What the heck is Rouladen? You might be asking yourself this question or you already know. It's a german dish made with beef and served with gravy. I was introduced to this dish in my husbands family. His mother made this dish on nice occasions and for special birthday requests. This week I was watching Guy's show Dinners, Dumps and Dives and he featured a restaurant where it was made. Like food usually does for me, it triggered a memory. I was reminded of our time spent traveling to his family home for special dinners where this was served. I never got the recipe and this is why I needed to do some snooping around for myself.
I had to do some research with this dish because I wanted to make sure that when I made it , the rouladen was not dry. I wanted lots of flavor too. In reading about this dish, I found that there are several ways to make it. This made sense to me because the way my MIL made the dish was very different from the way I had just seen it on Guy's show. The main difference was the addition of pickle and possibly mustard. I don't ever remember tasting those flavors and this, for me, sounded awesome! I love both of those ingredients and then together…match made in heaven.
If you are a seasoned cook this recipe is not difficult. It does take time to cook and a bit of time to prepare the rolls but it's not hard. As with most of my recipes, I encourage you to look through the recipe and add what you like to it or take out what you don't like. Some of the folks, did not include the pickle and this dish still tasted wonderful, in their opinion. The mustard is the other option that could easily be changed to meet your needs. I used a honey mustard, but you may want to use a Dijon or one of your favorites, or simply what you have on hand.
Recipe: Rouladen with Brown Gravy
make 8 rolls ( I planned on 2 per person)
NOTE: You will need thinly cut pieces of steak. I used Chip Steak, which is London Broil. I read that some recipes used Flank Steak as well. If you use Flank Steak, I would use a mallet and pound to a thinner thickness…1/8 thick. The steak pieces should be about 3 inches by 6. I had some pieces that narrowed at one end, which was fine. I used this end to start the rolling process. You want enough meat to roll multiple times. I was hoping for three rolls and found that I was able to get pretty close.
8 pieces of thinly cut beef, roughly 3X6 inches in size
1 large dill pickle, cut very thinly or diced very small
8 pieces of bacon, uncooked and thin
1/4 red onion, sliced very thin
1 package of Onion dry soup mix, like Lipton
2.5 cups of water (the measurement is two and a half cups)
1 T. oil
1/4 cup of flour (GF, use brown or white rice flour)
cooking twine or tooth picks
Preheat your oven to 325.
Prepare you pickles and onion by cutting them very thin. I ended up chopping up my pickle because I did not cut them thin enough. Either way works fine. Take your 8 slices of raw bacon and cut them in half.
Remove your meat from packaging and line them up side by side. Doing them in batches saves time. I did 4 at a time. With a spoon, take about 1 tsp of honey mustard and spread all over one piece of meat. Separate your slices of red onion and scatter them on top of the mustard.
Take two strips of bacon and lay them long ways on the honey mustard.
Lay a pickle slice or the chopped pieces last.
Cut enough twine for each one to have at least two pieces of string. I had a few that needed three. Try to tie one on each end and this is where the third might come in handy. If the middle is bulging and things are trying to escape out of the center add a third string to it.
In a large fry pan, add the oil. Lay the rouladen bundles in the oil and cook on all sides. I used a medium high heat and this took about 4-6 minutes to complete.
I cooked my rouladen for 2 hours. The first hour the heat was set to 325 for one hour. The second hour, I bumped up the stove to 375 and cooked for an additional hour. This last hour is when I started preparing the mashed potatoes.
You will know the rouladen is done if the meat is very soft to cut, you should not need a knife. Remove the rouladen to a serving bowl. Put the gravy onto the stove top and add your flour. Bring the gravy to a boil and it should thicken. If the gravy is not as thick as you like, then remove from heat and add a bit more flour and return to a boil. Pour the gravy over the rouladen in the serving bowl. I also added gravy to a gravy bowl for those that wanted some on their mashed potatoes.