Crock Pot Rouladen

I had never heard of rouladen until I saw someone talk about it on Facebook recently. Within minutes google had helped convince me that it was worth trying, so I did, and it was.

Ingredients

About 2 lbs (1kg) steak
Pickles
Mustard
2 onions
2 carrots
1 stalk celery
1 clove garlic
2 bay leaves
0.5 litre (2 cups) box of low sodium organic beef broth
Bacon or sausage
Fresh thyme
Sprig of rosemary

Gravy:
Red wine
Sour cream
Butter
Flour

Directions
. Slice beef very thinly, into 6-8 strips about 5″ wide. Use a cheap cut like London broil, or flank/skirt if you want fancy and tastier
. Peel the vegetables, (set one onion aside), cut into large chunks, and add all to crock pot with broth. Set to high while assembling beef rolls
. Season each piece of meat on both sides with salt and pepper. Coat inside with thin layer of mustard. Use something with some depth and a kick, like country Dijon. if mustard is thick, thin with a splash of pickle juice.
. Lay a piece on onion, a slice of pickle, and a strip of bacon across the steak, and roll tightly. Secure with toothpick or kitchen twine if loose.
. Carefully nestle meat rolls on top of vegetables in crock pot. Sprinkle any remaining onion and bacon/sausage over top
. Lower heat to Low and cook for 4-6 hrs until tender
. When done, remove beef rolls to platter
. In saucepan, melt 1-2 TB butter, add 2-3 TB flour to make a roux
. Cook roux for 2-3 minutes until golden, then slowly add about 1/2 to 1 cup wine while stirring constantly.
. Strain cooking broth into saucepan, being careful to avoid making lumps
. Bring almost to a boil, and adjust consistency and seasoning, possible adding a spoonful of mustard
. Remove from heat and add about 1/2 to 1 cup sour cream, then strain into gravy boat
. Serve over egg noodles or spaetzle if you are feeling ambitious, with a generous dollop of the sauce spooned over the meat and noodles.

Notes
. I used andouille sausage instead of the traditional bacon, mostly because that’s what I had on hand, but also to spice it up a bit.
. If you can thinly sliced steak, it will save you trouble of slicing it yourself
. If the rolls are tight, they will hold together without having to tie them

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Greek Cheesesteak Casserole

Tonight’s dinner was inspired by a confluence of several factors. And yes, that tends to happen a lot.
1. There was some leftover steak and sauteed onions for a cheesesteak, but no more rolls and not enough for a whole meal.
2. A recent Facebook discussion on mashed cauliflower and turnips
3. My Greek lunch the other day of moussaka and pasticcio.

.Preheat oven to 425 and bring large pot of salted water to boil
. Slice one eggplant, salt on both sides and allow water to drain off.
. Peel rutabaga and yam and 2 medium potatoes
. Boil root vegetables until tender, drain but reserve water
.Wipe off eggplant and fry in light olive oil until slightly soft and browned on both sides.
. Boil half pound of small shells or other pasta until al dente in same water
. Drain vegt and Mash with butter and milk
. Mix leftover meat and onions with half jar of cheese wiz and pasta
. Line casserole dish with eggplant slices
. Add pasta-meat filling over eggplant
. Top with mash
. Bake in oven until hot and starting to brown

Drunken Chicken

I somehow ended up with two open bottles of sherry, and decided to fix the situation by cooking with one of them. I’ve always wanted to make Chinese style drunken chicken, and since there was also a whole chicken in the fridge, I went for it. Since I used Taylor’s New York State Golden Sherry and not Chinese rice wine the flavour is somewhat less than authentic, but still quite delicious.

. Cut chicken in half, separating breast from legs. Sprinkle with black pepper and 5 spice powder. Allow to rest while preparing cooking stock.
. In a 6 or 8 quart pot, add 1onion, 1 carrot, 1 stalk celery, 2 cloves garlic, and 3-4 thick slices of ginger to 6 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 min.
. Add dark meat to pot, cover and cook on low heat for 5 min, then add white meat and cook for another 20 min. Make sure that chicken is covered by liquid while cooking.
. Remove from heat and Allow chicken to cool in broth.
. Remove chicken from broth when cool enough to handle. Strain broth and reserve for making soup.
. Using a heavy cleaver, chop chicken into 2″ chunks, keeping skin and bones attached.
. Prepare marinade with 1.5 cups sherry or rice wine, 3/4 cup of the cooking broth, and a tablespoon each of mirin and soy sauce.
. Put chicken pieces in 1 gallon freezer bag, add sauce, mix well, and refrigerate at least overnight, preferably 24 hrs.
. Serve cold, with hot white rice, leaving a thin coating of the aspic clinging to each piece of chicken.

Bloody Aardvark

Since this is my first post on this new blog, I figured I’d get things off to a an eye-opening start with a cocktail.

 

Bloody Aardvark

It’s like a Bloody Mary, but based on an Aardtini instead of just plain boring vodka.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz vodka (good quality, but doesn’t have to be the bestest ever)
  • 1 oz gin (I use Tanqueray)
  • Dry vermouth
  • 1 5.5oz chilled can V8 (I use the low sodium, but any are fine)
  • 2-3 splashes (about 1/8 teaspoon) Tabasco sauce
  • Several drops (about 1/8 teaspoon) Worcestershire sauce
  • A few drops (about 1/8 teaspoon) Extra Virgin Olive oil (optional)
  • Pinch of dried Sumac (optional)
  • Pinch Celery salt
  • Black pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Sea Salt, to taste (preferably French Atlantic)
  • 3 Cocktail olives (eg Manzanilla stuffed with pimentos)

Directions

  1. In a cocktail shaker, add 1 oz ea of the vodka and gin. Increase to a full jigger (1-1/4 oz) for an extra strong drink. Add a splash (about half a capful) of dry vermouth.
  2. Shake V8 and add to shaker, along with a few drops of the olive juice if using the low sodium V8.
  3. Season to taste with the rest of the ingredients. Add salt last as the other ingredients are salty.
  4. Fill shaker with ice cubes, and shake vigorously for a minute.
  5. Strain into cocktail glass over ice (about 4 cubes).
  6. Garnish with 3 olives.

Notes

This makes a relatively thin bloody Mary, not the gloppy stuff when using the store-bought mix.

Variation

For a version to accompany Mexican food, substitute tequila for gin, tapatio for tobacco, and chili powder for sumac