It's All About the FoodChristmas Baking with SusieJ

How to make Rinderrouladen

On the day your son is pre-testing for his junior black belt, stop by Rieker's in Fox Chase for some Langjäger, one of his favorite snacks. (He won't actually eat the snacks, but you'll feel better, knowing you did all you could and put every kind of snack he likes in his bag.) While you are there, also get some sausages, cold cuts, ham salad … chocolates … two brands of chocolates … is that the October issue of Tina: Kochen & Backen? And notice the pre-made Rinderrouladen, which you remember from childhood and still have no idea how to make. Buy two.

There! That's dinner sorted.

Drop kid off at karate school for three hours of testing. Dead head some flowers. Housework. Get kid ("I put Mr. Luis in a headlock!"). More housework. Drink a beer with husband on the patio in the cooling September afternoon. While husband returns to the photography mines, er, darkroom, in the basement laundry area, consider cooking those Roladen for dinner. Read Twitter.

Get Rouladen out of fridge. Stare at them. Remember you bought them because your grandmother never taught you how, and you have no idea how to cook them, let alone assemble them. Stare some more.

Get out the ceramic-coated, cast iron small Dutch oven usually used to bake bread. Add a tablespoon or two of oil, and heat over high heat. Quickly brown the rouladen on each side. Wonder how to make a sauce. Sauce is not your thing. Cooking is not your thing. Cooking without a recipe is really not your thing.

Remember the crappy Riesling in fridge that you can't bear to finish drinking because it is that crappy, and, oh God, what will you do with the second double bottle but never mind, let's try a splash, about a quarter to a half cup of wine into the pot. Reduce heat to medium and braise for half an hour or more until the Rouladen are cooked through. Traditionally, Rinderrouladen include uncooked bacon, so be sure they get to 140 or 150 degrees, unless you want soggy bacon.

Remove Rouladen to a plate. Consider a sauce. Reconsider your dinner choices, if not your life choices. Stare at the pot of wine and juices.

Add about 1 teaspoon of mustard and 2 Tablespoons of sour cream to the pot. Whisk in. Shake in some flour or other thickener. Turn heat to high, and whisk until sauce combines.

Do not worry about salt, Rieker's has done an excellent job of pre salting. Serve with Knödel, Spätzle, noodles or potatoes. And the crappy Riesling

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