Beef Rouladen

29 Nov

Following up on yesterday’s post, this one is devoted to beef rouladen – my version – although to tell the truth, everyone more or less makes it like this here in Germany.

Beef Rouladen with Braised Red Cabbage and Spaetzle

Rouladens are thin slices of beef rolled up around a filling of pickles, speck and onions. The beef packages are then braised in red wine till they are tender. The gravy you get at the end is absolutely great with noodles or spaetzle. Serve with braised red cabbage, a side salad and a glass of good red wine!

I completely forgot to take a photo of the raw beef to show you how it looks like since you are probably not going to find the meat ready cut in your supermarket like here in Germany. Here is a link to a site called Exquisine in German with some nice photos showing how the meat looks and how to roll it up.

The best thing to do is pre-order the meat from your butcher. The cut of meat usually used is topside beef or round steak and is sliced between 1/8 in. and 1/4 in. thick (1/2 cm or less). It should be about 12 in. or 30 cm long and about 6 in. or 15 cm wide. If the meat is not long or broad enough, you won’t be able to roll up the rouladen tightly to contain the filling and the filling will start popping out when rolling.

Some tips:

♦ A regular serving is one rouladen of the 12 X 6cm size per person. Big eaters will have no problem with 1 1/2 to 2 pcs. If your butcher can only cut you smaller slices of beef, then cut all the filling ingredients into smaller pieces and make two rouladen a person.

♦ In this recipe I use bacon rather than the traditional speck. Both are cured meats but the technique and length of curing is different. Speck cures longer. If you can easily find speck and it is not too expensive, use it. Alternatively, I have also used black forest ham with good results. It has a much more smokey taste.

♦ To make my gravy I only use wine – no water. If you live in a country where even the cheapest wine costs a bomb, use half wine, half water and maybe put in a tad more tomato paste.
Beef Rouladen

Ingredients to make the rolls

Beef meat slices according to how many rouladen you wish to make.

For each rouladen, have ready:

* 2 slices bacon

* about 1/8 of an onion, sliced

* 1 pickle/gherkin (about 3 in. or 7cm long) or at least make sure your pickle will fit into the meat. Slice in half or leave whole

mustard

salt and pepper

kitchen string or toothpicks or small metal skewers

Prepare all the ingredients and have them within hands reach around your cutting board. Lay one slice of meat on your cutting board and tenderize it with a mallet. This also has the effect of making your piece of meat bigger and flattening it if it was cut too thick.

Sprinkle the meat lightly with salt and pepper. Put about 1 tsp mustard on top of the meat and spread it evenly over the surface. Use more mustard if necessary to cover the whole piece of meat. Lay the bacon on top, then put the slices from the 1/8 piece of onion and one whole pickle at the bottom end (short end) of the meat. Roll it up and fasten with kitchen string, toothpicks or skewers to ensure that the filling does not come out during cooking.

Ingredients for cooking the rouladen (for cooking 4 rouladen)

1 large onion, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

300ml red wine

1 Tbsp tomato paste

150 gr mushrooms, give or take, quartered or cut into sixths, if large

salt, pepper

cream or soy cream

Preheat your oven to 375°F/180ºC.

Heat some olive oil in a dutch oven or oven-proof pan or Corning Ware/Pyrex dish. Whatever you use, it should have an oven-proof cover. Brown the rolls on all sides and remove from pan.

In the same pan, sauté the onions, carrots and celery, adding a little bit more olive oil if necessary. When they are glazed, add the tomato paste and stir to mix. Put the rouladen back  into the pot on top of the vegetables. Add the wine. It should cover the rolls by about 2/3. If not, top up with more wine or water. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring the pot back to boil and put it with the cover on into the oven. Cook the meat for 1hr 30min, turning the rouladen every 30 min.

After 1hr 30min, take the pot out of the oven, remove the rouladen and puree the vegetables in the liquid. Adjust the seasoning. If it is too salty, don’t worry. You are going to add cream later.

Put the mushrooms into the sauce with the rouladen, cover the pot and put it back into the oven for another 30 min.

When the cooking time is up, remove the rouladen to a serving dish. Add some cream to the gravy. The amount is up to you. Use more of it to thin out the sauce if it is too thick or too salty and less if you are happy with the consistency. Pour the gravy over the rouladen and serve.

That’s it!

Nutritional Information – I’m not giving any because it is hard to estimate the amount of meat and filling ingredients used.

Print this recipe – Beef Rouladen

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