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I've been trying to figure out the best cut of beef to use for a German rouladen recipe. From the butcher and Google searches I've seen advice ranging from slicing flank steak (how would that work?) to pounding out a top round steak. (The final slice needs to be about 1/4 of an inch thick and 3+ by 6+ inches long and wide.)

Could someone suggest a cut of meat and a process for arriving at right kind of slice? (I would like to avoid pounding/tenderizing if possible.)

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I have seen the suggestion (aimed at an English audience) that if one wishes to make rouladen one should ask the butcher to cut the meat as for beef olives. I cannot say how many butchers in which English-speaking countries would understand the request. –  Peter Taylor Feb 9 '13 at 19:32

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The meat for rouladen is cut from the upper part of the hind legs of the cow, or Oberschale.

You definitely don't pound rouladen; pounded meat tends to re-contract somewhat under heat, and this unacceptable in this case. I don't know how to cut it that way at home. In Germany, the butcher sells the meat pre-cut to the correct size. I guess that he "peels" it from the cut with a sharp knife. As far as I remember, it isn't cut across the grain like steaks. And it has to be very thin, from memory I would say that 1/7 inch thickness is normal. On this site, you can see some close-ups of the raw meat, maybe the butcher can recognize how to cut it from that. (Don't worry about the text, the recipe is far from traditional. I only gave it as a good illustration of the raw cuts).

Also, rouladen are supposed to be tender. If possible, get veal. If not, young bull's meat is better than the normal beef used for steaks.

cow schema

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I think that region is called "round" in English, as in "round steak". I don't recall seeing large pieces of round in the store much (in the US), mostly round steaks, so if you want it cut perpendicular to that, you might indeed have to ask to get it cut. –  Jefromi Dec 31 '11 at 14:47
    
+1 Awesome answer. Thanks! –  Dear Home Cook Dec 31 '11 at 15:57

In SC or where there is a Publix they sell the meat already cut from top round. I have made German beef rolls all thru out my 30 years of marriage and never had a problem with this cut. I make around 21 pieces. It is pricey but well worth it. My family loves this dish so I make it for special occasions.

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What is a Publix? –  Dear Home Cook Dec 31 '12 at 20:54
    
@DearHomeCook - It's a chain of supermarkets in the Southeast US: http://store.publix.com/publix/ –  MT_Head Feb 9 '13 at 21:02
    
You may see this labeled "beef milanesia." It will also serve well for schnitzel. –  Jon of All Trades May 22 at 20:41

I think you can use chuck or any other meat that can be 'stewed'.

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Can you explain your answer at all? –  Aaronut Feb 10 '13 at 2:19

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