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German Beef Rouladen

German Beef Rouladen

German Beef Rouladen

German Beef Rouladen

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!

Serves 6

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 (480 ml)
1 dash pickle juice
1 teaspoon corn starch

1. Preheat oven to 320°F / 160°C

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Place the celery, the remaining onion, the leeks and carrots in the pan and sauté for a few minutes, until soft.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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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