As I wrote in last week’s post, I received this recipe from my friend Sonja who came to the United States almost 30 years ago speaking very little English. I still have Sonja’s original recipe which she wrote out on a piece of yellow legal paper. It is endearing to read her instructions of “Put with a knife mustard on the meet”. When I asked if I could share her recipe, I told her I still had her original recipe from so many years ago in her beginning English. I asked if I could share that as well and she said “of course”. I give Sonja so much credit. She came to a different country as an adult and not only learned to speak a new language, but also learned to communicate in writing. Considering the inverted word order between the two languages, this was no easy task.
Sonja’s recipe is for 10 roulades, which is perfect for 4 adults. I do go to a German market and butcher shop for the meat, ham and slab bacon. My family loves this dish and wants leftovers so I end up making about 30 roulades at a time. That being the case, I have to confess that I use garlic powder instead of rubbing each slice of meat with garlic cloves. I set everything up ahead of rolling the meat, to make assembling the roulades easier. Slice the pickles, put the mustard in a bowl ready to spread, slice the bacon into 1/4″ slices ( buy it unsliced about 1 inch wide) and either cut pieces of string or have toothpicks ready to secure the rolls. I fill and roll them assembly line style about 4 to 5 at a time.
I usually complete this dinner with spaetzle, red cabbage and spinach salad with hot bacon dressing. One day I will make spaetzle from scratch, but currently I use packaged dry which just needs to be boiled in salted water. I make the hot bacon dressing ahead of time and either keep it warm in a small slow cooker or reheat it in a double boiler. When I entertain, I really look to prepare what I can ahead of time so I can enjoy the time before dinner with my guests.
What I have come to learn over the years is that each area of Germany has it’s regional recipe on this dish. Sometimes I have ordered rouladen in a German restaurant and it has had onions in it. Another restaurant served it as one huge roll… 3-4 inches high! So if you have had rouladen in the past, it may be different than this, but I can assure you that this recipe is very, very good. When I took the pictures, I did not spoon the wine jus over the spaetzle and roulades so you would be able to clearly see the cooked roulades. Be sure to put the jus in a bowl or gravy boat and serve along side.
Last Friday morning we woke up to snow covering the ground! It was a great time to make a hearty autumn vegetable soup which was so welcome during the cold weekend. I’ll share that recipe next week….
- 10 slices of round steak sliced very thin (1/8"-3/16")
- 10 thin slices black forest style ham
- 1" slab bacon cut into ¼" slices across the slab then cut those slices in half
- 8 medium sized dill pickles sliced into quarters
- ½ cup Dijon style mustard
- 4-5 garlic cloves cut in half
- salt & pepper
- 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
- Red wine (like merlot, pinot noir, )
- Assemble everything (except the olive oil & wine) together on a flat surface
- Rub each slice of meat with the cut side of the garlic clove & then sprinkle with salt & pepper
- Spread a thin layer of mustard on top of the seasoned meat
- Lay the slice of ham on top of the mustard
- Lay 3 pieces of dill pickle and 2-3 pieces of bacon on one end of the short side of the meat
- Roll the meat up from the pickle side and secure with toothpicks or string tied in a bow for easy removal
- Heat olive oil in frying pan and brown the roulades
- Cover the roulades with red wine, cover the frying pan and simmer for and hour and a half
- Serve with the pan wine juice (jus) on the side