We’ve had a visitor from Italy for the weekend, and I’ve been asked to prepare a classic German dish.
That’s easy enough, as there aren’t that many classics! But indeed, I found one!
Rinderrouladen a traditional German dish.
While writing this article, I discovered a Wikipedia article about the dish. Interesting!
Well, here’s my version with loads of pictures incoming!
I prefer to have the worst part of any work done first so I can enjoy everything else. So, I started with cutting the ingredients as below.
I suggest opening the first bottle of red wine to make this almost unbearably tedious task more enjoyable. I chose a Primitivo, intense but not distracting.
Anyway, we need a lot of gherkins and a good amount of onions, and I used just one carrot for the sauce:
Now start with tenderizing thin slices of topside beef. The bigger, the better; I could only get medium-sized pieces which makes keeping the stuffing inside a bit more challenging. But what can you do?
Now add mustard. I prefer medium strength, above “hot dog mustard” (what is that stuff anyway) but not as hot as English mustard. It’s similar to Dijon.
The next step is to add a few slices of Speck. Smoked Speck cubes would be an alternative, but the cuts are easier to work with.
Now we need salt, pepper, onions, and gherkins:
And now we need artisanal skills to roll it up and use a technique to keep it together. Some use toothpicks, some use yarn, but there are rings and those ribbons as below which have been invented for precisely this job:
Obviously, one isn’t enough for three people!
Now comes the frying. Add a little oil into a pan or, in my case, a dutch oven, and fry them one or two at a time from all sides, so the meat gets some color.
Once that’s done, the preparation of the sauce can start.
There are two different ways; the traditional one and the lazy approach.
The traditional one is basically a red wine reduction with some of the ingredients we already prepared. The lazy one is to use an already prepared mix that just requires to be boiled with some water. Purists won’t agree but trust me; in the end, the result is the same.
Once the sauce starts boiling, lower the heat and add the Rinderrouladen:
Now comes the best part: Put a cover, let it simmer for 90 minutes, and enjoy more of that precious red wine!
Once the 90 minutes are over, start prepping the side dishes. The most common one is potato dumplings, which in German are called Kartoffelklöße, but pretty much any form of carbohydrates that can soak up sauce will do. The dumplings take around 20 minutes until ready.
The other side dish is red cabbage, Rotkohl, with pieces of apples for additional sweetness. It’s a staple dish in Germany, and the stuff can be microwaved in just five minutes:
That’s it! Now is probably the time to open the second bottle of wine, and to put everything together, and serve it:
This is so delicious.
I’m more into Italian dishes as they are usually far easier to cook, and the average taste is better, but Rinderouladen is a classic for a reason.
Oh, and our Italian guest confirms my statements!
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