An entry of Yoggis Hausmannskost – Yoggi’s Plain Cooking Series
Like a lot of ‘German’ food, the hearty filled rolled meat dish which is Rinderroulade or beef roulade is not confined to Germany. Variations thereof are part of the cuisines of Austria (of course) and indeed, much of Central Europe.
The culinary term ‘roulade’ is originally French, according to the epicurious.com Food Dictionary. It refers not only to meat but to a sponge cake dessert.
Rinderroulade was a way to use cheaper cuts of meat and was common at family Sunday lunches in Germany. Today, it features on festive occasions and is a staple on traditional German restaurant menus.
Still, the typical German Rinderroulade is pretty standard – thin meat rolled around a bacon and pickle filling which is braised. It is usually served with any of potatoes, dumplings (Klöße) or noodles (Spätzle) and red cabbage (Rotkohl).
Interestingly, red cabbage is actually purple. But because there was no German word for ‘purple’ until the 18th century, it was, and continues to be known in various parts of Germany as either red or blue cabbage, according to the German Wikipedia.
What’s more, the different regional preparations of Rotkohl enforces its colour-biased nomenclature. In the north, where it is known as ‘red cabbage’, vinegar or wine is added to it to bring out its red colour. In the south, where it is called Blaukraut (Blue Herb), sugar or baking powder is preferred to bring out its blue tinge.
Recipe: Rinderroulade mit Rotkohl und Saltzkartoffeln
(Beef Rouladen with Red Cabbage and Salted Potatoes)
Rinderroulade (Beef Roulade)
(for 8 pieces of Roulade)
2 boneless round steaks, ½-inch thick
8 slices lean bacon
4 onions, slice into round slices
8 dill pickles, slice thickly
2 tablespoons olive oil
250 ml of vegetable stock
Salt & pepper
200 ml red wine
1 tablespoon flour / thickener
Mushrooms, zuchini (optional)
Cream cheese / cream (optional), if adding milk products, season to taste
1. Pound beef to a thickness of ¼ inch. Slice into pieces, about 7 x 4 inches, triangular if possible, so that it rolls like a croissant.
2. Spread each piece with mustard. Place bacon on the larger end. Sprinkle with onions. Place pickle as you roll. Fasten the end with tooth picks and on either side to prevent onions from spilling out.
3. Heat oil in 10-inch skillet until hot. Over medium heat, brown rolls on all sides and till juices run.
4. Add stock and half the red wine. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beef is tender, about 2 – 2 ½ hours.
5. Halfway through, add remaining onions and pickles, if any.
6. Remove rolls and keep them warm.
7. Make sauce: add salt and pepper, more red wine, the optional ingredients (if used), and thickener. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute (add water if necessary). Turn off heat.
8. Put the rolls back in the gravy to keep warm before serving.
Rotkohl (Red Cabbage)
1 head red cabbage (about 1kg)
10 spiced nutmegs
6 – 7 peppercorns
2 bay leaves (or 3 juniper leaves)
½ cup dry red wine or red wine vinegar
1 green apple (firm and sweet), peel then cut into large cubes
Bacon (optional), cut into small pieces
1. Slice the red cabbage into strips (be careful when cutting, it stains!).
2. Put the spices in a teabag, so they are easy to remove.
3. In a pot, braise the red cabbage with the bacon, onions and spices. Add water, boil for 15 mins until everything softens.
4. Add the apple, cook for another 20 mins. Remove some water, cook for another 10 mins.
5. Add the red wine to deglaze. Add sugar and pepper to taste.
6. Let the cabbage simmer until the cabbage is firm to the bite (another 10 mins or so).
7. Turn off heat, remove the bag of spices, serve warm.
NB. Freeze extra Rotkohl rather than keeping in fridge
Salzkartoffeln (Salted Potatoes)
Russet or other baking potatoes, one medium one per person.
Salt, 2 teaspoons per kg
1. Wash the potatoes well, remove sprouts and blemishes, and then peel.
2. Immediately put peeled potatoes into bowl of water to prevent discolouring.
3. When ready to cook, quarter or halve the potatoes and place into pot.
4. Cover with water and add salt.
5. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and continue boiling gently until tender (about 20 mins).
6. Drain and serve immediately. (To keep them warm for about 20 mins, cover drained potatoes in the pot with a towel and close it).
This is part of my series on Yoggis Hausmannskost (Yoggi’s Plain Cooking), a collection of German recipes and associated thoughts. The recipes are those of my dear friend and great cook, Yoggi. Our cooking sessions – and long chats – were instrumental in my picking up and practising German and German culture.