Tag Archives: pickles

German Beef Rouladen

This rich and hearty dish may be foreign and unheard of if you are not of German heritage or frequent European inspired restaurants.  Now being German myself and growing up attending Oktoberfest while eating sausages, kraut and warm, soft Bavarian pretzels in loads of beer cheese…I simply adore Rouladen.  Not because we had it often, rarely ever, but because it was mainly served as a Christmas dinner dish or perhaps a Sunday supper if you were lucky.  It’s a special treat, where it takes a bit of thought and tedious work in assembling, twining, searing and braising the beef…but oh-so worth it!

Another reason that many ‘non-Germans’ may have not tried this specialty dish is because the ingredients could sound a bit odd together.  I get it.  Rouladen usually consists of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef which is then braised until the beef is about fork tender.   Yes, we like a bit of ‘saur’ to our meals, but this works wonderfully….and oh that bacon!!  It cooks inside the beef, which in turn actually bastes itself and creates SUCH a rich flavor and tender meat!…drooling now.

*If you cannot find pre-sliced beef (top round/chuck), your grocer’s butcher would be happy to help!  You’ll just have to pound it thin once you get home. 🙂

The Starting Lineup

  • Beef, thinly sliced and pounded 1/4″ thin to about 4″x6″ (chuck roast or top round slices).  I typically use about 8-10 slices.
  • Whole grain mustard/German mustard
  • 1 pckg Bacon (reserve 2 slices and chop up)
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into thin strips or chopped
  • Dill (or German) pickle spears, 8-10 
  • Sweet pickle relish, a couple Tbsp’s
  • Kosher salt & ground pepper
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped (I use the leftover from the Rouladen stuffing)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Red wine
  • Beef broth
  • 1/4 cup Flour or cornstarch + milk slurry (to thicken)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
  • *Butcher twine or toothpicks’ to hold beef rolls together

Serve Alongside (optional)

  • Boiled potatoes, seasoned lightly with salt, pepper and dill (russet/peeled)
  • Warmed German red cabbage (jarred is fine)

The “hardest” part of this recipe is the assembling…once you get everything prepped (chopped, diced, rolled and secured) you’re in the clear and can enjoy a German bier while smelling the braised goodness!

When everything is in it’s place, begin by spreading about a tablespoon of the mustard on one side of the thinly pounded beef, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper (easy on the salt).  Next lay 1-2 slices of bacon down lengthwise, followed by the onions, the sweet relish and finally the dill pickle slice horizontal to the length.  Roll up each prepared beef slice around that dill pickle and secure (as best you can) with the butcher twine or a bevy of toothpicks.

In a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch-oven (I used my enameled Lodge cast-iron), add in the reserved 2 slices of chopped bacon and render the fat over medium heat.  When bacon is slightly crisped add in the rolled and secured Rouladen (about 1/3 – 1/2 the batch at a time) and brown all sides to create almost a crust.  Remove the seared beef rolls and continue with the rest of the batch (should take about 20 minutes for all).

To that bacon/beef grease (you may need to add 1 Tbsp more of vegetable oil depending), add in the carrots, onions and celery and allow to sweat down for 2-3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.  Add in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.  Next, pour in the red wine, again scraping the bottom of the pan for any brown bits…flavor!! and simmer, stirring for 4-5 minutes.

Add the seared Rouladen back into the pot with the veggies/wine and pour in the beef broth till it covers about 2/3rd the way up the meat.  Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer on low for 1 1/2-2 hours.

Once finished, carefully remove the tender beef rolls to a platter.  Mix 1/4 cup of flour with 1/4 cup milk and whisk into the juices in the pot.  This will thicken and make a gravy.  Now, optional, you can whisk in the sour cream for more richness and a slight tang that the Germans love in their cooking.

To serve:  Thoroughly remove the butcher twine or toothpicks and place Rouladen on a plate, cover with a hearty amount of the gravy and serve with warmed German cabbage and boiled dill-flavored potatoes to help sop up that gravy with!  Prost!!

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Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken Sliders w/ a Tabasco Honey Glaze

Since the weather has cooled, it was only natural that I wanted some stick-to-your-ribs kinda meal AND I don’t mind having the warm stove or oven on.  Yay!  

So when the thought of cooking an amped-up fried chicken sandwich crossed my mind, I was sooo in my happy place.  Regarding the sauce, I like things spicy (duh) and my hubby likes things sweet (duh once again), so the simple pairing of the vinegary Tabasco with the subtly sweet honey was just the right concoction!  The hot sauce thins out the honey for a perfect drizzle!  Just to die for on fried chicken…or should I say like todays teen, “it’s everything!”

That was now settled, so I grabbed my apron, cranked up 95.9 The Ranch on the kitchen radio and started frying up some goodness!

The Starting Lineup

  • 6 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • 1 cup sweet tea, I love Red Diamond brand
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • Bread & butter pickles (dill just isn’t right here)
  • Mayonnaise, I love Dukes brand
  • Slider potato rolls
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • Tabasco Pepper Sauce, few to several dashes 
  • Canola or peanut oil, for frying 

Earlier in the day, add the chicken thighs to a ziplock bag and pour in the buttermilk and sweet tea.  Zip up and give a shake to evenly distribute the brine.  Store in a shallow dish (to avoid spillage) and place in the refrigerator for 2-6 hours (overnight is fine too). 

