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Rouladen | German Beef Rolls

Introduction & method

These traditional beef rolls are quite easy to make and very tasty. Thin slices of beef are wrapped around bacon, gherkins and strips of onion. Then they are baked and served with a super-rich gravy. Proper comfort food.

Rouladen | German Beef Rolls Recipe

Prep the Meat

In countries where rouladen is common, you'll be able to buy beef sliced to the correct thickness - it should be about 6mm (quarter inch) thick. Otherwise you might be able to get your butcher to slice the beef for you. Or, if you've just got some supermarket steaks, sharpen your sharpest knife and carefully slice your steaks horizontally. You want to use a fairly cheap cut of beef such as bavette/flank/skirt/top round.

Assemble the Rouladen

Lay out your slices of meat side by side. Spread each one generously with mustard. Lay a rasher of bacon on each one, and then pile thinly cut batons of onion and pickle on the bottom half of the meat. You'll need to secure each roll with a toothpick or twine, so get those ready. Now grab the bottom edge of a slice of beef and roll it up away from you, keeping it quite tight so the veggies don't fall out. Secure it with a toothpick or tie it with string.

Make Gravy Base & Cook the Beef

Preheat your oven to 140°C (284°F) fan, 160°C (360°F)) conventional, gas 3. A good gravy is essential with your rouladen, so don't be reaching for the granules. Dice the onion, carrot and celery and sauté them in oil on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Transfer them to an ovenproof casserole dish and put it in the oven. Now add some oil to the frying pan and turn up the heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add the beef rolls and sear them on all surfaces. Now take the casserole dish out of the oven and arrange the beef rolls on top of the veggies. Pour the stock into the frying pan and scrape the bottom with a spatula to loosen all the Burnt Crunchy Bits. Now pour the stock over the meat and veggies. Place a lid on the casserole or cover it with tinfoil if you don't have a lid. Pop it in the oven for 90 minutes.

Finish the Gravy

When the time is up, remove the casserole from the oven and fish out the beef rolls - place them on a warmed plate and loosely cover with foil. Strain the gravy liquid into a saucepan, mash the veggies and press them through a seive over the saucepan to extract as much liquid as possible. Now add yeast extract and tomato puree and bring the gravy to the boil. Let it bubble and reduce somewhat. When you have a nice thick consistency, taste the gravy and season if necessary.

Serve the Rouladen

You'll want 2-3 rouladen per person. Serve with mashed potato, green beans and pickled red cabbage. Smother the rouladen with gravy.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Rouladen | German Beef Rolls on YouTube.

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Ingredients & Info

 400 grams beef steak
 6 rashers bacon
 half a medium onion
 2 or 3 dill pickles or gherkins
 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
 1 medium onion
 1 carrot
 1 stick celery
 half a tsp yeast extract (Marmite or similar)
 1 tbsp tomato puree
  salt & pepper to taste

Mustard - I've specified Dijon because German mustards are not very common in the UK and because 'German' covers a whole range of different types.

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 6 rouladen
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes.
Total time: 2 hours.