The German dish known as rouladen, rinderroulade or beef olive consists of a piece of beef, veal or pork that has been rolled around a filling of onion, bacon, pickles and mustard and cooked. Beef is the most common rouladen meat and is usually a silverside, topside or rump steak cut. Long and thin strips of meat are coated with mustard and topped with filling and then rolled up and secured with toothpicks or thread. A rouladen is traditionally seared and then slow roasted in a marinade of broth, beer or wine over several hours before serving with gravy, red wine or beer and a side of spatzel, potatoes or red cabbage.
The typical rouladen filling includes smoked bacon, chopped pickles and onion and mustard but these ingredients can vary between German regions. Other possible filling ingredients are sausage, suet coated with breadcrumbs, parsley, raisins, pine nuts and minced meat. In addition to beef, veal is also commonly used to make rouladen although it is believed that venison or pork was used originally.
The dish is prepared by spreading hot mustard and filling on long, thin strips of meat. The meat is then rolled into a log shape and wrapped with thread or secured with toothpicks or a special clamp. During the first phase of cooking, the rouladen is seared in a pan with some vegetables until browned. Red wine, beer, or chicken or vegetable broth is then added to the pan and the dish is slowly roasted for up to two hours in an oven heated to 350 Fahrenheit (175 Celsius). Rouladen can also be cooked in a covered pan on the stove or in a slow cooker.
Once the rouladen has finished roasting, it is removed from the pan. More red wine, beer, or chicken or vegetable broth is added to whatever liquid remains in the bottom of the pan to make a gravy for the meat. The liquid is boiled and reduced until thick and the meat is returned to the pan to be coated with gravy and reheated. Heavy cream and flour can be added to the gravy to help thicken and flavor the sauce.
These beef rolls are typically served in Germany on Sundays during a family lunch or early dinner and is also reserved for festive occasions. Any thread, toothpicks or clamps used to secure the rouladen rolls must be removed prior to serving. Spatzel is the traditional side dish served with rouladen although boiled or baked potatoes or red cabbage are also common.