Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rinderroulade mit Gurke, Zwiebel und Spec

I am not sure where to start here after such a long absence.  I have been entertaining somewhat continuously for the last week or so with a visit from our lovely Russian-German friends who live in Berlin followed by a visit from an infamous Cork historian and his lovely wife.  So there has been a lot of breakfasting, coffees, lunches, picnics, dinners and desserts concocted.
I have since taken refuge in the lovely Glens of Antrim for a few days to recuperate and hence I am getting time to write here.

It is always so nice when someone comes to stay who can and is willing to cook.  Gunnar gave me a lesson in making this very traditional German dish of Beef Roulade.  I think that these are known in Ireland as Beef Olives, except the filling in the middle is slightly different.
In a traditional Rinderroulade, beef or veal is used although there seems to be a school of thought that pork was used in the original version, so experiment by all means.  The cut of beef  I used is round steak - being a longitudinal cut down the rump of the animal which includes topside and silverside.

Our local butcher cut us 6 thin pieces of Round Steak perfectly.  In Germany, it is cut using a slicer thus giving a very thin piece for rolling but Michael Byrnes in Sandymount did an excellent job by hand.

You will need - for 4 adults and 4 children (assuming 1 roulade per person and half for a child):

6 thin slices of rump steak
250g cornichons, finely chopped
200g smoked streaky bacon, finely diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 200g jar of wholegrain mustard, Maille/Dalkey is fine
1 bottle beer
sea salt and black pepper

  • Place the beef on a work surface and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Finely chop the bacon, cornichons and onion and mix well in a bowl.
  • Smear each piece of beef with mustard and then add a layer of filling.
  • Working from one end, roll the beef tightly.
  • Tie with string or secure well with metal/wooden skewers.

Add a drop of olive oil to a large pan and brown each roulade well on the outside, setting each one aside as you brown the remainder.  When all the roulades have been browned, place into a deep casserole dish, (we used my large le Creuset) and pour in the bottle of beer.  Bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer on a low heat for approximately 1 hour.

When the meat is cooked and feels tender to the tip of a knife, remove all the roulades from the casserole dish and set a side for a few minutes.  

For the sauce:
  • Add a small tub of cream to the cooking liquid in the casserole and stir well (this is optional any can be left out).
  • In a separate saucepan, add 100g butter and melt.  Add 100g plain flour and boil through, stirring for at least 1 minute.
  • Then using a ladle, gradually spoon in the cooking liquid, stirring continuously to remove all lumps.  This roux will thicken the cooking liquid into a really rich, delicious sauce.  Simply return the roulades to the casserole and pour over the sauce, tasting and adding any seasoning if required.

Serve with boiled new potatoes and if you want to stick to German tradition, eat with rotkohl - red cabbage  - and a glass of heady Bordeaux rounds it off perfectly.

As I write this I am thinking that it feels like a very wintry dish but we took the whole pot to the garden and ate outside in the sunshine.  A great lesson on traditional German cooking and very tasty. 

You could experiment with the meat using veal or perhaps pork but it important that you use a cut of meat which is suitable for braising.  Round Steak works well as it is a long  cut which lends itself well to rolling.
It is possible to use a bouillon, stock or wine based braising liquid as a replacement to the beer or you could experiment with different types of beer for different flavours also.  We used a bottle of Heineken for this as its all we had available but I think that you might get a deeper flavour with an amber coloured Irish Ale like O'Haras or Murphy's.

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