German Rouladen

After three years, five e-mails and one phone call from Canada, I finally sat down to write up the recipe for my hometown area Rouladen.

I had promised my best Korean friend residing in Canada a copy of my recipe for three years. Well, taking photos of the process, organizing my thoughts and remembering to do it, was always in the back of my mind, slumbering on the back burner.

I was finally prompted to clean up my act when she called me a few days ago, again mentioning the recipe.

Since this was such a strenuous act (not, it took me twenty minutes to write it up), I reckoned I might as well put it on my blog for future reference.


German Rouladen


thinly sliced beef (any cut is OK, because they steam for a long time)

chopped onions

thinly sliced smoked streaky bacon (called Dörrfleisch in Hesse, Bauchspeck in Bavaria)

ketchup, mustard (optional)


1. Add some ketchup to the flat beef cut (see Roulade in the front).

2. Then cover beef with strips of smoked bacon and chopped onions (see Roulade in the back).

3. Roll the meat, starting from the narrower end.

4. Tie with a typical Rouladen Nadel (see pin). If none available, you can also use old-fashioned thread. Be sure to remove this before serving.

5. Brown Rouladen in the frying pan before adding them to the steam cooker (Mine is so old, I don’t know if there is much pressure left, so any cooking pot might do).


German Rouladen

6. Cover with water. Add two bay leaves, some peppercorns and cloves (two or three each).

7. Let steam at medium heat – I have it on 5 (scale 1-10) for about 90 – 120 minutes.

8. Meat should be really tender when you test it with a fork.

 Recipe for gravy

1.  Use the meat broth instead of water for your gravy making.

2.  Prepare your store-bought gravy based on the directions.  Then before serving, add some ketchup, sugar (1 tbsp for 1/2 l of gravy) and a bit of German Maggi (soy sauce will do, too).

Best served with potato dumplings and red cabbage.

Option: Curly noodles also do fine, but then serve salad on the side.




The recent article National Dish Comes Wrapped in Foreign Flavoring by Michael Slackman, written for the New York Times, caught my eye. But while reading it, my stomach lurched forward a bit as he described one of Germany’s most beloved fast food as lard-laden, doused in ketchup, served with shimmering fries. Based on his experience, Germans are tightwads, contradictory in many ways, and they see themselves as a world-class economy.

Well, opinions differ and so do culinary tastes. Last night’s quick dinner happened to be currywurst then.

When I had initially arrived in the state of Hesse 15 years ago, I was surprised to be handed a currywurst with just cold ketchup and curry powder on it, just as Mr. Slackman had described. Back then,  I had actually assumed the street vendor had run out of curry gravy.

Yes, where I come from in Franconia (Northern Bavaria), currywurst is  not served on a paper plate, but in a paper bowl with a one-inch rim to hold the hot and steaming gravy. Most customer buy an extra bread roll just for dipping.

Currywurst with bread rolls

To make curry gravy, stir up a regular brown gravy (packages from the supermarket), add a lot of ketchup and curry to it. Any sausage can be used – I have been served hot dogs, Bratwurst, beef sausage, etc. all in the name of currywurst.

According to Ms. Breloh, the director of the world’s only Currywurst Museum, currywurst is consumed in large quantities. 82 million Germans consume 800 million curry sausages annually.

I am inclined to think Mr. Slackman did not have a good day with the Germans the day he wrote his article. Also just sent a suggestion to correct the opening title on the  Currywurst Museum’s homepage, where it read: The Currywurst has it´s own museum! Correct version: The Currywurst has its own museum!

Diese Webseite verwendet Cookies. Wenn Sie auf der Seite weitersurfen, stimmen Sie der Cookie-Nutzung zu. Mehr Informationen

Diese Webseite verwendet so genannte Cookies. Sie dienen dazu, unser Angebot nutzerfreundlicher, effektiver und sicherer zu machen. Cookies sind kleine Textdateien, die auf Ihrem Rechner abgelegt werden und die Ihr Browser speichert. Die meisten der von uns verwendeten Cookies sind so genannte "Session-Cookies". Sie werden nach Ende Ihres Besuchs automatisch gelöscht. Cookies richten auf Ihrem Rechner keinen Schaden an und enthalten keine Viren. Weitere Informationen finden Sie auf der Seite “Datenschutzerklärung”.