Echt Rouladen

July 21, 2011
Author Notes

Or least I hope these are authentic. When I was learning German at a Goethe Institut many years ago, Frau Steimle took an interest in me. Even though we were supposed to take our meals at nearby gasthaus, she frequently invited me to join the family for the mittagessen. She made the most wonderful rouladen in the world, which inspired me to make them when I returned home. Although I have never measured or written anything down, this is how II learned to make these, with a few improvisations of my own. —Sagegreen

  • Serves 4
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak roll
  • sprinkling of kosher salt
  • 1 tsp each of smoked paprika and cumin
  • 3 ounces stone ground spicy mustard
  • 1/3 pound Black Forest bacon slabs in 16 pieces (about 3-4 inches long)
  • 4 roasted poblano peppers (oven or stovetop method, sking removed)
  • 1/2 cup thinly slivered sweet white onions
  • 1/2 cup thinly slivered gherkins
  • grapeseed oil for pan
  • 12 ounces ale
  • 4 ounces water
  • 1/2 apple and onion, optional
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • fresh milled black and green peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons flour
In This Recipe
  1. Pound the steak in between heavy plastic wrap or butcher paper until it is 1/4 inch thick with the smooth side of a meat mallet. Salt both sides with about a teaspoon of salt or so. Let this rest for 40 minutes. If you are going to refrigerate, then make sure to allow plenty of time for the steak to return to room temperature for cooking.
  2. After the steak has rested, cut cross grain 3 inch wide by 4 (or 5) inch long slices. You want to make at least 8 of these. Prepare the spices and fillings. Set the spice combination in a in flat dish. Lightly dust one side of the steak with some spice mix. Smear the other side with some mustard. Then layer two strips of bacon on top of each beef rectangle. Some folks think you should crisp up and cook the bacon first: please do not! This is not calling for crisp bacon here. Cut each roasted poblano peppers into 2 pieces. Make sure you wipe the seeds and veins away. On the bottom two thirds of the 4 inch long piece, layer one piece of roasted poblano right on top of the bacon. Then add some onions and gherkins on top of the poblano. Roll up tightly and secure with one or two toothpicks.
  3. Heat the pan to sizzling with a light coating of grapeseed oil. Brown the rouladen on all sides.
  4. Then add the beer (I used a Brooklyn summer ale), water, parsley, and optional apple and onion (great for flavor enhancement). The liquid should almost cover the rouladen. Simmer these for 35-40 minutes, until they are very tender. Then remove the rouladen to a platter and let rest.
  5. Remove the apple and onion at this point.Take out 1/2 cup of the hot broth and temper this by whisking with the flour. Whisk this back in the pan; simmer briskly until thickened, about 7 minutes or so.
  6. Plate the rouladen; remove the toothpicks. Spoon the hot sauce over them generously. Mill some pepper on top. Serve with a side of cooked seasoned red cabbage and maybe those squashed potatoes. A slice of great bread and a beer would complete the meal.

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