Food and Eating

Grandma's Favourite Recipes from Around the World

This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Kirsten-Everatlas Kirsten-Everatlas 1 year, 8 months ago.

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    Profile photo of Kirsten-Everatlas Kirsten-Everatlas 

    Whilst food is forever evolving in the quest for novel flavours and quirky fusions, it is also very gratifying to fall back to the foods of our childhood and summon a memory of a time long gone.

    Share with us favourite foods of your childhood, a recipe, a photo perhaps, and where in the world the dish is from.

    Profile photo of Kirsten-Everatlas Kirsten-Everatlas 

    Oma’s Old-Fashioned Rouladen Recipe

    Back in the 40s and 50s, when my German mother-in-law (aka “Oma”) was a young girl in Northern German, rouladen was her family’s traditional Christmas dinner. Now, this classic meal is a common Sunday supper all over Germany, but back then, when money was tight, Rouladen was a special treat served only once a year.
    What is Rouladen? Chuck roast is wrapped around bacon, onion and spices then simmered in pan gravy for hours until it becomes tender and flavorful. This recipe has been passed down through Oma’s family for generations.

    Oma’s Old-Fashioned Rouladen

    10 strips of chuck roast cut thin, approximately 3 3/4 pounds
    15-20 strips of bacon
    yellow mustard
    sea salt
    freshly ground pepper
    1 large onion, cut in half and sliced very thin
    vegetable oil
    water, divided
    sour cream, optional
    1/4 cup all purpose flour (or cornstarch for a gluten-free option)
    Serves 8-10.

    Take a strip of chuck roast. It should be about 1/4 inch thick. If it is too thick, pound it down to the correct thickness. Spread the meat with a thin layer of mustard, then sprinkle with pepper and salt (go easy on the salt). Put a strip or two of bacon on the meat. This depends on how wide your meat is. You don’t want the bacon to stick out the side. Cover that with a thin layer of sliced onions.

    Starting at the small end, roll the meat with it’s contents into a tight cylinder. Using kitchen twine (or in Oma’s case, sewing thread), tie this bundle tightly.

    Put about 2-3 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a heavy sauté pan. When the oil is hot, add the rouladen, and cook, turning as necessary, until it is very brown on all sides. This takes about 22-28 minutes. When the meat is very very brown all over, place them in a large dutch oven.

    Heat about 2 cups of water in small sauce pan until hot. Pour the water into the sauté pan that you used to brown the rouladen and scrape up the drippings. Eventually, this will be the gravy. Pour this sauce over the meat in the dutch oven. If you didn’t get everything from the pan, add a little more water, scrape again and pour that over the meat. Oma says this is very important. Add enough water so that it covers about 2/3 of the meat like in the photo.

    Bring to a boil on the stove top, then reduce heat, cover and simmer very low for 1 1/2 hours. After the meat is tender, remove it to a plate covered with foil to stay warm.
    Whisk together 1/4 cups flour and 1/4 cup water until smooth. This mixture will be the consistency of cream. Turn the heat off on the pot and add about 1/2 this mixture to the pan juices whisking until it is incorporated. Then turn the heat back on and simmer until it thickens. Just before serving, mix in approximately 1/4 cup of sour cream (optional). Taste for seasoning.
    Cut the string off the rouladen and place one on each plate. Cover with a generous portion of the gravy. Serve with potatoes or pasta and something that once grew in the ground. I choose broccoli, but Oma prefers to serve with corn.
    Another delicious meal! Thanks Oma!

    Profile photo of Steven-Everatlas Steven-Everatlas 

    yum yum 🙂

    Profile photo of Kirsten-Everatlas Kirsten-Everatlas 

    German Potato Soup

    This is a winter-warming hearty recipe from the south of Germany. Not refined and glamorous like its French cousin, but wholesome and satisfying.

    1kg potatoes
    3 large onions
    1-2 carrots (or 1 leek)
    1-2 cubes vegetable (or beef) stock
    German sausages (Frankfurters, Viennas, Bockwurst etc)
    pepper and nutmeg to taste
    2-3 bay leaves
    a splash of Worcester sauce (optional)

    Peel the potatoes and chop them into cubes. In the meantime, brown the chopped onions with some oil in a large cooking pot. Once they have reached a deep golden colour, add the chopped potatoes and continue browning everything a little longer. Make up one litre of stock and add this to the pot and giving it a good stirring so that the browning residue on the bottom of the pot gets mixed nicely into the liquid. Now add the finely chopped carrots (or the leek …or both for that matter) and, if needed, add some more water so that everything is well immersed in liquid. Spice everything with bay leaves, pepper (freshly crushed is my favourite) and a generous portion of nutmeg – salt may not be necessary as there is already rather a lot in the stock …and in the Worcester sauce should you chose to add some. Simmer until everything is nice and soft, then mash by hand with a potato masher so that the soup is fairly smooth but still a bit chunky. At the end, add the chopped sausages (as many as you like) into the soup and simmer for a bit longer. As a variation, a blob of cream or creme fraiche can be added once served. Enjoy!

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