This German rouladen recipe is unlike any meat dish you’ve grilled, sautéed, or broiled before. German for “rolled meat,” rouladen is thinly rolled top-round steak stuffed with veggies and wrapped in a fine layer of bacon. It’s served with potato balls (kartoffelknödel) or spaetzle, two side dishes that soak up every meaty gristle and flavor.

This recipe has been in my family for generations and “crossed the pond” with my great-grandmother in the 1920s. Today, my grandfather is an expert at this recipe, knowing exactly which meats and varieties of parsley to use.

Prepping the rouladen is easy; the cook time is three hours, but refilling the pan with chicken stock every 20 minutes is worth it. The meat will slice like butter, the vegetables inside acting as a refreshing ­crunch.

German Rouladen Recipe

  • Prep Time:30 mins
  • Cook Time:3 hrs
  • Total Time:3 hrs 30 mins
  • Servings:6
  • Medium


  • 3 long slices top round steak thinly sliced
  • Dijon mustard
  • Carrots
  • Dill pickles
  • Garlic salt
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • One container chicken or beef broth
  • 6 bacon strips
  • Parsely
  • Toothpicks
Mackenzie Patel
  • Step 1

    Since this recipe makes 6 individually wrapped rouladens, it's easiest to buy a pack of 3 long strips at Publix. Cut them in half so you have six and set aside.
    #SpoonTip: If necessary, go to a butcher and ask for rouladen (thinly pounded) meat.

    sausage, salami, fillet, bacon, ham, steak, beef, meat, pork
    Mackenzie Patel
  • Step 2

    Slice the pickles, carrots, celery, and onion so you have six, thin sticks of each. Rough chop the additional vegetables so they can be used later for gravy.

    salad, fish, vegetable
    Mackenzie Patel
  • Step 3

    Season the meat strips with garlic salt on both sides.

    salami, sausage, fillet, ham, bacon, steak, pork, beef, meat
    Mackenzie Patel
  • Step 4

    Spread mustard on the meat and layer the parsley, pickle, carrot, celery, and onion slices onto one corner. Roll the meat with the contents inside, forming a veggie pocket.

    cheese, beef, vegetable, meat
    Mackenzie Patel
  • Step 5

    Roll the meat pouch inside a strip of bacon and secure the meat and bacon with toothpicks.

    pork, sweet, meat
    Mackenzie Patel
  • Step 6

    After you finish rolling the meat and bacon, place the 6 rouladens inside an electric skillet on medium heat.

    pork, sausage, ham, meat, bacon
    Mackenzie Patel
  • Step 7

    When all sides are sufficiently browned, add 2 cups of beef/chicken broth and bring to a boil. After the boil is reached, return to a medium simmer for 30 minutes.

    vegetable, tomato
    Mackenzie Patel
  • Step 8

    After these first thirty minutes, start adding more broth (1 cup) and leftover vegetables to the skillet every 20 minutes for the next two hours.
    #SpoonTip: if you run out of broth, you can substitute pickle juice or water. The goal is to keep the meat moist.

    chicken, pork, bacon
    Mackenzie Patel
  • Step 9

    Remove the meat after two hours, using the leftover liquid as a starter for gravy. Serve with potato balls or spaetzle - enjoy!

    Mackenzie Patel

This German rouladen recipe looks daunting on screen, but time will melt as the spiced aromas and meaty whiffs invade the senses. Play some traditional German folk music, watch Obama speak at the Brandenburg Gate (I was lucky enough to attend!), or ogle at the soccer players for Bayern Munich. I’m sure those men adore homemade rouladen, too.