Monday, September 29, 2014

Recipe #8: My Grandmother-In-Law's Rouladen

My husband's grandmother was born in Stuttgart, Germany, and on any given Sunday, would make this dish along with hot & sour red cabbage and spaetzle.  She even had an old wooden spaetzle board she would use to grate the dough into the boiling water.  When my husband's mother taught me how to make rouladen, I remember thinking what a tedious task it was, and the first few times, I felt it took hours, which it probably did.  These days, that time is cut in half because my grocery store  carries razor-thin slices of beef for fajitas, which works perfectly.  And, after making it so many times, I can now do it in my sleep, along with the red cabbage.  The spaetzle, not so much.  I was never a big fan, but do remember my husband's grandmother loading what looked to be a pound of it on his plate, along with a few pats of butter.  And so, I pass this wonderful recipe on to you.  It does take a little time, but I think you will enjoy the process and you won't be disappointed.

12-15 pieces of round steak, pounded paper thin       raw slices of bacon, cut into thirds
   into approximately 4"x7" pieces, or the above          dill pickle, cut in half lengthwise, and again 3
1 small onion, diced                                                        times to get 12 pieces out of each pickle
1 cup stone ground mustard                                         2 cans low sodium beef broth
1 cup dry white wine                                                       1 cup flour
1 tsp salt                                                                             1/4 tsp pepper
toothpicks                                                                         4-6 tbsp. bacon fat

Put your onion, pickle, bacon and mustard in separate small bowls.  This will make it much easier if you have this assembly line ready.  You also may have to cut more pickle and bacon, and get more mustard, depending on how many pieces of beef you are working with.  Mix your flour, salt and pepper in a larger bowl.   Lay 2 or 3 pieces of beef on your cutting board, whatever will fit comfortably vertically.  Use an offset spatula, if you have one, to spread your pieces of meat lightly with mustard.  At the bottom edge, lay a piece of bacon, put a piece of pickle on top of the bacon and sprinkle 1-2 tsp onion across the bacon and pickle.  Roll up each piece and skewer with a toothpick.    Continue until all meat is prepared.  At this point, you may have some pickle and/or onion left.  Dump whatever you have into one of the bowls, and with any leftover mustard, pour the wine in the mustard bowl, stir and then pour into the other bowl.  Heat two large fry pans on med/high heat with bacon fat.  Roll each piece of beef in the flour, shake off excess and put in hot fat.  Brown beef on all sides.  Remove to plate.  With a paper towel, blot any excess bacon fat out of not wipe out pans, because you want all the brown bits from frying.  Pour one can of beef broth in each pan, and scrape up brown bits.  Consolidate into the larger pan, and pour the bowl of leftover onion/pickle/mustard/white wine into the pan.  Whisk in 2 tbsp. of seasoned flour, then add the rouladen back into pan.  Simmer on low for 2-3 hours.  Rouladen will be extremely tender, and some may even start to break in half.  Serve with the gravy over mashed potatoes or egg noodles.  Bon appetit!



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