Monday, March 28, 2011

Beefin' it up German styyyyyle

Let us take a little trip down memory lane where I was first introduced to really awesome German food. Back in the day, I traveled to Germany with a friend of mine and we stayed with our friends in a tiny town called Holzgerlingen and then one time in Berlin, where we had rouladen for the first time. What was awesome is our German Mutti cooked for us every day so we got to try so many different foods that we don't have here like leberkäse, sauerbraten, rotkohl, maultaschen, schnitzel, sausages of every kind, cheese!! Oh my I want it all! One dish that I found fairly easy to replicate (and even won the hearts of my Germans when I cooked for them last summer in Tübingen!) is a lovely meat roll called "rouladen," sounds much nicer in German I think!

Actually, lets talk about how much fun one can have in a German market. First, if you don't speak German, it can be daunting at first, but what a fun adventure! I found that much of the products in the grocery stores are far cheaper than here in America. A jar of mustard was only 29 cents (euro cents that is), cold cuts galore (Aufschnitte). Always remember to bring your reusable bag and extra luggage!

So, lets get into the filling. It is fairly easy to make, all you need are a few slices are thinly sliced beef, some good dijon mustard or Senf, pickle spears (I really like Hengstenberg brand), bacon strips and salt and pepper. 

First step is cook the bacon slightly in a pan, but don't throw out the fat! Cook it just enough so that its cooked but not crispy. Next you will want to spread the beef slices with the mustard, place the bacon on top of that and then add a pickle spear. Tightly roll the beef roulade and secure with toothpicks at the seam. At this point you can choose to dredge the rouladen in flour or not, I like to do it as it adds a nice sear on the meat. Add each roulade to the pan with the bacon fat and cook on all sides until brown, then take out of the pan and set aside. In the pan you will want to add more fat and some flour to create a roux, stirring frequently and making sure as to not to burn the paste. Ok, so I cheat in the next step, whatever. Whisk in some store bought chicken or beef broth until the paste is thoroughly dissolved. Add salt and pepper to the sauce and then add your roulade. You will want to allow these to simmer for quite a while so that they become very tender and easy to cut through. One little thing I do that might be different is adding a bit of red wine to the it ever delish!

When the rouladen are ready, you can serve with knödel (potato dumplings) or boiled red potatoes and a side of rotkohl (red cabbage with apples) as shown below. The last thing you need to do is ENJOY this simply delicious German meal!

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