Saturday, December 05, 2009

Please Pass The Schnitzel, Wurst, & "Rinder Rouladen"

And You Better Super-Size My Lederhosen While You're At It...

Funny thing...

In my cooking adventures over the past ten or fifteen years I've discovered that in order to perfect any given dish I generally have to cook it three or four times in the space of ten days or two weeks in order to understand the process and fine tune the results.

I just can't cook something new and different once and then come back to it six months or a year later--particularly when I might be under the pressure of cooking for guests--and really know what I'm doing and have all of the subtleties and nuances of the flavors involved under control.

For instance, my basic German cooking has progressed from just slopping some canned Sauerkraut into a skillet to heat beside some unidentified sausage to today toasting Caraway seeds in a skillet, rendering some crispy bacon for the grease, and then cooking a premium Kraut down in the grease and some beef or chicken stock until it's tender and brown and serving with some nice hot seared Bratwurst and Knackwurst and two or three kinds of spicy mustard.

Moving a step further, I've been working on the seasoning and breading of Pork and chicken to produce authentic "Schnitzel" (hint...pound the meat flat with a hammer or old shoe or a meat mallet if you have one, then dip in flour, egg wash, and plain cracker crumbs and fry lightly in peanut oil.)

Hey...I think that I just wrote the shortest recipe ever back to this afternoon's oratory...

Then this week after buying some really nice looking beef tenderloins, in the process of butchering them down into 1-1/4 to 1-1/2" thick steaks I am also cutting out some nice thin "butterfly portions" about a quarter inch thick and tonight I'm cooking a dish called Rouladen (or Rinder Rouladen i.e. German Beef) for the second time in three days.

According to my Internet research it's usually made with round steak or flank steak or some of the other lower cuts of Beef, but since I'm a self proclaimed "steak snob" and I have plenty of Tenderloin handy, here's the Recipe if you want to try it and cook along with me:

German Rinder Rouladen for Two

The Bill of Materials:

2 thin fillets of Beef Tenderloin, butterflyed open and about 3/16" to 1/4" thick
3 or 4 slices bacon-cooked crisp
Dill Pickle spears, cut in half down the middle
Julienned Carrot sticks (optional)
1/4 medium onion sliced thin
1 can beef broth

Spicy mustard
fresh ground black pepper
TBSP or two of flour
1/4 stick of butter
Cooked Egg noodles, or Linguine/Fettuccine pasta, al dente

The Construction Procedure:

Cut your Bacon strips in half and toss them in a heavy skillet on medium heat and cook until they are done and as crispy as you like them, then saute your onion slivers/slices in the left over grease and reserve with the bacon on the side on some paper towels.

Now kick the heat up a little on the skillet and sear your tenderloin butterflies lightly on both sides, being careful not to cook things too done (it's not going to be rare or even medium rare unless you modify the process but still you don't want to make shoe leather out of premium beef.)

Pull them out of the skillet and add your broth and start it simmering, and spread a uniform layer of your mustard on one side of each of the beef slabs.

Add a slice of bacon or bacon crumbles (your choice) and then the dill pickle spear (and carrot slice if you want) and roll the whole thing up and pin it closed with toothpicks.

Doesn't that look yummy?

Now put it in the skillet in your broth and cook covered over low/medium low heat for about 30 to 45 minutes, stopping back by to turn things over after the first 15 or 20 minutes.

When it's all nice and hot you can pull out your Rouladen and sprinkle in a little flour and butter and stir up some gravy from the left over juice.

I plan on serving mine tonight over some Fettuccine (no egg noodles in the building and I'm too lazy to go back to the Grocer) with some warm Red Cabbage slaw on the side.

Enjoy Yall...

The Redneck Gourmet

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