Thursday, October 16, 2008


Every time our friends Tina and Albert invite us to dinner, I am impressed with what comes out of their kitchen. They consistently show us wonderful examples of what German food is like at home, and take extra care to show us traditional foods. Last Saturday they pulled out all the stops, impressing my in-laws to no end.

Leberknödelsuppe, which I wrote about yesterday, was followed by an outstanding dish, rouladen. More elegant a beef stew, but equally satisfying, this dish is made of thinly sliced beef. Each piece of meat is smeared with mustard on both sides, and a piece of bacon is placed on top of each piece of beef with onions, carrots, and parsley. The beef is rolled and secured with toothpick.
The rolls are browned in oil, and then placed in a Dutch oven. Over the rolls, a mixture of vegetable broth and red wine. The whole thing then goes into the oven to braise for a few hours. The liquid reduces to wonderful, rich, beefy gravy and the meat is so tender you can cut it with the side of a spoon. Inside, the slowly stewed vegetables are still delicious and flavorful.
Tina served her rouladen a stuffing roll that she called knödel. The bread cubes are mixed with onion, bacon, parsley, egg, and milk. The mixture is formed into a log, wrapped in foil, and then steamed. When sliced, the stuffing is equally as elegant at the rouladen and forms a wonderful base to soak up all of the delicious gravy.

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