Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oktoberfest, Ja!

I routinely mention my Texan heritage (something I'm fiercely proud of) but that's not the whole story, behind my Texas roots lies a history of immigrants from many places, a large part of that is German (you'll find them on both the maternal and fraternal family trees). I first started to explore my German heritage as a bit of a rebellion in high school, everyone took Spanish, why would I want to be like everyone else? So I took German...for many years in fact, it bled into my college courses as well! It's taken a little time, mainly because my cooking continues to evolve, but finally the German roots are starting to bleed into my cooking as well, first among my January 09 posts with spatzle and red cabbage and now with rouladen.

Rouladen is a classic German staple usually consisting of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef, then cooked to perfection. What, may I ask, about that combination isn't to love? Oh, and did I mention a pan gravy, that's right, it can get better! Now, my post may be a little late for Oktoberfest but you'll enjoy this all fall long, it's got a delicious flavor and is perfect for a chilly fall night.

1 1/2 lbs Thinly Sliced Top Round Beef (if you have beef milanese available it's perfect for this)
Salt and Fresh Pepper to taste
2 Tsp Dried Marjoram
2 Tsp Dried Thyme
Whole Grain Mustard
1/4 lb Thick Sliced Bacon, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 Large Onion, finely chopped
1/4 Cup Parsley, finely chopped
1/4 Cup Chives, finely chopped
Six 1/2 inch dill pickle strips
4 Tbsp Butter
1 Carrot, finely diced
1/2 Cup Beef Broth
1 Cup Dry Red Wine
1/2 Tsp All Purpose Flour
1 Tsp water

1. Sprinkle salt, pepper, marjoram and thyme over beef, spread mustard over the tops as well.
2. Combine 1 Cup bacon, half the onion, all of the chives and parsley and toss. Lay even amounts on each beef slice. Place a pickle slice over the top of each, roll and secure with toothpicks.
3. In a sauce pan, melt 1 tbsp of butter over moderate heat, add carrot and remaining onions and bacon, allow veggies to brown for about 10 minutes.
4. In a large, heavy skillet, melt remaining butter over moderate heat and add meat, brown on all sides, remove from skillet. Add broth and wine to skillet and stir to loosen the bits. In a small bowl, blend flour and water then add to skillet and mix well. Return meat and vegetable/bacon mixture to the skillet, cover and reduce heat slightly. Cook for an hour, turn rolls once.

So the same way I whole-heatedly embrace my Texas-roots I proudly salute my German ones too with a Shiner Oktoberfest and a plate of spatzle alongside the rouladen. Prost!


Anonymous said...

We've been exploring German cuisine as well to pair with our Oktoberfest beer :) This is an excellent recipe to try, thanks!

Chef E said...

Now does that look good, gracious I am going to make this dish! Been hungry for sauerkraut lately too!

girlichef said...

YUM!! I have lots of German in me, too...and decided to take German in high school. I totally wish I'd taken Spanish!! I can probably count on 4 hands the things I remember in German...ugh...why do I do things the hard way!? LOL!! Now...I need a Shiner Boch ;)

Joie de vivre said...

German food is just perfect to take the edge off chilly fall days. I love the story of your German "rebellion". I wanted to take French in high school but my parents made me take Spanish. Ha ha!

Reeni said...

This sounds insanely delicious! Stuffed with all those goodies! Joanne of Eats Well With Others is doing a German recipe round-up for Regional recipes - you should send it to her!

Angie's Recipes said...

I had my first Rouladen at my parents in-law...and I must say(better, whisper) that yours looks many times better.

Chef Fresco said...

I've never had rouladen, but it sure looks good! Perfect Octoberfest creation. =)

grace said...

you're proud of being a texan? i had no idea. :)
ah, spatzle. now THAT'S some good stuff.