Curried beef rolls January 27, 2010Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Beef, Wolfe recipe.
First of all I’d like to recommend that you all go visit a new Melbourne food blog, I’m Hungry. She tells of her adventures cooking and eating in Melbourne, and rants in a most approved manner. Go over and say hi!
Sometimes, just sometimes, I like to follow recipes properly. Sometimes even from The Nero Wolfe Cookbook! These beef rolls are simple and easy to make, involve a minor amount of violence in the kitchen (always a good thing), and the end result is delicious. One reason I do like this recipe is that I usually have the ingredients on hand and can actually cook the recipe as instructed, rather than having to substitute!
I started with 8 slices of beef (for 2 people) – I used pieces of rump steak. I think you could do this using most parts of beef – and probably even chicken or veal too if you want. Next, I took one of my favourite kitchen utensils – my meat mallet! I have the sort that is flat on one end and has little points on the other end (good for crushing ice). I used the flat end to bash each piece of meat until it was about 1cm thick. Then, just to make sure I had all my aggression out, I bashed it a little more!
Next, I prepared the stuffing for the beef. I started by cooking a cup of rice – the way the recipe is written, it sounds like you’re meant to just have spare rice lying around but I rarely do, so I had to cook some up. Then I washed and chopped a bunch of spinach, and put it in some salted boiling water to cook.
One thing I’m always amazed about with spinach is how much it reduces – and how much water it retains! Once the spinach was cooked, I drained it as much as I could, chopped it, and added it to the cooked rice. I also added raisins, a dash of vermouth, salt and pepper, nutmeg, raisins and curry powder, and mixed it all together.
This is where it gets tricky – tricky in not eating it, that is! I find it pretty hard not to sneak a taste here and there while wrapping up the rolls.
The recipe next instructs to place a spoonful of the mixture in the centre of each flattened beef slice, and then “roll up each slice, and fasten with toothpicks or butcher’s cord”. It sounds easy. It is easy! But I’m not sure if my Frankenstein-monster creation is exactly what they had in mind. If it’s not apparent from the photo, I had a little difficulty in rolling the beef up neatly and ended up skewering each roll several times…
I then browned each roll in some butter, added some beef stock, a bayleaf and some (dried) thyme, and then turned down the heat and simmered them for about 25 minutes.
I cooked up some carrots and garlic in some butter and beef broth left over from the beef rolls, removed the toothpicks and served them.
These rolls really are delicious. The rice absorbs some of the beef broth while cooking, which makes the filling taste richer, and also means the filling holds together when you cut into the roll. The curry powder definitely comes through, and blends well with the raisins and vermouth. I think next time I make these I’d add a touch of chilli or cayenne pepper, just to give the dish a bit of a kick – but this is personal preference more than anything actually wrong with the dish.
While I’m sure that Nero Wolfe eats 8 of these by himself with many many side dishes, 8 of the rolls between two people (with some vegetables) was sufficient. This is a simple dish to prepare, and has the added bonus of allowing you to get all that aggression out while still ending up with a delicious finished product!