over rouladen
  4. Tuck in bay leaves and juniper berries or cloves; add water until rouladen is sitting in liquid ¾ way up sides

Instructions for Braising:

  1. Cover casserole with lid; bake at 325°F for 2 hours until meltingly tender
  2. Remove rouladen to serving platter; cover with foil

Instructions for Making Gravy Thickener:

  1. Place flour and water in jar with lid; shake until lumps dissolve

Instructions for Making the Gravy:

  1. Pour braising liquid into saucepan and place on stove top); bring to a boil
  2. Whisking boiling broth with one hand; set sieve into sauce and pour in a little slurry with other hand into sieve, stirring inside sieve and pushing liquid though to avoid lumping
  3. Continue, a little at a time, until gravy has reached desired thickness; taste and season
  4. Serve gravy over rouladen and on side with mashed potatoes, or spätzle, and a side of Braised Red Cabbage and a crispy cucumber salad.

Freezing Rouladen Method One for Small Crowd Entertaining on the Fly:

  1. Freeze after fully braised individually on parchment covered cookie sheets (gently slide out toothpick to avoid holes in bag later); store in labeled and dated freezer bags
  2. Make gravy and freeze in amounts to serve with 4 rouladen as this enables serving a lovely company dinner on short notice

Freezing Rouladen Method Two:

  1. Freeze after fully braised in serving casserole with juices; heat and make gravy just before serving

Recipe Notes

Rouladen freezes exceptionally well
Flat toothpicks tend to break; use round ones
Rolling roulade tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerating for 4 hours or more before browning will help keep the shape of the roll (mustard must be spread thinly to do this)
The amount of thickener needed depends on how much broth you have from your rouladen. If you don’t have much broth left, or if it tastes too salty, you can add more water to thin it out.
Freeze your Entire Meal in Advance!
Rouladen can be completely frozen, as can the Spaetzle and the Braised Cabbage Recipe. Make all three ahead and have a party with very little last minute effort!