Before even your Grandma learned her favourites, there was the Viennese Beef Roulade. Gaining popularity in recent times, add this HEARTY dish to your list. It’s a plate full of STEAMING goodness, drowned in a creamy gravy and accompanied by al dente tagliatelle.
Our wanders in Austria led us to the door of Kat, our incredible host in Vienna. We walked down the street, crunching as many dry leaves as our feet could reach (come on, who doesn’t love that??) and headed up the elevator with no idea what was in store…
Kat opened her door to these two grinning fools from Australia, and within minutes we were talking and laughing like old friends. And what better to share between friends and food lovers than authentic recipes! A few glasses of wine and an aperol spritz (….or two) and we were ready to jump in the kitchen to learn an old family favourite, the Viennese Beef Roulade.
This Viennese Beef Roulade recipe uses an intriguing mix of ingredients. First up the beef: schnitzel fillets work best as they’re easy to flatten out and roll up. Pro tip here from Kat: Don’t waste time with a meat tenderiser when you can use a rolling pin and flatten the fillets in half the time. Much easier.
Next comes the seasonings; salt and pepper to taste and a thin layer of your favourite mustard. You can use any type here. Love the Hot English? Go for gold. Prefer the dijon? Delish. American? If you must…ard. We won’t judge!
Time to pile up the fillings. Place the thin slices of carrot and gherkin, followed by a couple of capers and a fillet of anchovy towards the thinner end of the fillet. The anchovy is optional, but seriously guys, don’t let your fishy fear get the better of you. The anchovy adds the perfect saltiness to the dish and we assure you, you won’t regret it and you probably won’t even notice it’s there when it’s time to eat.
Now for the sliiightly tricky part. Roll the beef fillet around the fillings until you reach the end. Hold it all together with a few toothpicks along the main edge, then a few more for each side. Make sure they’re sealed up nice and tight to stop your flavourful fillings from falling out.
All that’s left is to gently fry each roulade until it’s nicely browned on all sides, then pop it in the casserole dish with the delicious onion and beef gravy and gently simmer for 1.5 hours until nice and tender.
You can serve it up with your favourite pasta or rice, or go with tagliatelle like Kat did. But whatever you choose, be sure to slather it with a few extra ladlefuls of the gravy – you’ll love it.
Did we mention this was an old recipe? Well according to Kat this recipe is 100’s of years old, and has been a long time family favourite for a delicious Christmas feast.
One bite and we’re already updating our plans for next Christmas with our families.
- 4 beef fillets - schnitzel style
- 4 slices thick cut bacon or prociutto
- 1 heaped tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp mustard hot & spicy is okay
- 2 tbsp capers
- 4 slices anchovies optional
- 2 carrots peeled and sliced into thin strips as long as the beef fillets
- 2 gherkins sliced into long strips
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- For the sauce
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 and half beef stock cubes
- Place beef within a sheet of cling film and tenderise. Kat's tip: use a rolling pin instead of a tenderiser hammer; it's easier and quicker! The goal is to make the fillets as thin as possible so they roll up easier.
- Season both sides of each fillet with salt and pepper.
- Spread mustard on the inside of each fillet.
- Place a slice of bacon, slices of carrot and gherkin, a fillet of anchovy and some capers towards the thinner end of each fillet.
- Tightly roll each fillet into a cylinder shape. Use toothpicks to hold in place. Also use toothpicks to seal up the ends so that the fillings won't fall out. To do this, double pierce each side of the meat with your toothpicks. Use at least two picks per end of each roulade. Kat's tip: Pretend to 'sew' the ends of the meat together by piercing the meat twice on each side. This will help seal the ends more effectively.
- Heat the oil in a large deep fry pan over a high heat. Add the roulade and cook on each side until nicely browned. (If you don't have a deep enough fry pan, cook the beef first then transfer to a preheated casserole dish).
- Boil some water. This will be used later on to make the gravy.
- Heat the oil in a casserole dish and add the onions. Lightly sautée until translucent, but don't allow to caramelise or it will change the flavour of the finished dish.
- Add 1 tbsp flour and beef stock cubes to the casserole dish and stir.
- Add half to one litre of hot water. The amount you need to use will vary depending on if you use a gas or electric cooktop. Generally, you'll need more water if you are using gas.
- Place the roulade into the gravy and cook on a slow simmer for 1.5 hours. (If you have a good thermometer/thermostat, check that the centre of the meat is at 77 degrees).
- Optional step: Add some finely chopped capers and lemon zest to the broth as you cook. This will give a nice lift to the flavour.
- Add 1 or 2 tbsp sour cream to the gravy just before serving and mix well.
- Serve with a side of al dente tagliatelle or rice, and don't forget to smother with an extra spoonful of gravy.