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.)

  • 1
    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. Commented Feb 9, 2013 at 19:32

9 Answers 9


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

  • 1
    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.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Dec 31, 2011 at 14:47

Wegmans sells it as top round, already sliced and in vacuum sealed packages. Wegmans is a high end, regional grocery store in the eastern US. They carry products you can't find in regular stores. I buy 8-10 packs at a time and freeze, I'm ready to make rouladen at any time. price just went up to $7.99 a lb, but if you've ever had boogered up rouladen meat, you know what I'm talking about, you will pay the extra and know what you're getting. There are 4 slices per package and they are big enough to cut in half. No pounding of meat required.


Milanesa cut works great! That's what I used tonight.


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.

  • What is a Publix? Commented Dec 31, 2012 at 20:54
  • 1
    @DearHomeCook - It's a chain of supermarkets in the Southeast US: http://store.publix.com/publix/
    – MT_Head
    Commented Feb 9, 2013 at 21:02
  • You may see this labeled "beef milanesia." It will also serve well for schnitzel. Commented May 22, 2014 at 20:41

In Canada, I purchase the sliced beef labelled as inside round (rouladen cut) in traditional supermarkets, or inside round (sandwich steak) in Walmart. It is usually sold on the small meat foam plates folded over onto itself before being saran covered. It is sliced just under a 1/4 inch thick....any thinner and it falls apart as it's rolled up. It should be 12-16 inches long, 5-6 inches wide when unfolded and slightly triangular in shape. Once you've spread your german mustard, crumbled bacon, and caramelized (fried till browned) onions over it. Starting at the wider end, place your pickle or pickles as 2 are often needed end to end for the width of the meat (gherkins are perfect) Roast it and enjoy!


Use top round and slice it against the grain. If you can partially freeze a piece and then use a deli slicer; it makes the job much more precise and a lot easier. Fill with sweet caramelized onions mixed with minced bacon and brown mustard and close with a tooth pick. Season with salt and pepper and sear in a hot pan in light oil on both sides. discard excess oil in pan when finished. Deglaze pan with white or red wine. Cover 2/3 rds with thickened beef broth or demi glace and bring to a low simmer. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees until fork tender. About 45 minute to an hour. Serve over mashed potatoes and garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy!


you can use any cut of meat. Just cut it on an angle to adjust for your size. top sirloin works well. so would round or rump roast sliced on an angle.


I have not had a problem with tenderizing at all. It makes the meat nice and thin and when finished, you can eat it with a fork. Do get it sliced as thin as possible though to save the labor as you tenderize. Don't pour off the oil(I use butter to braise), as it makes the most delicious gravy ever. Though I wish to drippings yielded more as everyone wants to take some gravy home, even if your out of meat!


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

  • Can you explain your answer at all?
    – Aaronut
    Commented Feb 10, 2013 at 2:19

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.