South German Ruladen with Mushroom Gravy

By Resident Chef: Harvey Pincis

After a week of fish, seafood and chicken, my much better half was getting red meat withdrawal symptoms. That led me to searching for searching the web for some inspiration and I stumbled on a blog claiming old-style ‘German’ Ruladen. The upshot is I offer this recipe, with some tweaks that are still in the spirit of the recipe, but certainly round out the flavours. Well, the proof of the pudding… as the saying goes. 


The lady stated the recipe came from her German grandmother and I am sure it did, though I had never come across this variation before, mostly having been familiar with the perhaps, more famous version with julienned vegetables and pickle. So I conferred with my German interlocutors I was acquainted with through the Grauniad food columns, it seems that yes, it is German, though a lesser known variant and from south Germany or Austria/Bohemia. 


So. Take the very thin flank steak cuts and cut into pieces that are large enough to contain a stuffing and roll into parcels and of an equal size so all will be cooked at one time evenly. 

Marinate in salt, pepper and minced garlic overnight preferably.


For the stuffing, I made it from fresh breadcrumbs, because we want absorbency here and toasted just will not work – we are looking to make a paste. I put in a processor a generous bunch of dill, parsley, coriander and basil with roughly torn soft white bread, an egg with salt and pepper to taste and a (departure from the original recipe that called for lemon zest) teaspoon of lingonberry jelly. 


This paste was then spread over the steaks, rolled and sealed with a wooden toothpick. The resulting parcels were browned on hot butter and then the heat turned down. 


The mushrooms were again fried in butter and when reduced and softened I added 125 ml of ayran/kefir/buttermilk to cook (add enough so there is a definite sauce) and again, unlike the original recipe I added some horseradish. Actually there were two reasons for adding the horseradish, one was for flavour, the other was to be as zero waste as possible. I had reserved the ‘end of the jar’ of horseradish, not quite enough for two – ore even one to properly use as a condiment at supper, but of course a sin to throw away. Of course, the mild horseradish flavour acts like a foil with the lingonberry.


Once the mushroom is combined, pour over the ruladen and cook covered until tender. The above was accompanied with green beans; carrots and/or puréed potato will also work very well.


Guten Appetit!



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