When I began this blog site nearly a year ago, I made the comment that there are almost as many varieties of Italian cooking as there are Italian grandmothers. I used the Italian grandmother for my metaphor because my focus always has been on Italian cuisine, although as you've likely noticed, Ive frequently "wandered" a bit from my chosen path.
I could have used a grandmother of any nationality. Through the years, I've met and enjoyed traditional family meals with people from many different countries and many different heritages. Often, these meals were prepared using recipes that originated with one of their ancestors (usually a grandmother!) – recipes that were always somehow unique to their family's tradition.
Rouladen is as delicious as it is simple – rolled beefsteak filled with onion and bacon, and served with a rich brown sauce over mashed potatoes. I came to learn, however, that not every German grandmother prepares it the same way. At the time, nearly 50 years ago, that was a surprise to me. Now, of course, it is exactly what I would expect. Fortunately, Rouladen was (and is) one of Grandma Karen's favorites as well. She "learned" how to prepare her family's version of Rouladen from her mother, but she was the first to create an actual written recipe. With her permission, I am sharing her recipe with you now. I just know that if you try it, you will think it is very special, too.