My Mom's "Rinder-Rouladen" (stuffed beef rolls)

One of my favorite dishes... The sauce is just delicious, as I was little I didn't like the meat too much, so I just kept eating potatoes with the sauce :)


  • 1 tablespoon oil, 2 tablespoon butter
  • 4 beef rouladen (very thin cut)
  • 1 onion (very thin sliced in half rings)
  • Harissa (Indonesian hot chili sauce)
  • Mustard
  • Biber Salcasi (Turkish hot red chili pepper paste)
  • salt, pepper
  • tooth pick or metal skewer (also possible: white yarn)
  • 3 tablespoon "Sossenbinder" (or corn starch)

  • Serve with a side of starch (dumplings, potatoes, or spaetzle) and a side of vegetables (beans, red cabbage or sauerkraut)


As rouladen, I would suggest to buy beef that is already cut for "rouladen". This means, the beef will be very flat and thin and very wide. If you have problems finding these cuts, just try to get cuts that are as thin as possible and then pound them to additionally flatten them.

Prepare the rouladen:
Season each beef cut with salt and pepper, then add splotches of harissa, mustard and biber salcasi on them. Use a knife and spread it evenly, so that the entire beef cut is covered. Now, add the really thin onion slices and cover the cut. Roll them up and use a tooth pick, metal skewer or white yarn to hold them together.

Note: To give the rouladen a little bit more flavor, you can add thinly sliced German bacon. German bacon is white and slightly different than the American breakfast bacon (see picture).

Cook the rouladen:
Now, heat up the oil and butter in a frying pan. Add the rouladen and sear them quickly on all sides. Then, let them brown for about 5-8min. This is the most important step for the sauce, as it will add the flavor to the sauce base. Now, transfer the rouladen in a larger pot and add water till they are completely covered. Try to scrape out every little bit of sauce and bits from the frying pan (these are the flavorful parts) and transfer it to the pot. Add water to the seemingly empty frying pan, reheat and stir and add that water to the pot. There is always a little sauce left that you will otherwise not get out of it. This process is called diglacing the frying pan. Bring the pot with the roulades and sauce to a boil, put the lid on the pot so that it is half-way open and let the rouladen cook for 2 hours till they are soft (use a fork to test it out). While it is cooking, keep checking that enough water is in the pot, add water if necessary.

Finish the sauce:
In the end, take the rouladen out of the sauce and place on a plate. Add salt and pepper to the sauce and stir. Now,  add the "Sossenbinder" (substitute with corn starch if not available) to the water and bring back to a boil. Be careful and add first 1 tablespoon, bring to a boil and stir. It does take a few minutes before the sauce thickens, so be patient. If it does not thicken enough, add another one and so on. When the sauce reached the desired thickness, add the rouladen back into it.

Serve with potato dumplings and beans (or other vegetables). If you want to go real "German" you will serve it with spaetzle and sauerkraut or red cabbage.

Harissa, Mustard and Biber Salcasi 

German bacon

thin onion slices

Sear the beef

boiling the rouladen

sauce has been thickened

potato dumplings

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