Makes 6 servings
I've eaten rouladen (stuffed meat rolls) all over Germany but never any as good as these, which I tasted years ago while on Christmas assignment in Munich. In Bavaria, rouladen are so popular butchers sell "rouladen meat"—thin slices of top round pounded as thin as scaloppini. Here, unless your butcher's willing, you'll have to pound the scallops yourself. After pounding, each scallop should be about 7 inches long, 3-3/4 inches wide, and 1/8 inch thick.
1. Lay beef scallops flat on a wax-paper-covered counter, season both sides with salt and pepper, then spread one side of each with mustard and set aside.
2. For Filling: Sauté onions and bacon in a large heavy nonreactive skillet over moderately high heat, stirring often, until lightly browned—10 to 12 minutes. Set skillet off heat, cool 15 minutes, and mix in parsley and pickles.
3. Allowing 1 rounded tablespoon filling per scallop, spread over meat leaving a 1-inch margin at one end and 1/2-inch margins at opposite end and on both sides. Starting at end with 1/2-inch margin, roll each scallop up tight—jelly-roll style—and fasten with toothpicks. Also close both ends of each roll with toothpicks so filling doesn't ooze out as rouladen cook.
4. To cook, heat butter and oil in a large heavy deep skillet over moderately high heat until ripples appear on pan bottom—1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Brown beef rolls in butter mixture in two batches, allowing 10 to 12 minutes per batch and lifting each to a bowl as it browns.
5. Return beef rolls to skillet along with accumulated juices and push to one side. Add onions, carrots, celery, and parsley and sauté, stirring often, until limp and golden—6 to 8 minutes.
6. Add broth, bring to a boil, then adjust heat so mixture barely bubbles, cover, and simmer until a fork with pierce rouladen easily—about 1-1/2 hours. Note: Check skillet now and then and if broth is boiling away, add a little more broth, turn heat to lowest point, and slide a diffuser underneath skillet.
7. Using a slotted spoon, lift rouladen to a rimmed baking pan, cover loosely with foil, and set in a keep-warm oven. Strain broth mixture, reserving both liquid and solids.
8. Purée solids with 1 cup strained liquid in a food processor, return to Dutch oven along with remaining strained liquid. Mix in tomato paste, cream, salt, and pepper and boil uncovered over high heat until reduced by about one-fourth—12 to 15 minutes.
9. Return rouladen to skillet, reduce heat to low, and bring slowly to room temperature, basting often with gravy—10 to 12 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust as needed.
10. Remove toothpicks from each meat roll, mound rouladen on a heated large platter, and top with some of the gravy. Pass the rest separately. The ideal accompaniment? Boiled potatoes.
This page created May 2011
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