Rouladen and Spätzle, Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

I had no idea what Rouladen was when I bought it at Edelweiss Sausage & Delicatessen. All I knew, was that is was a flank steak stuffed with bacon, onions, mustard and pickles tied up in neat little bundles with butcher’s string. Originally, I thought I would just throw them on the grill. But, that was before I did some research. Come to find out, they are supposed to be simmered in beef broth – for up to two hours.

I browned the meat on all sides in some pancetta grease* in a heavy pot, then took the meat out and deglazed the pan with red wine. I then added two cups of beef broth, stirred the wine and broth together and added the meat. I simmered on low for 50 minutes. Then I turned the meat over and simmered for another 50 minutes. Then, I took the meat out and thickened up the gravy with some Tony’s Roux Mix. And then I put the meat back in for a few more minutes to coat with the gravy – which I served up on some spätzle (I use a pre-packaged brand. Making it from scratch is too much work.).

As for the Brussels sprouts… This recipe started out as an Alton Brown recipe for grilling Brussels sprouts. But since I do not own a microwave, I have to cut them in half and boil them for a few minutes to get the insides cooked. And then I had to add pancetta, of course…

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta:

10 paper thin slices of pancetta
1 pound Brussels sprouts, as uniform in size as possible
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp powdered English mustard
1 tbsp smoked paprika
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

First, fry the pancetta until crisp (I used some La Quercia Acorn Pancetta that I had picked up from the Cheese Bar. Highly recommend if you can find it.) and set aside. Save the grease*.

Mix the powdered English mustard, smoked paprika, sea salt and ground black pepper in a large shaker – like the kind you would see the cracked red pepper in at a pizza restaurant.

Cut the bottom off of the Brussels sprouts, then cut in half – so each half has part of the bottom to keep the leaves together. Remove any discolored leaves. Drop the Brussels sprouts into a large pot of boiling water (with some salt) and boil for 4 minutes. When done, pour into a colander and rinse under cold water.

Melt the 2 tbsp butter in a large cast iron pan on medium high heat. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant. Then add in the Brussels sprouts. Using the shaker, pour on roughly two thirds of the spice mix on to the Brussels sprouts, and stir to coat. Then pour on the remainder of the spice mix on the sections of the Brussels sprouts that look like they could use more. Cover, and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes.

To get the char that you would have gotten from having done these on the grill, I usually broil them in the oven for about 4 or 5 minutes. But since it was a hot day and the stove had already heating up the kitchen, I decided to try something new this time – and busted out the culinary blow torch. They didn’t come out quite as good, but it worked. To finish, first crumble the pancetta over the Brussels sprouts then garnish with the fresh chopped parsley.

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For the beer to serve with dinner, I decided to go with a bottle of the Sahalie from The Ale Apothecary.

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