Today’s tasty recipe comes from Mrs. R. Wegener who was probably Matilda Wegener. According to the 1901 census Matilda was born on July 14, 1873 and lives with her husband Richard and their two little boys in Berlin Ontario. When she submitted the recipe for Rolled Beefsteak-Rouloden (p. 52) for the 1906 Berlin Cook Book she was about 33 years old and the children are 9 and 7. I imagine her making this as something a little special but having time to complete other parts of the meal and perform other household tasks as it simmered away on the cook stove.
It was easy to transport myself to Berlin 1906 or 1912 as I walked home late this afternoon after purchasing a chunk of smoked side bacon from a nearby store. My bacon was shrink-wrapped in plastic rather than wrapped in a piece of butcher paper. However, I thought of Matilda as I carefully sliced thin pieces of the bacon to use in making the beef rolls. I wonder if she worked outside her home as I do, or was she able to have this dish on the table when everyone came home for their evening meal?
I followed the instructions and cut pieces of round steak, seasoned them and placed my bacon slices on top. Rolling up and then tying the meat into the bundles was a bit of a challenge but it was simple to flour and fry them along with some chopped onions. I added the water as indicated but discovered it is important to check the pan occasionally. I had to add more water after about 45 minutes and continued adding water as needed. I made gravy as the recipe indicated and seasoned it with some salt and pepper.
I enjoyed my Rolled Beefsteak-Rouloden with some boiled potatoes and cooked carrots tonight. One roll per person is fine unless you are feeding hearty eaters. This is a very flexible recipe as the quantity can easily be adjusted. I think this is a good recipe to adapt for an interesting modern meal. I’ll use this recipe again.
Select a slice of round steak about 1/2 inch thick, cut into pieces about four inches wide and five long, season with salt and pepper. On each piece put a thin slice of bacon, then roll up, and fasten each roll with string or toothpicks. Dredge each with flour and fry a dark brown on all sides. Cut 2 large onions in small pieces and fry with the rolls, and then half cover them with water and boil slowly for 2 and 1/2 hours, or until tender. Thicken the gravy with flour.