By Kipp Rix
This is a dish that was served on occasion by a German family that we lived next door when I was a child (and to my crew … yes I can remember that far back!). Several years ago I was eating a meal and it conjured up the fond memories of the unique flavors of this dish of the past. I started working on recreating those flavors, and this recipe is spot on. I know the concept of a dill pickle inside the meat sounds strange, but it is this one item that invokes such a unique flavor, and when cooked the flavor surprisingly enough is not that of pickle. Cuts of meat can include flank steak, round steak or if you really want to kick this up a few notches use rib eye to make miniature versions. All though beef is the usual type of meat, this recipe also works well with venison or elk, no matter what cut of meat you use it must be sliced thin (1/4”) and at least 8” wide by 10” long. The meat rolls can be assembled in advance and stored for a couple of days in the refrigerator. In the past (at home) I have even let the meat marinade in a light German beer for 30 minutes adding another depth of flavor when cooked.
Shopping List (serves 4)
8 thin sliced (1/4”) steaks, at least 6”x 8” in size
8 kosher dill pickle spears
1 onion thin sliced
Course ground spicy mustard (with horseradish optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
16 slices thick cut black peppered bacon
Tying string or toothpicks
6 slices thick cut black pepper bacon (¼” diced)
2 cloves garlic crushed and fine diced
1 package sliced mushrooms
3 cups good quality beef stock
14 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes
Preheat oven to 230°F
Place the steaks on the counter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread about a teaspoon of the mustard on the lower portion of the steak. On top of the mustard place a pickle and some of the sliced onion. Roll the steak working from the stuffing side up to the top. Wrap the rolled steak with two (2) pieces of the bacon and secure with cooking twine or tooth picks to hold everything in place until the meat is done cooking. If you use toothpicks make sure to remove them prior to serving and advise your crew to watch for any possibly missed toothpick.
In a large skillet, cook the Rouladen to brown on all sides, once the meat is browned remove from the heat and hold to the side. For an added depth of flavor I have cooked the Rouladen on the grill to brown instead of pan cooking. In an oven safe pot add the diced bacon, garlic, mushrooms and any remaining sliced onion. Cook this until the bacon is crisp and the onions are translucent. Add the meat to the top of the onion mixture; add the stock to just cover the meat. Add the tomatoes along with their liquid to the pot. Place the covered pot into the oven and cook at 230°F for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Remove the meat from the braising liquid and hold to the side. Place the pot on top of the stove and bring the liquid to a rolling boil and allow the liquid to reduce by ½ to thicken. Return the meat to the pot to rewarm the meat. This dish serves well with mashed potatoes, squash, or German style cabbage.
A year into his career, Kipp and engineer Steve G. started talking about their love for riding motorcycles and a dream of one day riding historic RT 66. Plans were in motion. Kipp spent the next year compiling his favorite recipes into his cookbook Fire House Cook Book “Farmington Favorites” and planning the RT 66 trip where he and Steve would ride their bikes and visit fire stations along the way, selling the cookbook and helping to raise funds for a donation to the IAFF Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation. Kipp spent the past year working on recipes for his newest cookbook Fire House Cook Book II “14 Days on RT 66,” released in March 2011.
Kipp has been in the fire service for 17 years, working as a volunteer with both Dona Ana County and currently San Juan County Fire as an Asst. District Chief. Presently he is also a career fire fighter with Farmington Fire Department (5 years). Kipp has published two (2) Fire House Cook Books (Fire House Publications, LLC – www.fhpllc.net) and uses a portion of the proceeds to support donations to firefighter’s needs and training fire fighters in the art and skills of Fire Fighter Survival “Getting Out Alive”. In 2010 Kipp became an adjunct instructor with San Juan College in the Fire Science Program, and became a featured chef with Eddie Sell’s FireHouseChefs.com