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Friday, March 26, 2010


Recently I have been craving for some hearty German food. After spending some time on the German cuisine page on wikipedia I decided that I was going to make Rouladen also called Rinderroulade. I have never had this before but everything about it sounds so darn good! Slow cooked meat that melts in your mouth always makes me drool!

The most important part of getting this right was getting the right cut of meat, a very thin top round steak. I was very excited to find a wonderful German deli right in my neighbourhood called Liebchen Delicatessen. They ordered the meat for me and saved me a trip to Pike place or Burien. The lady there was an absolute sweetheart, when I told her that it was going to be my first time making Rouladen she was happy to give me some helpful tips and even shared her recipe for the mustard dressing :-)

(prep time 2 1/2 hours)
(serves 2)

Rouladen meat 4 slices (about 1 lbs)
Fatty bacon 2 strips per steak (I used turkey bacon and 1/4 Tbs of butter for each steak)
Gherkins 2 med
White onions 1/2 med
Mustard 1/4 cup
Garlic powder 1/3 tsp
Coarse pepper 1/2 tsp
Sweet paprika 1 tsp
No salt the pickles are salty enough
Butter 2 Tbs

* I stuck to the basics but many recipes that I found used chopped up dried fruits, mushrooms, leeks, spinach for the filling.

All of the above ingredients will go over each steak in layers.
First the seasonings, then some mustard, afterwards bacon and the last layer would be the onions and pickles.
Start by slicing the onions and the pickles into thin equal size strips or chopping them into small chunks. First I tried with the sliced vegetables but found it difficult to roll and they would stick out too much so for the rest I used chopped and was much happier.
Season the meat on both sides with pepper, garlic powder and sweet paprika.
Paint some mustard on one side of the steak and arrange the bacon over it (since I used turkey bacon I also added 1/4 Tbs chopped up cold butter at this point)
Spread the onions and pickles over the bacon and roll it up like a jelly roll, tie and secure with some twine (you can also use a toothpick but I really feel that twine holds the shape better)
Melt and heat some butter in a frying pan.
Quickly brown your meat rolls for a few minutes. Keep turning to ensure even color on all sides.
Remove from the heat and keep aside. These fellas will simmer for 2 hours in the sauce so don't try to cook them completely. The above step is just for color.


Chicken broth 1 1/2 cup
Red Wine 1/2 cup (Optional) (Use only 1 cup broth if using wine)
Tomato paste 1Tbs
Leeks 4" chunk
Celery about two 4" chucks
Carrots 3-4 baby carrots
Garlic 1/2 tsp
Cream 1/3 cup (Optional)
Roux ( brown 2 Tbs of flour in 2 Tbs of butter this will be used to thicken the sauce at the end)
Dried thyme 1/2 tsp
Bay leaf 1
No salt if using store bought chicken broth

You will need to use a heavy base pot for the sauce. It shouldn't be very wide, just enough for the meat rolls to fit snugly at the bottom.
Arrange the meat so that they are tight and close to each other.
Gently pour the chicken broth and the vino over it.
Add the garlic and the herbs too.
Bring to a soft boil.
Close the lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.
Turn sides once in between.
After your meat has cooked remove it from the sauce.
Strain it through a sieve to remove the large pieces of vegetables.
Skim the fat accumulated on the surface.
Add the tomato paste and reduce the sauce.
The roux is added to thicken the sauce. You might not use all of it just add a little bit at a time until you have a nice velvety consistency similar to heavy cream.
Mix in the cream towards the very end.
Put the meat rolls back into the sauce.
Takes a while... but totally worth it.
We had it over boiled potatoes and buttery Spätzle.


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