Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks‘ July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!
My sister, Janet, is an excellent cook and she married in to a family of excellent cooks – they even have a family cookbook. The Niemann family is of German descent and one of their favorite meals is Spätzle with Rouladen. Janet’s mother-in-law even ordered Spätzle presses from Germany for her daughters and daughters-in-law.
When I told my sister Spätzle was the Daring Cook’s challenge for the month, she invited me to come and cook it with her in her beautiful kitchen. She lives in a small country town and it was a pleasure driving through our gorgeous mountains and spending time cooking with her.
Spätzle is an egg noodle, but it’s moister and softer than traditional pasta. You don’t need a press to make Spätzle, just cut thin strips of dough with a knife and scrape the strips into boiling salt water. Rouladen is thin sliced beef rolled up and filled with chopped onion and bacon. Many Rouladen recipes wrap a pickle inside with the onion and bacon, but Janet’s mother-in-law’s recipe doesn’t include a pickle.
Janet’s tips: Spätzle is best if cooked right before you’re ready to eat it. You can make the dough ahead of time, up to 3 hours, and keep the bowl covered with a damp towel. If you have to cook it ahead of time, toss it with a little olive oil so the noodles don’t clump together. Spätzle also freezes well.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose or bread flour
- 1 1/2 cups semolina flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 - 1 1/2 cups water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 thin slices of lean beef (I used a top round roast and had the butcher slice it in 1/4 slices)
- 6 tablespoons chopped onion
- 6 tablespoons chopped bacon (I used Costco Hormel frozen fully cooked bacon)
- 3 cups water
- Mix together all ingredients until smooth. Dough will form bubbles. Place dough in Spätzle press and press into boiling water. Simmer until noodles rise to the top of the water, then continue cooking 1 minute longer. (If necessary, scrap the bottom of the pan.)
- Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well. Place cooked noodles in a large bowl and repeat cooking process until all dough is cooked. Serve noodles with meat and gravy.
- Pound beef to tenderize if necessary. (The top round was perfect without tenderizing.) Sprinkle each piece of meat with salt and pepper. Place 1 tablespoon chopped onion and 1 tablespoon chopped bacon on each piece of meat.
- Roll up and secure with a toothpick. Brown rolls in a heavy pot with a little oil or bacon grease.
- After the meat is browned, add water. Cook on low heat until meat is tender (2-3 hours). Thicken gravy with flour or cornstarch. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Spätzle.
Adapted from Judith Niemann