This week’s recipe come from one of the Southern states of Germany: Baden-Wuttemberg, one of the largest states in the country that confines with three other German states as well as with Austria and Switzerland. This is where the famous Black Forest is located, but also car makers such as Porsche, and Audi! As a matter of fact tourism and automobile industries are extremely important for Baden-Wuttemberg.
In terms of cooking, we find three different ways of cooking in this region: Baden Cooking, Franconian Cooking and Swabian Cooking. Soups and pasta are typical of the Swabian region; Bratwurst, cabbage and potatoes are popular in the Franconian Cooking; cheese, meat and cakes are typical of the Baden Cooking.
The dish that we selected from this state is called Beef Rouladen (the term comes from the French “rouler“, to roll): it a slice of beef rolled on a filling of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles, covered with wine stock and cooked. You can also use pork meat as a filling, or Black Forest Ham.
The origin of this dish is humble: in times of poverty all that people could grow in their garden was the main resource for cooking. Round steak, also known as rump steak was the cheapest meat you could findt, and the preparation was relatively easy. So easy – and inexpensive – that was made for German troops during the war, yet it became a Thanksgiving and Christmas dish.
Commonly served with potatoes, cabbage, or spatzle, and covered in gravy, this dish can be a delicious entree for both holiday dinners and Sunday gatherings.
2 lb. Brisket or rump, beef, sliced thin
2 tbsp Mustard
1 – 2 Gherkin (sour pickles) or 1 dill pickle
2 Slices of bacon (about 40 grams Speck)
1/2 tbsp Butter (or Butterschmalz)
1/2 tbsp Oil (or Butterschmalz)
1-2 Stalks celery
1/2 cups Dry red wine
Salt and pepper
Fresh parsley for garnish
Slice the beef about 1/4 inch thick across the large surface. This can be done with a slicing machine or by the butcher, or by hand with a very sharp knife. This works best when the meat is partially frozen. Lay beef out flat.
Cut pickle lengthwise into strips, dice onion and bacon very fine.
Spread each slice with mustard, fill one end with 1 – 2 tablespoons of onion, 2 slices of pickle and some diced bacon.
Roll up from the filled end and tie with string (tie like you are wrapping a present or use a modified blanket stich), or use turkey lacers (in Germany they are called “Rouladennadel”) to keep them closed.
Melt the butter and oil in a saucepan or Dutch oven and brown the outside of the roulade in it.
Meanwhile, dice the carrot and celery.
Remove the roulades to a plate, add the “Suppengrün” or mirepoix and sauté for a few minutes, until soft. Place the beef rolls back on top of the vegetables, add a half cup of red wine and a little water, to make about 1/2 inch of liquid in the pan.
Add the bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon of salt (depends on how salty the bacon is) and some grinds of pepper, cover and braise over low heat for two hours, or until beef is tender.
Remove beef roulades and keep warm. Puree sauce and thicken (optional) with a little cream, sour cream or “Wondra” (like Sossenbinder”) flour. Season to taste with more salt and pepper as needed. Place roulades back in sauce until serving time.
Serve with boiled potatoes (“Dampfkartoffeln” or parsley potatoes) or “Spaetzle” noodles and red cabbage.
Recipe from http://germanfood.about.com/od/meatbasedrecipesandmenu/r/Beef-Roulade.htm
Image © Cazals, Jean