25 June 2010

Beef Roulade

Today's lunch box contained a beef roulade with coleslaw salad, and - not shown in the picture - grapes and vineyard peaches (a white, flat variety) as well as radishes and slices of cucumber. I also packed some crispbread with pumpkin seeds and an apple per person.

Beef Roulades
For the roulades, ask your butcher to cut a thin piece of beef (2-5 mm in thickness), we normally use hind leg. Season with salt and pepper on one side, cut a carrot stick and the white part of a spring onion to the same height as the meat, and roll the meat around it. Secure with a ribbon or cocktail stick. Season again. Fry for a few minutes in oil until nicely browned on all sides. Because the meat is so very thin, it will be cooked through. Experiment with different fillings, my mother always wrapped a pickled gherkin in a strip of streaky bacon - whatever you use, bear in mind that it should not require a long cooking time and add nice colours to the roulade. I cooked mine the evening before and kept them in the fridge overnight, so all I had to do in the morning was to cut them into managable slices and pack up several lunch boxes. Of course, there's no reason why one couldn't eat them warm, either.

Coleslaw Salad
I would recommend making this at least some time in advance, and leaving it over night greatly benefits this dish, allowing the flavours to develop. I experiment every time I make such a salad, often adding apples and changing the type of cabbage involved. The version you can see in the picture consists of a quarter of a large red cabbage, sliced thinly and marinated in a little (the last!) of my quince vinegar. I also grated a carrot, seasoned with salt and black pepper and added a table spoon full of creme fraiche. I am not overly keen on mayonnaise - unless it is home made and accompanied by a lobster! - so I wanted to try something different. I thought this was much lighter and fresher than your typical coleslaw, and the red cabbage made it better looking, too. This might just become a standard.

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