Friday, February 6, 2009

Grandma's Rolladen

To go along with Grandma's pierogi, I made her Rolladen, a tasty German meat dish that both my brothers love. For those of us unfamiliar with Rolladen (or Rouladen as it's traditionally spelled) here's what wikipedia has to say:

"Rouladen (or Rinderroulade) is a German meat roulade consisting of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef and then cooked. The dish has sometimes minced meat or only bacon and onion filling. Rouladen is traditionally served for dinner. Red wine is served with this dish."

Now I know the post is titled Rolladen, and that's because it's my grandmother's recipe and how she spelled it on the recipe card. I know, I know it's not the "correct" spelling, but it's hers so I'm going with it. Also, the wikipedia definition includes a few more ingredients in the beef roll that my recipe does, but I wanted to try Grandma's recipe as written before I started messing around with it.

I apologize to not starting the post with a photo but while it's a tasty dish, it's not the most photogenic. But since I took a photo and there may be some of you who haven't heard of rolladen here you go anyway, a beef roll that I cut into to show the tasty onions in the middle.

Grandma's Rolladen
serves 4-6

3-4 lbs round steak
4-5 large onions
salt & pepper
1. Cut meat into slices, approximately ½ inch thick. Place onion slices, salt, pepper and a small tab of butter on each piece. Roll up and tie with heavy string.
2. Brown beef rolls in olive oil (or hot shortening). When all sides are brown, pour water over to cover and Simmer 2½ to 3 hours or until tender. Adding more water if necessary.
3. Remove meat rolls and unwind thread. Thicken the cooking juices for gravy and serve.
I'm quite happy with how this turned out, although the "thicken the cooking juices for gravy" directions didn't work out so well for me. We went without gravy, but I think next time I'll make a roux with some butter and flour and whisk in the cooking juices for gravy. The onions really help keep the beef really moist and add tons of flavor. It smells delicious while cooking and went really well with the pierogi or would also be great with spaetzle.

For my next go I think I will play around with some of the other filling ingredients, especially some nice grainy mustard and maybe try pickles too. I've really been enjoying making these recipes of my grandmother's it makes me feel as though I'm carrying on some of our family traditions that I will be able to pass along to my own kids and grandkids someday. Enjoy!


Natashya said...

I used to have a co-worker who would rave about her rouladen - it is a dish I would like to try sometime. I bet the bacon would be good for keeping it moist.

I share your frustration re photographing your meat dish on a white plate - I have a stew/pie to post soon that really should have been on a brown plate or something(it sort of looks like cat food in my pictures!)... oh well!
It tasted great!

So nice that you have your grandmother's recipes to work with!

Carrie said...

This sounds delicious but I've never tied meat before. It's a little intimidating... I may have to give it a try though!

Jen H said...

Natashya - Your stew looks AMAZING! I'm defintely going to play around with some bacon and mustard next time I make this.

Carrie - Don't be intimidated at all. They are fairly small rolls and I had never done it before either. I'm learning that no matter how intimidating some of my grandmother's recipes have been they come together quite easily.

Peter M said...

Hi there...Rouladen's been on my "to-do" list for awhile.

Nice to see a local blogger!