Rouladen Recipe

The best recipes come from family. My mom’s recipes for deviled eggs and blonde brownies taste like being in Iowa with family and enjoying summer at my grandparent’s or my Aunt Rose’s house.
My mother-in-law’s recipe for Rouladen reminds me of my husband’s family, meeting them for the first time, and feeling like part of the family ever since.
I love recipes that make me feel happy when preparing them and eating them, and this Rouladen recipe is, bonus: Keto friendly. Literally ZERO carbs are in this. And it’s perfection. Thank you, mom-in-law.
First of all, what is Rouladen? It is bacon, pickles, onions, and mustard wrapped and rolled in a thinly sliced piece of beef. It’s then braised for hours on low in a beef-broth based liquid. It’s classic German comfort food. My spin on this dish: a mushroom gravy that is made from a broth reduction. So yum.rouladen1First things first: render some bacon in a cast iron skillet. This is going to be the base flavor that the rouladen will be seared in. You can use uncooked bacon inside the Rouladen (since it will be braising for several hours), however I prefer the texture of cooked bacon, and added bonus is that you can use the rendered bacon fat to sauté the Rouladen in. rouladen2 rouladen3I used top round that was sliced thinly by the grocery store. I still had to pound it out with a mallet to get the desired thickness, which is about 1/4″ thick. I used a piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board to pound out the meat, but you could also use a ziploc bag. rouladen5Spread mustard onto the meat, then layer rendered bacon, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, and lastly a dill pickle. It will have a salty, smoky, sour flavor from the combination of the ingredients. Divine. 
rouladen4rouladen11rouladen6rouladen12rouladen8
Tightly roll the Rouladen and secure with toothpicks. You can also use butcher’s twine if you have it. The pickle will stick out, but leaving it whole allows for the meat to remain together while braising and also provides some moisture inside the meat. 
rouladen9Sear the meat on both sides in the cast iron pan until it is browned. This will ensure that the meat doesn’t lose moisture inside while it is braising.rouladen19When the meat has finished searing, place into the dutch oven with 3 cups of beef stock or beef broth and one cup of brewed coffee. The coffee will add a depth to the broth that brings out the beefy flavors in the stock and in the Rouladen. rouladen18While the meat is cooking, saute mushrooms in the same pan that you cooked the Rouladen in. This will allow the mushrooms to absorb the flavors of the Rouladen and create the base of the gravy.rouladen16 rouladen17Ladle one cup of cooking broth over the mushrooms and allow them to absorb the broth. This will reduce quickly (in about five minutes). Once this has reduced, add another cup of broth and continue to let it reduce further to create a reduction. When the mushroom broth has reduced by half, turn the heat off.
rouladen14 rouladen15-1Remove the Rouladen from the dutch oven and allow to rest for five minutes before slicing them. This will ensure that they will stay together when slicing and it allows the meat to reabsorb its moisture.
rouladen13-1 Slice Rouladen on the bias and plate with the mushroom gravy on top. You could serve this with mashed cauliflower or braised purple cabbage, but it is perfectly delicious on its own. 

INGREDIENTS
1 pound top round, sliced thinly
1 medium diced onion
4 slices thick bacon
1 can large dill pickles, halved lengthwise
1 clove chopped garlic
1/2 cup yellow mustard
3 cups beef broth
1 cup brewed coffee
1 pound shitake mushrooms
Toothpicks

DIRECTIONS
1. Chop 4 slices of bacon into small pieces and render in cast iron skillet for ten minutes, on medium heat
2. Remove bacon from pan and reserve bacon fat
3. Chop medium onion and garlic
4. Pound meat with a mallet until each piece is 1/4″ thick
5. Spread thin layer of mustard on meat, and top with onion, bacon, garlic, salt and pepper, and pickle
6. Roll tightly and secure with 2-3 toothpicks
7. Put beef stock and coffee in a dutch oven and simmer on low heat
8. Sear meat on high in cast iron pan until browned on all sides and place in dutch oven
9. Braise for five hours
10. Remove from dutch oven after braising and let meat rest for five minutes
11. In cast iron pan, sauté mushrooms on medium for ten minutes, until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste
12. Ladle one cup of stock in pan with mushrooms and let it reduce on high for five minutes
13. Once completely reduced, ladle another cup of stock and let it reduce by half on high for five more minutes
14. Slice meat on bias and plate with mushroom gravy on top and sprinkle with fresh parsley

Taco Thursday

I am a taco enthusiast. I can tell you about all the tacos in a ten mile radius of me here in Texas. And in the summer, when I am knee-deep in humidity, feeling like I need to swim just to wade through the heat, I want something light and refreshing to eat, with just a bit of heat to counteract the hellish temperatures outside. Don’t ask me how that makes sense in my head, but it does.
These tacos incorporate everything I love about spicy street tacos, but with the bonus that they are Keto friendly. The jicama “tortilla” is light, crisp, and refreshing; and it perfectly balances with the heat incorporated inside the taco. I’m a big fan. I will definitely be having these for taco Tuesday AND taco Thursday.

Jicama Street Tacos
What is jicama? It is a tuber and is the size of a large turnip and resembles a potato when cut. It tastes very similar to celery and is not starchy like a potato, even though it can be cooked like a potato (mashed, fried, etc). I found the jicama pre-sliced into thin rounds, roughly the same size as a corn tortilla shell, in my grocery store, but you can buy a whole jicama and thinly slice it with a mandolin or a sharp knife.
tacos5-5Combine ground turkey with a can of diced chipotle peppers and cook together until the turkey is browned and slightly crispy in the pan. Place on cold “tortilla”. You can also grill or fry the jicama, but I found that I prefer it crisp and clean.
tacos2-2My favorite street taco toppings are mashed avocado, cilantro, and radish, but you could definitely change the toppings to your desired flavors. These are very classic street taco flavors that I am using.
tacos6-6tacos4-4The combination of ground turkey, smoky chipotle, peppery radish, cool avocado, crisp jicama, and herby cilantro all work perfectly together to create a tasty taco. I also really love the jicama because it does not get soggy like a corn tortilla.
tacos1-1Another variation on these classic taco flavors is to grill the jicama “tortilla”, top with store-bought carnitas, diced onion, radish, and cilantro. The flavors are all very clean. It makes the perfect quick weeknight dinner and its completely low in carbs, fat, and high in protein.