One of my all time favorite dinners in late fall or winter, aka the “Comfort Food Season”, is Rouladen…beef, chicken, pork are all good, but pheasant, venison, elk and my absolute favorite Moose Rouladen can’t be beat–especially with a nice glass of red wine by a roaring winter fire.
And, good news, while it’s a top shelf gourmet entree, it really isn’t that complicated to prepare!
6-8 Portions of Thin sliced moose meat of any cut
6-8 Slices of thin cut bacon
2 T Coarse mustard
6-8 Thin slices of Black Forest ham
4-6 Sliced Wild mushrooms
1/4 Cup Finely diced sweet onion or shallots
1 Clove Pressed garlic
1 T Beef base paste
1 T Self-rising flour
White wine, heavy splash
*Mashed potatoes are our favorite accompaniment, and the potato water is helpful to the gravy.|
- After assembling all ingredients, smash and press the garlic (1 clove is usually sufficient), finely dice some sweet onion or shallots (less than 1/4 onion should be fine), and slice some wild porcini or other mushrooms.
- Ideally, use either some skirt, flank or velvet steak from your game. If you don’t have that, or don’t know what those cuts look like, take a large roast and slice approximately 1/4″ thin (not paper thin, but thin) slabs off the roast. If you do this while the meat is still partially frozen you may find it easier. After slicing 6 or 8 portions, which is the usual number for our family, pound out the slabs somewhat gently with the rough side of a meat tenderizing mallet. If none available, you can try using a can of beans…then you’ll want to buy one next time. I’ve used a rock wrapped in saran before.
- Lay out the individual meat portions, season very lightly with lemon pepper & seasoning salt or just coarse black pepper and salt, spread with a thin layer of mustard, put a thin layer of thinly sliced Black Forest ham (our favorite for the flavor it adds, but any smoked ham is fine) on each portion. Roll up each portion tightly and individually. Wrap each portion in one piece of thin sliced bacon. Insert two toothpicks in each portion to help them hold together.
- Heat a cast iron or other heavy pan, good and hot, add some light olive oil and a dab of butter and brown the portions on all sides possible. Toothpicks can be removed as they fuse together if possible, but don’t do it too early. You can also wait and remove the toothpicks just before serving.
- Add the diced onions and garlic to the pan (add a little additional butter too). Saute around the meat, adding the mushrooms shortly afterward. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp self-rising flour on the saute of aromatics after they soften (not on the meat). Add some white wine to start building your sauce. After the wine has cooked the alcohol off, stir in some beef base paste (maybe 1 Tbsp).
- Hopefully you’ve been boiling some potatoes for mashed potatoes, and at this point we’d start ladling some potato water into the sauce to build up the gravy, slowly, 1 ladle at a time, so you don’t thin it out too much. The starches in the potato water help to thicken the sauce.
As they say in Germany….Eine guten Apetit miteinander!