Mini Beef Rolls Rouladen

Mini Beef Rolls Rouladen are a riff on a well-know German dish Rouladen or Rinderrouladen, “Rolls” or “Beef Rolls”, adapted by memory from a recipe as prepared by Vito’s aunt.  While Aunt Tess was Italian-American, she was a very good cook with a fine appreciation of many cuisines, particularly German. We’ve lightened the traditional recipe a bit my omitting the bacon and mustard to make it less salty and focus more on the flavor of the beef and cornichons.  Mini Beef Rolls Rouladen are not particularly difficult to prepare, the prep is easy and most of the cooking time is devoted to simmering the Mini Beef Rolls Rouladen in a rich brown sauce until they are fork-tender.  Traditionally served with boiled potatoes or home-made spaetzle or less traditionally, in the U.S, egg noodles, Mini Beef Rolls Rouladen are delicious without any of these but feel free to include them, as you like.  Serve Herbed Zucchini with Ginger and Garlic alongside Mini Beef Rolls Rouladen, accompanied by a dry red wine for a perfect cool weather dinner for two.

Mini Beef Rolls Rouladen

Prep Time: 15 minutes, Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes. Serves 2.

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  • 1 – 1 ½ lbs very thinly sliced boneless Beef Chuck Roast; the slices must be no larger than 4-inches by 3-inches.
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Cornichons*, 1 per beef slice
  • Wooden Toothpicks, 1 per roll
  • 2 Tbs all-purpose Flour
  • 4 Tbs Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ cup minced Shallot
  • 1 tsp minced Garlic
  • 1 Bay Leaf, preferably fresh
  • 1 tsp dried Thyme leaves
  • 6 whole Cloves
  • 1/8 tsp ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp granulated Sugar
  • ½ cup dry Red Wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium Beef Broth
  • ¼ Red Wine Vinegar
  • fine Sea Salt, if needed, to taste

Mini Beef Rolls Rouladen


  1. Lay the individual beef slices out on a cutting board, as many as will fit on the board, lightly sprinkle each piece with ground black pepper and lay one cornichon lengthwise along one edge of the beef. Roll the beef up lengthwise, about 1 ½ turns, and gently squeeze each rolled piece; insert 1 wooden toothpick diagonally through each roll and set aside on a large dish or tray.  Continue with remainder of the beef slices, then refrigerate the mini rolls for 15 minutes to set.
  2. While the mini rolls are refrigerated, mince the shallot and garlic, combine and set aside in a bowl. In a second bowl, combine the seasonings, bay leaf through sugar, and set aside.
  3. Remove the Mini Beef Rolls Rouladen from the refrigerator.
  4. In a wide, deep frying or fricassee pan, melt the butter into the extra virgin olive oil over a medium-high heat. Sprinkle the flour on a plate and, using a spoon if needed, gently coat the mini rolls with the flour.
  5. Add a few of the floured mini rolls to the pan and, using tongs, brown on all sides. Remove the browned mini rolls to a plate and continue until all the mini rolls have been browned.
  6. Add the shallot and garlic to the pan, along with an additional tablespoon or two of unsalted butter if needed, and sauté, uncovered, until they soften.
  7. Add the red wine to the pan, raise the heat to high, stir and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the seasonings into the pan, add the beef broth and red wine vinegar to the pan, stir, then place the browned mini rolls back into the pan.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the mini rolls are fork-tender, about 1 hour to 75 minutes.  Remove the mini rolls from the pan to a serving platter, discard the bay leaf, and raise the heat to high to reduce the sauce if it has not already thickened, then spoon the thickened sauce over the Mini Beef Rolls Rouladen and serve.


  • Use cornichons in vinegar for Mini Beef Rolls Rouladen, do not substitute sweet gherkins.
  • Refrigerate any leftover Mini Beef Rolls Rouladen in a covered container and reheat gently when ready to enjoy again.

Mini Beef Rolls Rouladen

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