Festive fare you’ll love all year

Are you looking for something a little different to make for holiday guests this year?  You can slice these for small bites or serve as-is for dinner.

When my mother, a heavy influence in my cooking, told me Rouladen was her choice of birthday dinner every year with her parents I wondered why I had never seen her make it or had it myself.  Curiosity led me to look into what went into making them; remarkably straight forward I decided to get to it.  I was certain they were more complicated than they looked as my mother’s reticence to making them had to have a reason.

No such thing, they are simple and easy to make.  I began with the German version from my old German cookbook (yes, I still use paper cookbooks) using raw bacon and raw onions.  The Scandinavian cookbook had a version with cooked bacon and sautéed onions, so I made that next.  To me the German recipe cooks together, melding the flavors better than the Scandinavian recipe.  But my mother was content with the Scandinavian ones I brought to her just before Thanksgiving; that is apparently her preferred style.  My Hubby was thrilled to be a guinea pig for my learning and hopes I will make them again once I am back on both feet.

I did find a version online that was a bit different, it had parmesan cheese in it rather than bacon.  What the heck, we had the cheese, so we tried it; no disappointment here.  I also found an Italian version of rolled steak with tomatoes.  Apparently, as with so many things, there are ethnic recipes that use local ingredients and techniques common to cooking in general.


  • Thin cut beef, veal or pork; pound to thin if necessary
  • Thin sliced onion (saute’ for Scandinavian style)
  • Dill pickles sliced or spears
  • Stone ground mustard
  • Bacon slices (precook for the Scandinavian style)
  • Shredded Parmesan, optional (in place of bacon slices if desired)
  • Soup stock
  • Olive oil to brown
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cotton string or toothpicks

Layer, roll, tie, brown, simmer and enjoy.  We paired this well with a local Cabernet Sauvignon.

Hope your holiday celebrating is well under way and those you love are close to heart if not to hand.  Cheers!

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