This is not a recipe for the faint-of-heart, it’s quite a bit of work, but for a special occasion, worth the effort! In our family, it’s Joel’s favorite birthday dish, and has also become a tradition for Christmas Eve supper. Its origins are German; if you google, you will find all sorts of recipes and youtube videos both in German and English, with all sorts of variations. Here is mine, not video, but variation:).
One slice rouladen per person, plus some extra for hearty appetites and leftovers. Although you can slice and pound the meat yourself to the appropriate thickness, the easiest thing to do is ask the butcher to slice the meat for you. It’s round steak, cut into large, very thin pieces. It’s an art form to be able to slice good slices!
Bacon, one slice per rouladen, if it’s thinly sliced you can leave it whole, but if it’s a bit thick, chop the bacon into smaller pieces
onion, thinly sliced
mustard, German to be authentic, but prepared is fine
String to tie the rolls
Butter for browning
Wine to deglaze the pan
For the sauce/gravy:
1 can mushroom soup
3/4 can water
1 pkg. mushroom gravy
On a large cutting board, lay out the slices. I like to cut them in half, that’s the way my mom does it, but for quicker prep, leave them whole. Generously spread each slice with mustard and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Lay the bacon strip down the middle and add some onion slices. Starting at the shorter end, roll into a tight roll and tie with string. When you have several tied, brown them quickly on all sides and then place in a casserole or roaster. To the make the sauce, I mix the gravy mix into the mushroom soup and then whisk in the water. Pour over the rolls and cover. Bake at a low heat, 300-325 F, for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours, stirring occasionally and testing for tenderness. Serve alongside mashed potatoes, corn and salad. Yum!
Here are some alternate suggestions:
Add a quarter dill pickle to each slice before rolling. The dill pickle gives the gravy a subtle layer of taste dimension that I like, but the boys were always grossed by the idea, so I’ve stopped adding it, but now that they’re all grown up, I bet I could go back including it, and they wouldn’t mind! The other thing I used to do (when life was seemed less complicated), was cook to the rolls in the drippings from the deglazed pan and a cup or two of beef stock, and then thicken the gravy just before serving. But now, the mushroom soup trick eliminates that extra gravy step. Sides of cooked red cabbage and potato dumplings or spaetzle are also very tasty (and more authentic).