Friday, August 31, 2007

My "favorite" meal

Of course I don't have a 'favorite' - I hate absolutes, and I'm moody, and I think the word 'favorite' is restrictive! However, the day that I answered a shitload of questions, I put Round Steak Rollups as my favorite food (and someone asked how to make them).

Now... keep in mind that this is a family recipe that I have seldom shared at all, and my children will probably be angry if they ever find out (you know that I am a surreptitious blogger and to my knowledge NONE of my family are aware of or read my blog)

Also this recipe is NOT written down anywhere so... trust my memory, and hope I get the quantities somewhere near correct -- also to the best of my knowledge it was passed to my mom by my father's Polish aunt and we always thought it was Polish, not sure though

We all (cousins, sisters, mom) make this in a pressure cooker - I suppose it could be baked for a bazillion hours, or maybe even crockpotted, but I doubt it would taste the same. Also, my cousins use bacon in theirs -- I'm told -- I don't remember ever eating this at my Aunt's house, and I have never had my cousin's version - but bacon doesn't sound bad - so add it if you would like.

Round Steak (we are pigs, and my son can eat about 20 roll ups if I would let him, and it's a lot of work, so I buy as much as my pressure cooker (large) will accomodate - usually two-three steaks - you know the large thin ones, I have no idea on pounds because I use my eyes, lol. So they ones that are on a tray that is about 12" x 9" - actually they seem more square than that - but anyhow, larger than a piece of typing paper and they are about 1/2 inch thick.

Mustard (yellow), pickles (dill), rice (white), campbells golden mushroom soup (about 1 can per round steak, but I think I would never make it with fewer than two cans), onion (usually I use yellow, but white would be okay too), beer, flour and toothpicks, shortening or vegetable oil (yeah yeah canola is fine, but not olive)

slice the pickles (sorry quantity totally boggles me, I think you will need at least 10 pickles to start with - I use a bazillion because we make as much as will fit in the cooker), lengthwise, as thin as you can get them, most people can't do paper thin, but if you are that freaking good with a knife, that is probably too thin, then I usually cut the length in half because pickles are usually longer than the two inches width of the meat. put the mustard in a bowl with a knife for spreading, I use my 'frosting' blade that I use on cakes, slice the onion (may only need 1/2 onion-depending on strength and size of batch, my rule is if an onion really makes me cry, I only use 1/2) (this can be done later while you are browning the meat, it's a preference thing)

Pound the shit outta the roundsteak with flour and a meat hammer - you want to at least double it's size. Cut it into strips, like about two inches wide and maybe six-7 inches long? You have to adjust for the meat you're working with. Slather the strips (one side) with mustard, a thin coating, but not too thin, you should be able to see yellow on the entire surface of ONE side of the meat, but you should be able to tell there is meat under there. A piece that is 2"x7" probably uses 2 tsps of mustard??? (totally guessing here). place a pickle slice perpendicular to the meat strip and start rolling the meat around the pickle, keep placing pickle slices as you roll - I usually put 4-6 slices per roll in a "regular" sized roll. toothpick the rolls - it is always sort of a 'challenge' around here to try not to have any double toothpicks - if this is your first time I wouldn't challenge yourself to that - you want them to hold together, but do try to remember for your family about how many they should expect in each roll so they don't bite into one!

[I have tried the 'minute steaks' you know that the butcher put through his dealio - the meat is too fragile and will not work]

Brown the rolls in heated shortening/oil - frankly the shortening tastes better, but of course it is lousy for your heart/cholesterol/blood pressure health - I use an iron skillet, as do my sisters and mom - I don't know if this affects the taste, but probably. Make sure you use a RACK in your pressure cooker - we are talking flour and gravy here, it will stick like a somebitch if you don't have the rack in there, and the bottom ones will taste burnt (I know this because I have spaced out the rack on the second batch for a big family dinner). [oh yeah if you have leftover pickles you can fry them for a minute or two and throw them in the cooker with the rolls]

Place the rolls in your pressure cooker (if you have one but seldom use it - remember that there is a fill line! My mom blew one up when we were kids, I don't wish that on anyone - you can push the fill line a little, but always leave some space or it will blow) don't forget the rack first, throw in the sliced onion with the rolls, dump the soup in, throw in the beer - less one or two swallows to check for freshness? - sometimes this recipe requires a beer and a half, geez don't waste that half!, and then fill with water to the 'fill line' or maybe just a cheat more if you are brave (this will be the gravy and most people really love the gravy so the more the better, but you don't want to clean it off of your ceiling or worse yet risk a burn on a family member)


cook the shit outta them - in a pressure cooker this means 45 minutes 'rocking' - you don't start timing til the rocker is rocking -

update - I just went looking for an exploded pressure cooker picture (no luck) but ran across lots of caveats about not opening too soon - um yeah, if you don't use one often, remember to open EXACTLY as directed by the manufacturer - this one I don't cheat on

cook up some rice to serve them with - also recommended pierogies (also not particularly heart smart)

you can do salad - might help with the guilt for the fat and salt and carbs in this dish.


Jen said...

Damn, they sound good, but I doubt I'll ever make them...Tom hatehatehates pickles. I made a ginormous batch of homemade pickles and the poor man turned white. And I couldn't possibly eat that many rollups. :( Yum though.

momumo said...

rofl - well you can't even taste the pickle - my nephew who hates pickles begs for them, and one time I finally said yeah okay but you have to help - and when he saw the pickles he was like why are you making them different - I said - they've always had pickles - so he now says he hates pickles, except in rd stk rollups...