Beef Roulades with Dumplings and Wine-braised Cabbage

Beef Roulades with Dumplings and Wine-braised Cabbage

By Chef Boris Druschkowitsch of Madame Janette

This dish is clean, lean, fresh and flavorful, says Chef Boris. “This is no hocus pocus!” In his swelteringly hot kitchen, the Austrian-born chef isn’t breaking a sweat – a sign that he’s acclimatized to the island.

— Photography Kenneth Theysen

But this Eastern European meal is a homage to his roots. It’s not on the menu at Madame Janette, but he makes it every two or three weeks for the restaurant’s German owner. 

“I’m probably the only person who knows how to make it on Aruba,” says Boris. “This is the stuff I make for my friends or family. It’s a perfect dish for when it’s cold and snowing outside or for a family Christmas dinner. And it goes great with a good pilsner,” he adds, talking a mile-a-minute while his loyal kitchen staff whirls around him in a choreographed dance of pre-service roasting, cutting and searing. They miraculously manage to leave undisturbed the dough rising on the counter and to not tip over two giant metal bowls of home-made hollandaise, each of which took about 30 minutes to whip by hand.  


Beef Roulades with Dumplings and Wine-braised Cabbage
Serves 8

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Ingredients     

8 pieces of 170 g beef sirloin, pounded flat  
1 ½ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. pepper
¼ cup (60 ml) Dijon mustard
24 slices of bacon
16 julienned pieces of carrot
(about 2 carrots), blanched

16 julienned pickle slices
16 toothpicks
½ cup flour
1 tbsp. cooking oil
4 cups demi-glace or beef stock
1 cup (250 ml) red wine


  1. Place the pounded flat pieces of raw beef in front of you.
  2. Season them on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Coat the top of each with mustard followed by three slices of bacon each.
  4. Top each with two pieces of carrot and two pickle slices and roll the meat up around the fillings.
  5. Secure the ends with toothpicks. 
  6. Coat the roulades in flour and sauté them for 2 minutes on each side in a hot pan coated with cooking oil. Add more oil as needed for subsequent batches. 
  7. Place the rolls in a buttered casserole dish and cover it with the demi-glace or beef stock and enough red wine so that only the top of the roulades are exposed. 
  8. Place in a 370F (190C) oven and braise, covered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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This dish, like Boris, is old-school, he says. “This is me. This is what my grandmother would make. She would be proud of me right now. She would say, ‘Oh Grandson! You’re in a magazine!’” Whether or not his grandmother would agree, Boris says you can also skip the dumplings and serve these with simple boiled and salted potatoes or with spaetzle.


WINE-BRAISED CABBAGE

2 medium heads of red cabbage,
cored and julienned
1 large white onion, finely chopped  
2 tbsp. (30 ml) butter
1 tsp. (5 ml) cinnamon
⅔ cup (350 g) preiselbeeren (cranberry compote)
1 bottle (750 ml) Merlot or other red wine
10 cloves
1 bay leaf
3 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Sauté the onions with the apple slices and butter in a medium-sized cooking pot.
  2. Add the cinnamon followed by the cranberry compote and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the onions are softened.
  3. Add the red wine followed by the remaining ingredients and cook, partly covered over low heat for 1 hour and 45 minutes. 

DUMPLINGS

2 tsp. (10 ml) butter
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
½ handful chopped fresh parsley
20 slices white bread, toasted and cut into 2 cm cubes
1 cup (250 ml) lukewarm milk
5-6 eggs, whites and yolks separated
½ tsp. (2 ml) salt
¼ tsp. (1 ml) pepper
½ tsp. (2 ml) ground nutmeg
3 tbsp. (45 ml) breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. (30 ml) butter

  1. Sauté the onions in a pan with butter over medium heat for about 3 minutes then add the fresh parsley.
  2. Stir and cook 1 minute then set aside to cool.
  3. Soak the bread cubes in a bowl, in the warm milk.
  4. Add the cooled onion mixture along with the salt, pepper, nutmeg, breadcrumbs and egg yolks and stir to combine. 
  5. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks and fold gently into the bread cubes mixture. 
  6. Place two large pieces of plastic wrap on top of each other, on a clean counter.
  7. Add half the filling in a line lengthwise and wrap into a log with the plastic wrap. 
  8. Close the ends tightly and wrap the sausage-like log in aluminium foil.
  9. Repeat with the second half of the dumpling batter. 
  10. Cook the wrapped dumpling logs in gently simmering water for 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave 15 minutes more in the water. 
  11. Remove from the water and remove the foil. 
  12. Cut the dumplings into 1” (2.5 cm) slices and sauté to a golden brown in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat.

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