German food. Love, love, love it. Succulent beef, delicious gravy. The origin of the word “roulade” may be French but Rouladen is very much a traditional German dish usually consisting of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef which is browned, then braised over low heat in a red wine broth.
Although this dish was once considered a standard meal for common people, nowadays it is often only enjoyed on special occasions. I guess that’s because most of us don’t have time to prepare a meal like this!
Yes, be prepared, this one takes some time to prepare, so plan about 2 hours in total. About 30-45 minutes for preparation and another 1 1/2 hours in the oven. Pretty much a Sunday dinner dish — but still one of my favorites. Even though I’m not a big meat eater, I love this dish!
Rather than streaky bacon, I like to use Coppa di Parma, which is an Italian cured ham that is deliciously spiced, cured for 3 months, and has a similar taste to Parma ham (prosciutto) but is a little fattier.
PS) this is a great dish that can also be made ahead and reheated in the gravy when ready to serve (actually I think it tastes better this way!). I always make extra so I can do exactly this the next day! And…don’t skip the dash of pickle juice at the end, it’s key to the gravy!
German Beef Rouladen
- 6 slices top round or rump beef (preferably organic)
- approx. 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 18 slices Coppa di Parma, or 12 slices of breakfast bacon (preferably organic)
- 2-3 small yellow onions, cut into thin wedges
- 3 dill pickles, sliced long ways
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 piece celery root or 1-2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1/2 leek, diced
- 1/2 bottle dry red wine (good quality)
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups beef broth (500 ml)
- 1 dash pickle juice
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
Preheat oven to 320°F / 160°C
Lay beef out flat and lightly spread each slice with mustard; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 3 slices Coppa di Parma, some onion slices and half a pickle on each slice; roll up and secure with toothpicks or kitchen string.
Melt the butter in a large over-proof skillet or Dutch oven and brown the outside of the beef rolls (roulade). Once brown, remove and set aside on a plate.
Place the celery, the remaining onion, the leeks and carrots in the pan and sauté for a few minutes, until soft.
Stir briefly, then add a very thin layer of red wine; without stirring allow to cook until the liquid evaporates. Once the vegetables are dry again, a layer of wine, briefly stir and also to further evaporate. Repeat this until the 1/2 bottle of wine has been used up. Continue to allow vegetables to cook until liquid has evaporated but vegetables remain moist. Add the broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper and a good dash of pickle juice.
Place the roulade on top of the vegetables, cover and braise over low heat (160 degrees) for 1 1/2 hours, or until beef is tender.
Remove roulades and keep warm. With a little water, puree sauce and thicken (optional) with corn starch until it reaches the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pickle juice as needed.
Remove toothpicks/string and return roulades to the sauce. Serve with spätzle or boiled potatoes and steamed vegetables.
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