Rouladen is the perfect meal to make on a weekend or for a special occasion.
We were excited when we found a 6 piece of frozen Rouladen from Old Country Sausage in Bruderheim, Alberta. Old Country Sausage is the most charming German deli I have ever been to! They make great soups that eat like a meal! We had both made a blunder, assuming that the Rouladen were pre-made, which would make for an easy romantic, delicious German supper night!
I unwrapped the frozen package. Wrong! “M!! We won’t be having rouladen tonight.” (Stuffed Beef Rolls, mind you, is a full day’s project. I started cooking at 5 pm and it was barely done at 11 pm.)
If you can’t find thinly sliced beef at the butcher’s (Rouladen cut), buying a pound of flank steak works as well! Just freeze it half an hour prior to cutting. Oh, and regardless, you will need a meat tenderizer. I call it the meat hammer.
I have made Rouladen at least twice before; the first time I cooked rouladen was probably 5 years ago, I used this All-Recipes.com recipe. Mr. M liked the All-Recipes version, but suggested asking his mother how she makes it. Her secret? Shredded carrots IN the rouladen. If there’s anything I’ve learnt from previous cooking experiences, do not be tempted to over-stuff the beef rolls. 1 to 2 carrots (shredded) for four pieces is enough.
Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it’s off to work I go:
Using 3 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp cool water mixture, I was able to thicken the gravy when the sauce was simmering on low. Instead of butter, I used olive oil/olive oil margarine.
So, after preparing the beef slices, it was time to prepare for the bacon. Add chopped onions, dried parsley (or fresh) and bacon. This step is almost optional; I have seen recipes where you place the raw bacon on top of each beef slice, but I dislike soggy bacon.
When this step is completed, it is time to add stuffing!
Then it is time to roll it like a spring roll! Into this:
Then, follow the rest of the recipe, brown each roulade separately, to avoid steaming. I find that using cast-iron or stainless steel surfaces is great when you need to brown meat. (Easier to clean-up afterwards) Add boiling water gradually after finishing the browning process. Two hours of simmering on low. (Alternatively, you could also let it cook on low in a slow cooker for 6 to 8 hours OR use an oven) It is gravy-making time! Use a bowl and sieve to catch the sauce. Return the sauce to pot on low heat and thicken to make gravy. We served ours with sweet mashed yam.
For the roulade:
4 thin beef slices
4 slices bacon
1 medium onion
1 tbsp chopped parsley
4 tsp mustard
2 dill pickles, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
flour for coating meat
3 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot
2 to 3 cups boiling water
sour cream, optional
1. Wash meat slices and dry with paper towers.
2. In frying pan, fry bacon, chopped onion, and parsley until cooked.
3. Arrange beef slices on cutting board. Spread 1 tsp mustard on each slice. Distribute bacon mixture evenly on slices. Top with a pickle slice and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Carefully roll up slices and fasten with toothpicks. Coat rolls with flour and fry in very hot oil until browned all around.
5. Add boiling water, a little at a time, and simmer on low heat until done – about 2 hours.
6. Remove toothpicks from beef rolls and place rolls in serving bowl.
7. Strain sauce through sieve. Taste the sauce and adjust for taste if needed. Add sour cream if desired.
8. Pour gravy over rouladen. Serve with mashed potatoes, spaetzle, noodles or dumplings.