Best German Rouladen Recipe — German Beef Roll-Ups
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German Rouladen - A Family Favorite
In my husband's German family, everyone loves Rouladen (German beef roll-ups), a German recipe for beef rolls stuffed with a tart and savory filling, and it is made for many special occasions. I had it for the first time when my future in-laws invited my parents to dinner to celebrate our engagement. Although very much different from the Polish and American style food my family was accustomed to, we all liked it instantly. I didn't know then that this was one of my German mother-in-law's specialty dishes, but I did know that I would have to learn to make rouladen one day. Eventually, she taught me how to make rouladen, and it was easier than I expected. I still use her recipe today.
Have your own family Oktoberfest Celebration!
Celebrate a special family occasion or make your own Oktoberfest celebration by cooking a traditional German meal like Rouladen. These delicious beef rolls are made from thinly sliced beef, rolled up with bacon, pickles and mustard. Traditionally, Rouladen is served with red cabbage and potato dumplings or spaetzle, but mashed potatoes also go well with it. Serve German beer or red wine with this dish along with pumpernickel bread and sweet butter. For very special occasions, serve apple strudel or German Black Forest cake for desert.
Rouladen (German Beef Roll Ups) Recipe
1-2 Lbs. of flank steak or round steak (this can also be made from venison)
Spicy dark mustard
Dill pickles cut into wedges
2 medium onions sliced
You will need about 2 pounds of thinly sliced steak. Some grocery stores will carry steak sliced 1/8" thick. If not, get a cut as thin as you can find and pound it between two sheets of plastic wrap until it's the right thickness. Cut into 3" x 6" strips. Plan on 2 to 3 pieces per person.
Lay meet on a board and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Spread with a light coating of spicy mustard. Lay half a strip of bacon lengthwise on the meat, then place a wedge of dill pickle crosswise near one end. Roll the meat into rolls starting at the pickle end, then tie with some white sewing thread or fasten with a wooden toothpick.
In a heavy skillet, sautee onion in butter or oil, then brown the meat in the pan. After rolls are browned, add a quarter cup of red wine to the skillet to deglaze it, then add 2 cups of water. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. This can also be cooked in a pressure cooker at 10 lbs. pressure for about 30 minutes.
When finished cooking, remove rouladen to a bowl. Carefully remove string or toothpicks so that rolls don't fall apart. Mix about 2 tablespoons of flour with 1/2 cup of water and whisk into the pan juices, cooking until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour gravy over rouladen. Serve with red cabbage and mashed potatoes.
Black Forest Cake for Dessert
Play Some German Merry German Music
Ethnic Foods are Family Traditions
Some foods, particularly ethnic foods, become a part of a family's traditions and bring back memories of happy family gatherings and good times. Rouladen and Sauerbraten are two of those dishes in my husband's German family. Each of these meals bring back memories of his mother's joy as she shared her cooking with her 5 children and, later, their spouses and 13 grandchildren, at a big family gathering. Either of these dishes are great winter recipes, though we're happy to eat them any time of year. I remember her serving either rouladen or sauerbraten on New Year's Day and at special birthday dinners.
These days, when I cook one of these traditional German recipes, I'm sure to play some German music to get us all in the mood, and offer some German beer, dark bread and butter and pickled herring before dinner. On very special occasions, Black Forest Cake is served for desert!
Copyright ©2010 Stephanie Henkel
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