Oma Winkelbach's Rouladen

This differs slightly from most of the recipes I've found online in one particular: It does NOT include pickle as part of the meat roll. Oma didn't use them. Mutti didn't use them. I don't use them. It may make it more “German”, but I suspect that incorporation of pickles in this recipe is probably some kind of Bavarian perversion.


8 pieces thin-sliced beef steak (round, flank, etc), about 3½ to 4 pounds

1 pound bacon

1 medium onion

1 bouillon cube

Minced garlic, to taste (1 to 3 tsp)

2-3 Tbl olive oil

3 Cups water

2 Tbl flour


Cut the onion in half, longitudinally. Then, cut the halves into latitudinal half-slices.

Take each slice of beef, and lay a couple of strips of bacon on it. I fold the bacon strips in half and place them toward what will be the inside end of the roll works best.

Starting at that end, distribute a half-slice of onion over the inward half of the meat.

Roll the beef, using a couple of toothpicks to stick it together.

Repeat for the other slices, making 8 rolls.

Finely chop the leftover bacon, and the leftover onion.

If you have a skillet with a lid to fit it, so much the better. Otherwise, break out a skillet and a pot with lid, large enough to take all 8 rouladen in a single layer.

Heat the water, while doing the following. When hot, stir in the bouillon cube.

Heat the skillet on medium, and sauté the bacon until the fat is mostly tried out. Add the onions, garlic, and oil. Turn up to medium-high.

Brown the meat rolls on all sides.

If using the skillet alone: Pour the water / bouillon mix over the rolls, and cover.

If using the pot: Transfer meat rolls to the pot. Use a small amount of water/bouillon to deglaze the skillet, getting all the fried goodness into the pot. Add the remaining water/bouillon mix, so that the meat rolls are submerged. Cover.

Simmer for an hour, or till tender, on low to medium-low heat.

Before serving, set the rouladen in a serving dish. Whisk the flour into half a cup or so of cold water. Bring the liquid in the pot to a boil, and stir in the flour. Heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens.

Serve with the gravy over the rouladen, any starchy veggies you're having, and anything else that looks like it could use some gravy.

Makes four dinner-size (2 rouladen per) portions.