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German Cooking Week – Beef Rouladen

When we were posted to Germany, we always looked forward to October because that meant Oktoberfests which almost by definition means good food, good beer and good cheer.

Dave is the beer drinker in our family, but there was one little gausthaus called The Adler Klaus in Lahr that served the only kind of beer that I’ve ever actually liked.  Dave would order eine grosses bier for himself and ein kleine bier for me.

In honour of our time in Germany those many years ago and the many Oktoberfests that will be held in Germany and around the world, I’ve decided to have a German Cooking Week.

There are probably as many recipes for Beef Rouladen as there are kitchens in Germany.   My recipe is a combination of different recipes I’ve adapted for our family from the German cook books I brought back with me when we were posted back to Canada.

Beef Rouladen

To serve 4 people you will need:

Approximately 2 lb of beef thinly sliced (you can ask the butcher to do this or slice them yourself, which is what we did)

½ lb bacon

1 very large onion

Several mushrooms sliced (or rehydrate dry mushrooms, like we did)

1 pint of beef broth

Your favourite mustard

To start… if you are using dried mushrooms… in a small pot, bring beef broth to a boil, turn off heat and add about a cup of dried mushrooms.  Allow to soak while you get the meat ready.

Rehydrate mushrooms in beef broth

Round steak was on for a good price at our local IGA, so we picked up a 2 lb package.

Round steak cut to a quarter inch thick

And then Dave sliced the steak in half to take them from about ½” thickness to ¼” thickness.

Trim fat from beef slices.

Trim fat off the steaks

Pound to eighth inch thickness

The slices of beef need to be about 1/8 of an inch thick, so I pounded them with the smooth side of a meat tenderizer until they are about that thickness. (<-affiliate link)

Fry ½ lb of chopped bacon until soft and the fatty bits are cooked, but not until crisp.

fry half lb of chopped bacon

Remove bacon and put it in a bowl.  Drain excess fat from the pan.

Chop one large onion.  If using fresh mushrooms chop those now too.

chop one large onion

Add chopped onions to that same pan.

If using dried mushrooms… drain the now rehydrated mushrooms, reserving broth you soaked them in.

Sauté onions and mushrooms until onions are translucent.

saute onions and mushrooms

Mix onions and mushrooms in the bowl with the cooked bacon.

Add onions and mushrooms to bacon

Spread your favourite mustard on each slice of beef.  (We used spicy brown mustard)

spread a little mustard on each piece of beef

Spoon on bacon, onion and mushroom mixture.

Spoon on bacon, onion, mushroom mixture

Roll up meat and secure with wooden toothpicks.

Roll up beef and secure with a toothpick

Place rolls in fry pan you used to fry bacon, onions and mushrooms.

Place meat rolls in frying pan

Sauté until browned on all sides.  Depending on the size of your rolls and the size of pan you may have to do this in several batches.

Brown all sides of rolls

While meat is browning, peel and slice 5 or 6 large potatoes about 1/4” thick.  Layer in the bottom of your slow cooker.  You could also add other root vegetables as well… carrots, parsnips, turnips… whatever you have on hand.

Layer sliced potatoes in bottom of slow cooker

Arrange browned beef rolls on top of slice potatoes.

Layer beef rolls over potatoes

Don’t waste all that carmelized goodness from frying the meat.

Carmelized goodness

Deglaze the fry pan with the broth you reserved from rehydrating the mushrooms… or if you used fresh mushrooms with plain beef broth.

Added reserved broth to pan and deglaze

Pour over the meat rolls and potatoes.

Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Remove the meat rolls from the slow cooker.

Remove cooked meat rolls from slow cooker

Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the potatoes and place in a bowl.  Cover the meat and potatoes with foil to keep warm while you make the gravy.

Pour the liquid from the bottom of the slow cooker into a pan.

Pour broth from bottom of slow cooker into fry pan

Bring to a boil.  Mix about ¼ c of corn starch with ½ cup of water and pour into pan.  Cook until gravy is thickened.

Serve meat and potatoes topped with gravy.

Serve topped with gravy

Now that there’s just Dave and I for most meals, I could have made this recipe with just one pound of beef and a couple of potatoes.  Instead I made it pretty much like I would have when all our kids were home and it became what I called planned leftovers as we had enough left to make up a freezer meal for a night when neither of us feels like cooking. Personally, I prefer pyrex containers. (<-affiliate link)

Enough left for a freezer meal


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  • Lorrie
    October 6, 2011 10:47 pm

    I love beef rouladen – but I usually make it with dill pickles as well. I had it that way in Luxembourg many years ago. I’d never thought of cooking it in the crockpot, with potatoes on the bottom. What a great idea!

  • Lois Christensen
    October 3, 2011 7:07 pm

    Love this recipe! My mother made this all the time for special occasions while we were growing up. My father was from Germany! And yes, her recipe is a bit different, but yours looks really good! I made it 2 years ago for Christmas with our family and it was so good. A really different dish that everyone loves! Great post!

  • Sandra :)
    October 3, 2011 10:25 am

    OK the weather has cooled down now, so when Thelma and Louise come visit, that’s what we want! Well, I haven’t checked with Louise yet, but Thelma sure wants it – it looks DELICIOUS!

  • Robin (rsIslandCrafts)
    October 3, 2011 9:36 am

    Looks yummy!

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