Once you’re ready to fry these up, bring about 2″ of oil up to med-high heat. (350-375 degrees) in a heavy bottomed skillet or dutch oven.

Next, in a shallow dish, whisk together the flour with the spices and remove the chicken from the refridgerator. *Here, as I often do, is place the chicken thighs between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound out a bit thinner.  Helps to tenderize it even more AND it looks kind of cool hanging over the bun.  Bigger is always better ;). 

Now we’re ready to fry!  Using tongs, grab one of the chicken thighs and shake off excess brine, then dredge completely with the seasoned flour.  Transfer to the hot oil and allow to cook for 6-8 minutes, then turn over and fry for another 6-8 minutes (till golden brown and cooked through).  Remove to wire racked baking sheet (or paper towels) to rest while you finish the remaining thighs.  *Only fry 2-3 at a time so that the oil temperature doesn’t drop…THAT makes for greasy chicken! 

Now that the chicken is cooked, whisk together the honey and Tabasco sauce to taste.  You also can slightly toast the cut side of the sliders on a hot skillet if desired (not toaster oven).  

Assembly time!!  Spread a thin (or thick) layer of mayonnaise on each side of your soft slider rolls.  Then add the fried chicken, followed by a few bread & butter pickles and finally drizzle the honey-Tabasco right over top!  Dig in and enjoy!! 

Simple Cheeseburger Pizza

Pizza?  Burger?  Pizza?  Burger??  How about both!!  Yep, this is such a fun take on everyone’s top two favorites!  

So my boys were ‘arguing’ over what to have for dinner the other night.  In true Parker fashion, he wanted pizza (hey it’s better than his other favorite, PB&J!) and just like I knew Brooks would, he voted for cheeseburgers.  Momma moment!! Let’s combine the two and have a happy family all around..and again, no PB&J sandwiches.

How easy is this you ask…For one, it’s done in under 30 minutes.  Two, both kids and adults love it.  Three, you likely have the majority of the ingredients on hand already!!  Please give it a try this week!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 large pizza crust, prebaked (homemade or store bought)
  • 1/2-1lb ground beef, cooked
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • Tomato, diced
  • 1/3 cup dill pickle slices, rough chop
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/4 cup mustard 
  • 1 Tbsp dill pickle juice, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Bacon, cooked & crumbled (optional)

In a small bowl combine the ketchup,  mayo,  mustard, onion powder and dill pickle juice.  Whisk together till smooth, taste and tweak to your liking.  Cover and set aside.  Also make sure to bake the pizza crust according to package directions.  *I typically undercook the crust just a couple minutes, you will be placing this back into the oven.

Next, simply brown the ground beef, season simply with salt, pepper and maybe a couple dashes of Worcestershire.  

While the ground beef is browning, you can shred the cheese and prep the toppings! (tomatoes, onions, pickles

Now for the fun part!  Take the ‘dressing’ you made earlier and spread it out all over the pizza crust, this acts as your pizza sauce!  Yummmm….Follow that with the cooked ground beef and shredded cheddar.  

Place back into the oven until warmed though and cheese is melted.  Remove from the oven and top with the tomatoes,  onions, pickles and an extra drizzle of that tangy dressing!!   Dig in!  

Poor Mans Pickle Burgers

Don’t let the title fool you…even you rich folks can and will enjoy this simple meal!  It’s easy to prepare, a meal can be had in under 30 minutes and you likely have these ingredients already in your refridgerator!

My family can’t stop requesting them, which is fine by me!  To best describe them is a mix of a diner patty melt, loose meat sandwich and a Freddy’s Steak Burger all in one!  Also, not having to shape hamburger patties out makes this both quick AND stretches it farther.  ..and trust me, you won’t even miss the normal ketchup & mustard here..just try it my way.  Please…..

The Starting Lineup (makes 4 good size burgers)

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, finely minced, divided 1:1
  • 4-6 slices American cheese
  • Dill pickle slices, thick cut or lots of them
  • 8 slices bread (I prefer sourdough, but generic wheat or white works!  It’s a “poor-mans” after all!)
  • Mayonaisse (the real deal, not Miracle Whip)
  • A pinch each of salt, pepper & season salt 
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional for grilling the sandwich)   

Preheat a saute pan to medium heat and add in the ground beef and 1/2 of the minced onions, salt, pepper & season salt.  Cook till meat is browned and onions translucent.

 While the meat is cooking, slather the mayonaisse on both sides of the bread…I mean from corner to corner here!  Also, heat up another pan to “grill” the sandwich.

 After the meat has finished it’s assembly time!  With the cooked ground beef divided evenly, add a layer onto one slice of the bread.  Top with a bit more minced onions, LOADS of pickle slices and then top it off with a slice or two of the melty American cheese.  *make sure to cover all the toppings with the cheese, this REALLY helps hold it all together!  Finally, add on that remaining slice of bread and transfer to the heated pan.

     Grill each side of the poor mans burger for about a minute, till crisp.  Cut on the diagonal and serve with some good ol fries or chips!!  Enjoy!

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