Beef roulade - recipes?
I have both a recipe and an opinion. The recipe comes from Mrs. ricepad's family, and it's been in the family for generations (Mrs. ricepad's mother emigrated to the US from Germany shortly after WW2).
12-15 slices of top sirloin roast, cut across the grain about a quarter inch thick
a whole bunch of onions, chopped
25-30 slices of bacon
salt & pepper
(note: no pickle in this recipe...Oma used to say "WE don't need pickles." I have no idea why the disdain, tho.)
Lay out three or four slices of meat, assembly-line style. Slather with mustard, and season with salt and pepper. Lay bacon slices on top (2 or 3), and sprinkle with onion. Roll and tie with cotton twine. Repeat until all the meat is rolled.
In a cast iron skillet, brown three or four rolls at a time on all sides. When all rolls are browned, return them all to the skillet, add water to about half an inch, scatter a bunch more chopped onions, cover, and turn heat to low. Cook for 2-3 hours. Remove rolls to a platter in a warm oven, and thicken the pan juices with a roux. Remove the twine, and serve.
Now for the opinion: I make this just about every Christmas, because it's been THE Christmas tradition in Mrs. ricepad's family. What I have never told Mrs. ricepad is that I think this is a tremendous waste of meat, and way more work than it is worth. I'll eat it, and to an extent I'll even enjoy it, but it's not so much the food itself that I enjoy as it is the knowledge that I've prepared the most comforting of Mrs. ricepad's comfort foods.
My roulade tend to be labor-intensive, take a while, and worth every bit of effort. Using beef that is no thicker than 1/4", I spread a thin layer of mustard (use whatever type you like, I like Gulden's spicy brown in this recipe); sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder across meat; add a slice or two of sweet onion and an uncooked piece of high-quality bacon (like Applewood smoked) at one end. Roll and tie (I do 2 or 3 ties depending on the width). Brown in skillet. Add high quality beef broth and braise for at least an hour, closer to 2 hours is better, turning every 20-30 minutes and adding more broth as needed. Add some dry red wine to the liquid if you like.
I serve this with wine braised red cabbage. The basic recipe is here (and be sure to incorporate the ideas of the review by "Victoria" on 12/12/01:
I also make a gravy out of the braise drippings and serve it on basic peeled and boiled russet potatos (be sure not to overcook potatos).
It makes for a wonderful dinner that takes me back to childhood with my German parents and the leftovers the next day are fantastic as well.
Here's a recipe that came to me in a dream:
Flank Steak Roulade
4 cups whole fresh spinach leaves, impeccably clean, stemmed if the stems are tough
1 flank steak, about 1 1/2 lbs (and no larger!),
butterflied (split in half to open like a book)
3 large garlic cloves
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (NOTE: use Philadelphia brand; the “gum” is needed)
1/2 cup drained and chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
1 cup (or so) thinly sliced oyster mushrooms, about 1/4 pound
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 lb. thinly sliced pancetta
16-20 baby onions, boiled one minute, let cool,
then root and stem ends sliced off, peels slipped off
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups low-salt beef broth
1 cup good Rioja (or Cabernet Sauvignon)
2 bay leaves
salt (careful!) and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Prep all vegetables as indicated above, and mise en place.
Blanch the spinach in a little water, covered, just until wilted, about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, and blot thoroughly dry with paper towels. Chop coarsely. Blot yet again—you want flavor, not water—and set aside on paper toweling.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay out the meat, with narrow end closest to you. Pass the garlic cloves through a press directly onto the beef, and rub the paste all over it. Now spread the cream cheese over the entire surface. Sprinkle the chopped olives over the cheese, then scatter the mushrooms over the olives.
Scatter the chopped spinach over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves and the Parmigiano-Reggiano, and lay on the pancetta slices.
Carefully roll up the meat, jelly-roll style, beginning with the narrow end. With 7 or 8 15” lengths of kitchen string, tie the meat at 1-inch intervals and tuck in the ends as best you can.
Slick a large cast iron pan with the olive oil and set it over medium heat. Carefully set in the roulade, seam side up. Brown the meat and the onions, turning and stirring and fussing, for about 10 minutes. A bit of the filling may ooze out while the roulade cooks, but that’s part of the fun.
Place the roulade in a 9 x 12 x 3” roasting pan—ideally a 2 1/2 quart oval enameled cast iron gratin. Surround the meat roll with the onions. Pour broth and wine over the meat and tuck the bay leaves in the broth. Bake until a meat thermometer registers 125 for medium-rare, 25-35 minutes, depending on ingredients and mood. Let the roulade rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes while you:
Thicken the cooking liquid somewhat with the onions over medium heat right in the gratin, seasoning and tasting carefully as you go along. Swirl in the butter at the end. (The beauty of a small kitchen is that you can keep the roulade really warm near your gravy-making efforts.)
With a large, very sharp knife, slice the roulade into 1/2” thin slices. Dribble the gravy and onions over the meat. Serve with warm crusty bread, roasted potatoes, a nice roësti, or buttered mashed potatoes.
Yield: 4 servings
re: Tom Steele
tom, your roulade reminds me of a special sandwich i love (definitely non-kosher):
rare roast beef on pumpernickel smeared with cream cheese containing chopped pimento-stuffed green olives, then grilled till cream cheese gets soft, and roast beef is slightly warmed through....a creation of "mr.dunderbak's" in orlando, florida many moons ago.
a recipe from my time-life holiday cookbook for "rouladen -- braised stuffed steak rolls" calls for the following:
(uses 3# top round steak, sliced 1/2" thick, trimmed of all fat, pounded to 1/4" thick, then cut into 6 rectangular pieces about 4" wide and 8" long.)
spread the meat with dusseldorf-style (hot) mustard, sprinkling with finely chopped onions, and then place a strip of bacon down the center and a half of dill pickle across the small end before rolling up, and securing each end with butcher's string or those neat silicone rubber bands (which i got at wal-mart).
brown meat rolls in lard, then remove rolls from skillet, add two cups water to pan, deglazing. bring to boil and add in chopped celery, leeks, and parsnips, parsley and the rolls. cover the pan, simmer on low for an hour, or until meat shows no resistance when pierced with a fork.
remove the rolls to heated platter and cover with foil to keep warm while you make the sauce.
strain cooking liquid through sieve, pusing veggies through. return liquid to skillet and reduce to 2 cups. in separate skillet, make a roux, to golden brown, then add in the reduced veggie liquid and whisk to a nice gravy consistency. return rolls and heat through.
serve with red cabbage with apples, and boiled potatoes.
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