Rouladen (rolled stuffed steak)

This recipe is so good. If ever you’ve had it, you know what I’m talking about.

01_RouladenMy mom used to cook this up as a treat once a month on Sundays. We ate German food on Sundays mostly and we were spoiled because of it. On any given weekend, we would have BauernBrot mit tomaten (German rye bread with tomatoes and chives, Kartoffelsalad (German Potato Salad), Rotkohl (Red Cabbage), and Rouladen. We were fortunate enough to live in a city with good European delicatessens around. Our neighborhood deli was “Schillers”. They had everything from Rice Candy (an Asian treat for the kids) to Pickled Herring (a European treat for anyone who ate that stuff, yuck!) LOL

The Rouladen were usually served with potato dumplings and cabbage salad whether red or green. And it was always served piping hot. I still like my food piping hot. I can always blow on it to cool it a bit. But dumplings took a lot more wind to cool down because their centers were scary hot. Wow! That hurt.

So what do we do to the steak to make it roll up? Well, good question. And in fact, we get the butcher to slice it very thin. About 1/4 of an inch is good. And you just slap on some mustard (stone ground is the best for this application, but feel free to use your favorite mustard) a piece of bacon, some onions and pickle slices and a little salt and pepper and you’re ready to put ’em in the pan. The key is make sure you brown them a bit before you add in the wine. If you cook them in the wine too long, they get tough and nobody likes tough meat.

So here we are:

The Ingredients –

  • 2 pounds petite sirloin (thinly sliced)
  • 4 large pickles (dill variety)
  • 1/2 large onion (sliced or julienned)
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1/4 cup mustard (stone ground or your choice)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to  taste
  • 1 bottle (750ml) red wine ( I use burgundy for it’s rich flavor)


Prep – Slice the pickles lengthwise in quarters. Slice the bacon in half. Set aside. Slice the onion pole to pole and cut into thin strips. Saute the onions in a pool of butter on medium-high heat enough to soften them up. You could even brown them.

After the onions are done, spread a healthy portion of mustard on a piece of flattened out steak. Next, place a piece of raw bacon over the mustard. Take a couple slices of the onion and lay them on the meat as well. Next, go  with a pickle quarter sideways to the meat and then sprinkle a little salt and pepper on there as well. Then roll the meat into a log and place toothpicks on either end of the  roll to hold it all together while it cooks.( If you don’t have toothpicks, a little twine will do and nicely so. Toothpicks are just less hassle.) Repeat as necessary for each piece of steak until all the steak is rolled up. If you run out of vittles to stick in the steak rolls, no worries, just roll em up with some mustard and salt and pepper and they’ll taste good too.

Now, place a large skillet on the biggest burner and put in a little oil. Turn stove on to medium. Arrange steak logs in the pan and cook until the bottom is nicely browned. Turn over the steaks and add in the wine as necessary so that the steak rolls are in 1/4″ to 1/2″ of wine.

Steak rolls are done when no red meat is visible and both sides are nicely browned. Serve with red cabbage and dumplings or mashed potatoes.

NOTE: It’s better to undercook the rouladen a little bit than to overcook them. If you have to keep adding wine to the pan, then you have to heat to high. Lower heat and simmer the logs for a few minutes.



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