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A delicious beef roulade recipe made of beef that is rolled up with bacon, onion, and thyme and cooked until a natural meat and bacon gravy forms.

Beef roulade recipe with bacon, onion and thyme.

Over the weekend my mother showed me how to make her beef roulade / rouladen recipe. It’s an eastern European recipe that was passed down from my grandmother, and it’s a dish that I fondly remember eating from childhood.

It’s basically long flat pieces of beef rolled up with bacon, onion, and thyme and cooked until it is surrounded by a natural meat and bacon gravy. It is one of those dishes where simple good quality ingredients result in the most flavorful melt-in-your mouth meals.

Serve this rolled steak recipe with these Cottage Cheese Mashed Potatoes and this Broiled Asparagus with Lemon recipe for a complete delicious meal. Add these almond flour brownies for dessert and you are good to go.

What makes this recipe great

  • It’s a simple recipe with only a few ingredients.
  • It’s made of only whole food ingredients and is naturally Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Paleo and Whole30 compliant.
  • It is FULL of rich delicious flavor.
  • It is a delicious meal that is sure to impress.
  • This is a Hungarian / Eastern European recipe based on the recipe that my grandmother and mother often made.
Beef rouladen in a spoon.

Recipe ingredients

  • Skirt steak or flank steak– these pieces have to be long enough that you can roll it up. I like when the steak is 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and about 8- 9 inches long.
  • Onion– you can also use shallot.
  • Bacon-any kind of bacon that you want can be used. I prefer using ones without added nitrates.
  • Fresh thyme– fresh is preferred compared to dried.
  • Bay Leaves– this adds flavor to the dish.
  • Crushed red pepper– this adds nice spice.

See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.

Step by step instructions

Steak with bacon and onion on top.
Step 1

Step 1: Take a piece of meat and add bacon on top of it. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a wedge of onion and a branch of fresh thyme and place that towards the front side/ end of the steak.

Beef roll ups with bacon before cooking.
Step 2

Step 2: Roll the steak with the piece of onion inside it, onto itself, until the meat is completely rolled up. Poke it with a toothpick to keep it in place.

Beef roll ups with bacon and onion while cooking.
Step 3

Step 3: Put all of the roulades into a big ceramic dutch oven filled with 2 cups of water. Top the pan with 3 bay leaves, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, and 3 branches of thyme.

Beef roll ups with bacon and onion freshly cooked.
Step 4

Step 4: Let it all cook for about an hour, flipping the roulades on different sides twice.

Remove the meat from the pan, reduce the sauce until it thickens.

Expert tips

  • Steak size– you want the skirt steak or flank steak to be long and thin. Ideally between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick and were about 8- 9 inches long.
    • Don’t worry if the steak is exactly 8-9 inches long, some of mine were 6 inches long and some were 11 inches long, but ideally 8-9 inches long is ideal.
  • Use two toothpicks to secure the the roll /roulade. Make sure to capture both ends of the meat with it.
  • Once you reduce the sauce in the pan, you can either put the meat back in or put the meat into another pan and top it with the sauce.

Recipe FAQs

How do you serve this dish?

My mother told me that this dish is traditionally served with either boiled or mashed potatoes. I have a great Whole30 Mashed Potatoes recipe which would taste great with this, or even this Vegan cauliflower au gratin.

I did some research into this type of dish and found that it is also called a rouladen, which is German, and they make it with pickles in the middle. It is often served with apple sauce.

How do you store it?

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Can you make it in advance?

Yes you can prepare the meat in advance and roll it up. Then you can cook it when you are ready.

Rolled steak with bacon in a dutch oven after cooking.

Other beef recipes you’ll love:

Did you try this recipe? Please leave me a ⭐ review below!

5 from 7 votes

Beef Roulade with Bacon, Onion, and Thyme

Servings: 5 people
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 5 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Beef Roulade with Bacon, Onion, and Thyme {Whole30, Paleo} | Perchance to Cook, www.perchancetocook.com
A beef roulade recipe that has bacon, onion, and thyme inside and is cooked until a natural meat and bacon gravy forms. 

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups water
  • 3 1/2 lbs thin beef skirt steak /flank steak , ( long and thin pieces, between ¼-½ inch thick )
  • 1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 10 pieces of bacon, ,one piece per roulade ( make sure the bacon is nitrate-free and sugar-free)
  • 13 fresh branches of thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • toothpicks
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Instructions 

  • Put 2 cups of water into a large ceramic dutch oven.
  • Take out the skirt steak/ flank steak, and cut into 8-9 inch long pieces (some can be longer than others, some 6 inches, some 11 etc.. ). 
  • Lay a piece of bacon flat on top of one piece of skirt /flank steak. ( If the bacon is too long, fold it over back on top of the steak or cut it to fit the piece ). Sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Towards the one side/end of the steak, place a wedge of onion and a branch of thyme, and roll the steak forward onto it self, until the meat is completely rolled up. Use two toothpicks to secure the end into the roll /roulade. Put the rolled roulade into the dutch oven, tooth pick side up, with the longest side facing down ( make sure the roulade is lying flat, like in my photo, you want the meat to roast/grill while it is cooking). Repeat until all the roulades are in the pan with water in it. Then, add 3 bay leaves, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, and 3 branches of thyme on top of the meat in the pan.
  • Cook over medium heat. Once the water starts to boil, put a lid/cover on top of the pan, but make sure to leave an opening for air to still come out, about ¾ inch wide of an opening.
  • After 25 minutes, turn each roulade on their sides, or toothpick towards the bottom of the pan. Keep cooking with the lid almond fully on, still with a 3/4 inch opening to let air out. After 20 more minutes, turn each roulade onto their other side. Remove the lid completely and cook for 15 more minutes. 
  • Remove the meat from pan, and increase the heat to high to evaporate the remaining liquid. Cook for 4-5 minutes, mixing often. Turn the heat off. Either put the meat back into the pan or pour the liquid on top of the meat.
  • This recipe yields 10 roulades total—usually the serving size is 2 per person, so this recipe should serve 5 people.

Notes

  • Steak size– you want the skirt steak or flank steak to be long and thin. Ideally between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick and were about 8- 9 inches long.
    • Don’t worry if the steak is exactly 8-9 inches long, some of mine were 6 inches long and some were 11 inches long, but ideally 8-9 inches long is ideal.
  • Use two toothpicks to secure the the roll /roulade. Make sure to capture both ends of the meat with it.
  • Once you reduce the sauce in the pan, you can either put the meat back in or put the meat into another pan and top it with the sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 500kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 69gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 200mgSodium: 257mgPotassium: 977mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 183IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 38mgIron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
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17 Comments

  1. Our German friend Margaret makes something like that and in Italy too, they make a similar rolled meat dish called “involtini”. My husband would be all over this dish! 🙂

  2. This looks amazing! While we don’t follow Whole30, most of our dinners are Whole30 based — I can’t wait to add this to the rotation. I wonder if I can even speed it up in an InstantPot or slow it down in a crockpot to make it weeknight friendly — time to go experiment!

  3. I’ve never done roulade before, but this might change it for me! Love the look of the meat, looks almost glazed! Lovely recipe!

  4. What a fantastic dish! This is total fall comfort food! I am also totally in love with the color of your le cruset! So vibrant!5 stars

  5. Yummy! I love making roulade! It’s so fun making a recipe that your mom teaches you, isn’t it? Your roulade looks delicious and beautiful! I can not WAIT to try your recipe!5 stars

  6. I have never attempted to make roulade. Looking at this recipe I just want to dive into my screen. The flavour profile sounds amazing, and I just know it would taste awesome too. I will have to give this a try soon.5 stars