Tuesday, October 12, 2010


This is a German dish my mother used to make for special occasions (when we didn't have turkey with all the trimmings instead :P ). I've heard there are lots of varieties, so I'll explain how my family makes them. Like most home style recipes, amounts depend on how many servings you're making so I didn't list any here.

beef 1/person (see note below)
chopped white onion for sprinkling on the beef
thinly sliced uncooked bacon (optional - I leave it out)
plain mustard
salt & pepper for seasoning
cotton thread for tying
1 beef bouillon cube
1-2 cups water
flour for thickening the broth

Notes on the beef:
- I typically buy actual roladin cuts at European grocery stores, but at times I've had to get creative and have therefore also used shabu shabu sliced beef in Japan and fast fry beef in Canada. You're looking for beef that's about 1/8" thick, 8" long and 3" wide. I'm pulling these off the top of my head, so anything long enough to be rolled without making the rolls too thick should do it. And you do want the beef fairly thin.
- If you make extra beef rolls, you get a richer sauce and both the sauce and meat freeze and reconstitute well.
- wash and dry each slice of meat
- put a thin later of mustard on top, followed by salt and pepper, onions and bacon
- roll up the meat and tie it with the string
- brown the meat rolls in a pot (once you add water they won't brown anymore)
- add water (the more water you add the less flavourful the gravy will be, so start with 1 cup depending on the number of meat rolls, taste the broth and adjust accordingly), bouillon cube and bring to a boil
- reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes
- remove the rolls, cut off the strings
- whisk flour into the broth to create gravy
- return the roladin rolls to the pot
In my house, roladin was typically served with egg noodles, bread or potato dumplings, mashed potatoes, corn and red cabbage. I've started adding stove top stuffing and yorkshire puddings to that list. Oh, and the leftover sauce is fantastic on rye bread.

** I found out the last time a bought meat for this dish from the international grocery store that it's actually spelled rouladin, though a google search brought up both spellings. As I learned most of my German via culture rather than through school I guess I shouldn't be so surprised I was spelling it 'wrong'. I wonder if the German uses an umlaut... as that would explain the variation.

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