October is the perfect time to cook traditional German foods. I first learned how to make this dish when I was a young 19-year-old sous chef working for a world-class German chef at the brand new  22-story Sheraton Hotel in Billings, Montana. Many decades later I revived this classic dish known as “Rind Fleisch Rouladen” in Germany in our student-run restaurant at Ozarks Technical Community College and we quickly sold out of all of the orders. Here is how I made it.

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The nerve end portion from the strip loin of beef contains a tendon of gristle that runs through the middle of the loin and should not be used as a steak. Using them in this application for braising is a good way to utilize this cut.

I started by using the nerve end of the striploin of beef. Normally the top sirloin or top round is used for this, however, the strip loin end with the tendon going through the middle of the loin is a perfect way to use this portion of the strip which is often sold as a steak in stores (buyer beware). I then covered the sliced strip ends with a layer of plastic and pounded the meat with a meat mallet to tenderize it and make it thinner.

IMG_2561 Next step was to brush with whole grain mustard and top with sauteed red onions, crisp bacon, and a julienne of dill pickles with the seeds cut out.

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In the last step before braising the roulades, I rolled up the meat (hence the name Rouladen) and secured them together with skewers making sure that the seams of the meat are pushed tightly together. Then I browned them and braised them slowly in rich brown veal stock. At home, a good quality low sodium canned beef broth could be used. Here is the full recipe;

German Style Beef Roulade

By Chef Daniel Pliska CEC AAC
Yield 12 portions

24 Each                        6 oz strip loin nerve end slices or top sirloin slices pounded thin
24 each                        thick bacon slices, cooked and cut in half
12 each                        Dill Pickle spears split in half lengthwise, seeds cut out
4 each                          Red onions, medium size, peeled and cut into julienne and sauteed
1 cup                           German, whole grain or Dijon mustard
1 quart                        Seasoned flour with salt, black pepper, Hungarian paprika
3 quarts                      Brown veal stock
½ cup                          Tomato paste
Vegetable oil for sautéing ( bacon fat mixed with oil can also be used)

Sauce:
1 1/2 cups                    Red Wine
½ cup                          Red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons             Chopped Shallots
12 sprigs                      Thyme
4                                  Bay leaves
1 teaspoon                   Whole black peppercorns
Cornstarch                   for slurry if needed
2 cups                          Sour cream
Salt and black pepper if needed to adjust the seasoning

Method:

  1. Sautee the red onions until translucent
  2. Layout the top sirloin slices and brush with the mustard
  3. Top with 2 half slices of bacon, red onion, and julienne of pickle spears
  4. Roll up tightly and secure with toothpicks or skewers
  5. Dredge in the seasoned flour and brown well in a Sautee or braising pan
  6. Take out and place into hotel pans
  7. Deglaze with some red wine, add tomato paste and veal stock and bring to a boil
  8. Pour over the beef roulades and braise covered in the oven until tender at 350 F
  9. While the beef is cooking make a reduction with wine, vinegar, herbs, and spices and reduce to 25 % of original volume and reserve
  10. When the roulades are cooked and tender remove from the pan and reserve warm, strain the braising liquid and degrease by skimming well
  11. Put into a pot and return to the stove and bring to a simmer
  12. Add the reduction and tighten if needed with cornstarch slurry or with a roux made with 50/50% corn starch and flour.
  13. Temper a small amount of the sauce into the sour cream in a metal bowl and then add into the pot of the sauce
  14. Remove the toothpicks from the roulades and serve two per order with the appropriate starch and vegetables.

Some possible sides could be- Spätzle, buttered noodles, knodel, red Cabbage, green beans with bacon, mashed root vegetables.

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Beef Roulades with Spatzle, Baked Acorn Squash, braised Red Cabbage and Green Beans with Hazelnut Butter.