Mix together bread crumbs, bacon and drippings or suet, parsley, marjoram, lemon peel, nutmeg or allspice, and salt & pepper. Add eggs and toss together. Moisten with wine, stock or water until mixture holds together. Set aside.
While preparing beef, melt two tablespoons butter in a large ovenproof skillet or pan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring now and then, until mushrooms are dark and flavorful. If the mushrooms appear too dry as they cook, add water by the tablespoon. Add the onions and continue to cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and buttery. Remove onions and mushrooms and set aside.
To prepare beef, see text, above, and photos. Trim the beef, if necessary to roughly rectangular shapes. This won’t be perfect, and the shapes will be somewhat irregular, but shoot for about 4 to 5 inches long and about 3 1/2 to 4 inches across. With some pieces, a little additional pounding can help shape the beef.
Salt and pepper beef if desired then spread with about a tablespoon of the bread crumb mixture. Since the number of slices may vary, it may be easiest to lay out all the beef, then add a tablespoon to each slice. Then divide any excess mixture among the slices. Spread the mixture across each slice of beef, leaving a space on the shortest and straightest edge of about 1/2 inch. Roll from the opposite edge towards the edge that has no stuffing. Rouladen may be tied or held closed with a toothpick.
Add the remaining two tablespoons butter to the skillet and heat. Place rolls seam side down and quickly saute until lightly browned. Turn and brown the top side. Turn two more times to brown the sides. Watch that the fond on the bottom of the pan isn’t burning. (See German Beef Rouladen, Mushroom Gravy) . Remove the Rouladen from the skillet, discard excess butter and deglaze the skillet with the beef stock, scraping up any brown fond on the bottom of the pan. Return the mushroom/onion mixture to the pan and nestle the Rouladen back in, seam side down. If there are any juices released by the Rouladen as they sat, add that to the skillet as well.
Bring skillet and contents to a simmer, cover tightly and cook on stove-top at the barest of simmers or in the oven at 325 degrees for about an hour and a half. Remove when tender. Because of variances in heat level, check the Rouladen about 15 minutes before the time is up, or if not yet tender at the hour and a half, continue to cook until it is. When tender, spoon a little bit of the liquid part of the mushroom broth mixture over each Rouladen to moisten, then remove the Rouladen to a serving platter. Tent with foil to keep warm while preparing gravy.
If cooking on the stovetop, turn the heat up to bring the onions/mushroom broth mixture to a brisk simmer. If cooked in the oven, put skillet on a burner and do the same. In a measuring cup, add a heaping tablespoon of flour, then while stirring, add stock to form a cohesive mixture. Drizzle the flour-stock slurry into the skillet, whisking vigorously and simmer until desired consistency is reached. The resulting gravy should be on the thin side with a nice sheen; if it appears oily, a little more flour mixed with a small amount of liquid may be added. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Spoon some of the gravy over the Rouladen and pass the rest. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Note: The recipe originally called for thickening the gravy with two tablespoons of butter kneaded with two tablespoons of flour.
Nutrition: based on 6 servings, 2 rolls each: calories 441, tot fat 24g; sat fat 13g, chol 246mg; sod 462mg; pot 681mg; car 11g; fib 2g; sug 3g; prot 47g; vit a 20%; vit c 15%; calc 4%; iron 8%
Keywords: Beef, Beef Stock, Family Recipe, German, mushrooms, Round Steak, Stuffing