Monday, February 12, 2007
My dear K turned 35 last November, and his mum included two precious items in her present - his grandmother's handwritten cookbook from 1934, as well as his great-grandmother's handwritten cookbook (in three slim volumes!) from 1894. Precious! As I promised last month, I'll be cooking from these handwritten cookbooks a lot during the coming months, as they were full of tempting and surprising recipes. These beef rolls, for instance, included ginger in the recipe - and I thought that Estonian dishes back then only used salt and pepper...
Here are the first two recipes I tried from the 1934 booklet. They're next to each other in the booklet, so I assume they're meant to be served together. They definitely did go well together, which is not surprising, as the more modern versions of these beef rolls include carrot strips in the recipe.
Grandmother's beef rolls
600 grams beef (I used sirloin)
ground ginger or minced fresh ginger
butter and vegetable oil for frying
single cream (optional)
Cut the beef into 1 cm slices, across grain, and flatten'n'soften with a meat hammer.
Sprinkle some finely chopped onion, ginger and celeriac on top, roll up and tie with a undyed kitchen string (or you might end up with the infamous Bridget Jones moment!)
Fry the beef rolls in oil until browned on all sides.
Now add enough boiling water to cover the meatrolls and simmer on a medium heat until the meat has softened (this can take anything from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your meat).
A little before the meat is cooked, add the cream.
When ready to serve, lift the meat rolls out of the gravy, remove the strings and place meatrolls on a heated serving plate.
Serve with boiled potatoes, carrot ragout and the gravy.
Serve with this slightly sweet carrot ragout, also adapted from K's grandmother's handwritten cookbook:
500 grams organic carrots
200 ml water
ca 50 grams butter
3-5 Tbsp concentrated tomato puree
a spoonful of brown sugar
Peel carrots and cut into thick coins (about 3-4 mm thick).
Bring the water to the boil, add carrots and boil until slightly softened, but still crisp (about 5 minutes).
Add chopped onion, simmer for a few more minutes.
Add tomato puree, season with salt, pepper and sugar. Stir in butter and simmer, until carrots are al dente, if you know what I mean:)
UPDATE 14.2.2007: Alanna mentioned this story in her BlogHer post - check it out here. Thanks, Alanna!!