Traditional German cuisine is known for being hearty and rather heavy on meat and potato-based dishes. Thus, Rinderrouladen with potato dumplings and Rotkraut are one of its most worthy representatives. The filled beef rolls can be found at traditional restaurants and family homes alike. Since Rinderrouladen aren’t necessarily a light meal, Germans usually serve this plain fare for Sunday lunch, dinner or special occasions.

The hearty beef roulades originally evolved in Upper Silesia, a former German – more accurately, Prussian – region that predominantly lies in Poland by now. Although, the dish exclusively contains beef today, sources suggest that Rouladen were usually made with pork. Only by the 20th century, the meat got substituted as preferences moved towards beef.

Rinderrouladen For Every Taste

Making Rinderrouladen (traditional German filled beef rolls) according to a traditional recipe

Classic recipes traditionally call for filling the beef rolls with onions, bacon and pickled cucumbers. The simple seasoning with mustard, salt and pepper together with a condimental gravy make for their typical flavor. While this classic is still the most common and popular version, there are also several alternatives for the filling. Instead of the standard version, regional recipes substitute the pickles, onions and bacon with ground pork or a mix of rice and vegetables. In Swabia, for instance, boiled eggs are a popular addition to the standard ingredients.

Regardless of the filling, Germans most commonly pair their beloved beef rolls with Rotkohl, another favorite of their hearty cuisine. But also the world-famous Sauerkraut is a worthy accompaniment. Potato dumplings, boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes or Spätzle make for the obligatory side of carbs.

Rinderrouladen are still a popular dish of German cuisine, today. So if you plan a trip to Germany, make sure to try this meaty classic – in a restaurant, or even better from a real German grandma. If you can’t make that happen, you can try them anyway with our classic recipe below. And in case you are not the greatest fan of the standard filling or want to spice it up, you can simply get creative. There are hardly any limits to your imagination.


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Images: SunnySideCircus