Memories of Times Past and German Beef Rouladen

It has been a while and a lot has happen.  Mainly, my Mom and the greatest inspiration of my life has passed a way.  I had taken a break to care for her just after reorganizing my blog and cookbooks.  And now it is time to make her proud! She has always inspired me to follow my passion of cooking and writing.

Looking back on her life and my own, I began to remember

Zugspitz area
Zugspitz area

the many trips to Europe and all the wonderful food we enjoyed as a family.  Rouladen was one such recipe that has a long history in our family.  Beginning in Bad Tolz, with a family that lived next door to us and the wonderful aromas that filtered through the doors.  The woman next door was Austrian and a great cooking teacher.  She taught me and my Mom many of the German/Austrian recipes that we enjoyed over the years.  I think the reason it was so favorable, was that she used only the freshest of ingredients — meat from the local butcher, dairy and veggies straight from the local farm.


  • 4 thin slices flank steak or quality beef top round steak filets (1/4″ thick), *have your butcher do this for you (at least
    1 lb., a little more is fine)
  • salt and coarse ground black pepper, to taste
  • spicy brown stone-ground German mustard
  • garlic dill pickle spears
  • 8 slices bacon, partially cooked, (about halfway), to render fat
  • 1 large vidalia onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 Tblsp. butter
  • ½ – 1 tsp. minced garlic, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ketchup (or tomato paste), both work fine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tsp. Beef Bouillon base
  • ¼ tsp. coarse ground black pepper, or to taste
  • 1 Tblsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tblsp. red wine, chilled
  • fresh parsley for garnish, optional


  1. Season beef slices with salt and pepper and thinly spread top sides with mustard.
  2. Evenly spread each with pickle spear, top each with 1 slices of bacon, and place 1-2 on top of onions near edge closest to you so that when rolled, they end up in the very center.
  3. Roll up slices tightly and tie with cooking string. *If using flank steak, make sure that you roll them up with grain running parallel to you, or lengthwise, so that when you slice them to eat, you are slicing them against the grain for maximum tenderness.
  4. Heat butter in a medium-sized frying pan. Add beef rolls and sauté until well browned, turning as needed. When browned, add garlic and sauté, stirring garlic until fragrant, about 1 more minute. Add broth, bouillon/beef base, ketchup, and pepper.
  5. Cover and simmer about 1 hour turning rolls 2-3 times, recovering.
  6. To thicken sauce into a gravy, combine cornstarch and red wine. Stir slurry mixture into cooking liquid. Cook, stirring, until thickened.
  7. Remove rolls to a warm platter, remove strings, ladle gravy over rolls, and garnish with chopped parsley or sprigs to serve.
  8. Goes very well with mashed potatoes or colcannon (if you like Irish potatoes), and a side vegetable such as  peas, carrots, green beans or asparagus.  We always had saute red or greed cabbage and bread dumplings.

What reminded me of this great meal, was my brother.  A true Chef in his own right, had just made it for his kids and grand-kids.

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