Easy and Delicious German Rouladen Recipe

All Things Mandy
by All Things Mandy

Hey everyone. Today, I am cooking another meal from around the world, which is Germany this time.

I am making a classic German dish called rouladen, which is a beef dish Germans eat for Sunday dinner, in an instant pot.

This dish caught my eye because it sounded so different, and it has so many flavors that I love. I have done some research and found a great German rouladen recipe on Pinterest, so let’s get started!

In terms of ingredients, I got a pound of thin cut top round steak, sliced bacon, mustard, pickles, and onions. I am very excited and intrigued by the combination of pickles and bacon.

I am using an instant pot to cook it all. I found a rouladen recipe for the instant pot, and it seemed like a fun and easy way to make this dish.

Alternatively, you can do this by starting on the stove and then finishing in the oven - letting it bake and roast for a couple of hours.

Chopping onion

I am starting by prepping the onion. I am going to finely dice a quarter of an onion, and rough chop the rest of it. I am going to need those two for two different parts of the recipe.

Chopping bacon

Next, I am chopping pickles. Some recipes recommended using dill, others used gherkins, so I am just using whatever I had at home.

I am cutting the pickles up in long strips. I am also taking four slices of bacon and cutting them in half.

Seasoning steak

Now I am moving on to the top round. The steak I got is already thinly sliced, which is great, but if you get thicker slices, you might want to pound it out.

I am going to season it with salt and pepper and spread mustard on top of it. The recipe recommends using Dijon or German mustard.

Rolling steak

Now, on one end of the top round slice, I am going to put a slice of bacon, some finely diced onions and two little pickles, and I am going to roll it up.

Finally, I am securing it all with a toothpick (as per recipe, you could also use a metal skewer). 

German rouladen

Now I am going to make seven more of these rouladen.

German rouladen

Let's get them over to the instant pot.

I preheated it to sauté, heated up some olive oil, and now I am searing the little beef roll ups for around a minute on each side. This is not going to get them cooked all the way through.

Since I have quite a few of them, I have to sauté them in a couple batches.

Adding stock

Once all the rolls are done, I am going to get the onions sautéed in the instant pot.

Now I am ready to add the liquid. I am going to be using beef stock, but you could also deglaze the pan with red wine or just water.

I have read a lot of versions of how to make rouladen, and some people get very creative with this broth part. Some use celery and carrots, some put cranberry sauce, I have even seen someone use grape jelly.

However, I am keeping it simple.

Cooking German rouladen

Once the onions are sautéed, I am going to put the rouladen back in the instant pot. The smell is phenomenal.

I am turning off the sauté mode, putting the lid on, and cooking this on high pressure for 30 minutes.

In the end, I am going to do a natural release for 15 minutes.

Cooking German rouladen

The time is up, so I am taking the meat rolls out and starting to work on the gravy.

Fortunately, the rolls stayed intact and it was easy to pull them out. 

Cooking German rouladen

Now I have all this broth that I am going to try to thicken. I am going to turn this off and turn it back on sauté.

Once it is brought to a boil, I am going to add a cornstarch slurry: give some cornstarch a stir in the water, get it combined, then add this to the broth, and stir.

I would love for the gravy to be even thicker, but it smells amazing.

German rouladen

Normally, rouladen are served with potato dumplings and red cabbage. Unfortunately, I did not have time to make those, so I am only tasting the meat dish, but I do believe this would go amazingly with some potatoes.

The taste actually surprised me a bit. I imagined the bacon and pickles would be crispy but they are soft because they were made in the pressure cooker. I do not believe it would matter if you baked it.

The meat is incredibly tender, and the flavor is great. The tanginess of the pickle with the mustard makes this similar to a Mississippi pot roast, but this is not spicy at all.

It tastes like the most tender pot roast that you have ever eaten in your life. It is really good!

German rouladen recipe

I have been enjoying making dishes from all around the world, and these rouladen have been a great addition.

Let me know in the comments what you would have me cook next, or what international dishes you love making for your family.

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 1 comment
  • Karen Karen on Jul 13, 2023

    I was tought how to make these as a child.

    We don't use mustard. The thin round steak cut into 3 to 4 inches wide and 5 to 6 inches long. Bacon, onion and clauson dill pickles cut long ways roll up and put tooth pick in to hold it together