Many supermarkets sell packaged thinly sliced top round labeled “Beef for Braciole,” Being German I have always made “Rouladen,” which is the German version. I used to cut and pound it thin myself than I got wise and had my butcher do it. My Rouladen is tender and rich, a great dish on a chilly day. We hear it may snow in Denver tomorrow so I immediately thought of Rouladen.

Now that summer is on the way, I need to come up with lighter grilled ways to use this cut of meat. Something that cooks quickly and stays juicy. Until then enjoy the Rouladen and don’t forget mashed potatoes and if you want to get really authentic, sweet and sour red cabbage.

Jim  wants me to include a story. We have several chefs friends who are very accomplished, own their own restaurants, and have written many many cookbooks. Every once and a while I get a wild hair and invite them to dinner. Leonardo Curti and his lovely wife Jennifer accepted my invitation and came over for dinner. I think his Braciole is best I’ve ever had, so I think why not my heritage and my version Rouladen. I made myself physically sick I was so nervous. Long story short everyone loved dinner. Jennifer calls me several weeks later to tell me Leo has been trying for weeks to duplicate the dish and he’s been unable to make it successfully. Whew.  I guess, it’s all in the touch.



6 slices top round steak (about 1.5 pounds)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons dill pickle, diced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 slice raw bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
salt and freshly ground pepper

For Sauce:
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 cups beef stock or broth
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 slices bacon, diced
1 cup red wine
1 tablespoon cornstarch, diluted in cold water


1. Pound meat and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Saute one chopped onion in butter over medium heat until golden. Mix with pickles and raw bacon.

3. Paint each slice of beef with mustard, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Layer with mixture of onion, pickle and bacon. Roll up and secure with a toothpick or tie with butcher’s string.

4. In deep, oven-proof, frying pan, saute beef on all sides in butter over medium-high heat until browned. Remove Rouladen from pan to a warm platter.

5. Add the chopped vegetables and the bacon to the pan. Stir and brown for approximately 2 or 3 minutes.

6. Add wine and reduce to half.

7. Add stock/broth, return Rouladen to pan. Braise in preheated 300 degree oven for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender.

8. Remove the meat and strain the sauce.

9. Return sauce to original pan and place over medium on stove top. Thicken sauce with cornstarch mixture.

10. Once sauce has thickened return Rouladen to pan and heat.

11. Serve immediately!

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