My amazing Grandmother left this world yesterday. She was a wonderful artist, an enthusiastic collector of curiosities, and loved her family fiercely. She was an excellent cook, and was happy to feed any and all who found their way to her kitchen table. She wasted nothing, and could conjure a meal for a crowd out of just about any unlikely combination of ingredients found in her pantry. I aspire to someday cook as well as my Grandmother.
Today I’m sharing a recipe for Beef Rouladen, a German dish and beloved comfort food that Grandma made. I’m working from memory, and may have inadvertently taken a few liberties with her exact recipe, but this is how I remember the dish. Enjoy, and celebrate your loved ones this Thanksgiving. I certainly am.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 pound thin sliced (1/4 inch) top round steak
4 slices bacon, cut in half
1 small onion, sliced thin
2 dill pickles, cut into 4 spears each
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups beef stock
Step 1) Trim round steak into 8 rectangular pieces, each approximately 6 or 7 inches long and 3 or 4 inches wide.
Step 2) Lay a half piece of bacon on top of each piece of round steak. Place a pickle spear and a few onion slices crosswise near one end of the steak, as shown above. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
Step 3) Beginning at the end nearest the pickle and onion, roll each piece of steak as you would roll up a sleeping bag. Secure each roll with two toothpicks.
Step 4) Brown the rolls in a nonstick pan over medium heat. This will take about 3 minutes per side (“sides” being above and below the toothpicks, as shown).
Step 5) Place browned rolls in a crock pot, and cover with beef stock. Slow cook on “low” for 5 – 6 hours. Serve with cabbage and yams as shown, or enjoy with spaetzle.
I love you, Grandma.