Essiggurke – The Center Surprise!

The official definition: “Rouladen or Rinderrouladen, a German meat dish, usually consisting of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef which is then cooked.” And for the first time ever, Russ and I got to enjoy the homemade German delicacy at the home of good friends Rosanne and Gary (who are both Italian, BTW).

We were invited over for dinner on a Sunday evening, just as the crazy Steelers vs Jaguars playoff football game was coming to a wild end (as Steelers fans, not the outcome we were hoping for 😦 But hey, we quickly got over the slump by toasting the New Year with a glass of Proseco, followed by our favorite Spanish red, Marques De Riscal Rioja Reserva, while we munched on our assembled antipasto platter.

Rosanne not only took the German Beef Rouladen with Bacon, Onions, and Pickles recipe from her well-worn McCall’s cookbook, but our gorgeous shrimp and asparagus starter salad was from that tome also, although she changed the dressing to her EVOO balsamic dijon classic. The repast was further tastefully enhanced with pops of color from additions of cooked purple cabbage, orange carrots, green beans, and a bowl of some of the creamiest mashed potatoes ever!



And for dessert, Cherries Jubilee (yes, from the same cookbook) with the brandy-laden cherry sauce that was flambéed before spooning over vanilla ice cream, all smartly plated in martini glasses. Although for the life of me I could not capture the blue flame in a photo.

IMG_2222If you look closely enough, you may see the blue flame in the top center of the dish.

IMG_2226Russ was not allowed to take a taste until I made sure to get a decent photo.

Now in writing this blog, I did not have access to Rosanne’s cookbook, but I did go online and do a little research about Rouladen and found this easy-to-make recipe which seemed to mimic the ingredients that Rosanne used. There are numerous versions of this German comfort dish, so you may want to do some research of your own to find one that appeals to your own culinary senses. And the German word for pickle? Essiggurke…


  • 1 1⁄2 lb flank steak, pounded 1/4 inch thick and cut into 6 inch long pieces
  • 1 kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 black pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • 1 stone ground mustard, to taste
  • 1⁄2 lb thick sliced bacon
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 jar (16 oz) dill pickle, slices or spears
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 1⁄2 cup water
  • 1 cube beef bouillon


  1. Season both sides of steak with kosher salt and black pepper. Spread one side of each piece with mustard. Arrange bacon, onions, and pickle on the mustard and form into a roll. Use string or toothpicks to hold the roll together.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add rolls and saute until browned on all sides.
  3. Add water and bouillon cube. Stir until the bouillon is dissolved. Simmer rolls for about an hour or until the steak is tender and cooked through.


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