Games with rouladen: beef rouladen with a cabbage filling and cabbage rouladen with beef filling.
Start by coring a head of savoy cabbage and steaming it until the outside leaves are tender. Carefully remove whole leaves until they start to get too small. Reserve the rest.
For the beef rouladen: cook a mixture of carrot, celery, and onion, all finely diced, in olive oil until they are aromatic. Add some finely chopped savoy cabbage and toss a few times. Add grated lemon zest, black pepper, a pinch of salt, and some rich chicken stock. Let simmer until the stock has evaporated. Grate in a bit of nutmeg. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile pound out the beef. To assemble the rouladen: season each piece of beef, top with some of the cooled cabbage filling, roll it up, and tie carefully.
For the cabbage: Brown some ground beef with a pinch of salt in a bit of olive oil. Set the beef aside. Add some more olive oil and cook diced carrot, celery, and sliced leeks in the same pan until the leeks soften. Sprinkle over a Tbs of flour and cook another minute or so. Add a splash of aromatic white wine (I used gewurztraminer), marjoram, oregano, and some rich chicken stock and stir well. Add back the beef and simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid is almost gone. Stir in some breadcrumbs to take up the last of the liquids and adjust seasonings. Let the filling cool a bit then fill the cabbage leaves and tie into neat packages.
For the sauce: diced carrot, celery, and onion in a bit of olive oil for a few minutes. Add some red wine and some oxtail soup (one package soup into 5dl water) and stir well. Let simmer gently.
Brown the beef rouladen nicely, set them in the sauce, cover, and let simmer for an hour. In the meantime gently brown the cabbage rouladen in the same pan and set aside. Deglaze the pan with red wine and add the liquid to the braise. After the hour is up, add the cabbage rouladen to the beef, cover again, and let simmer another 20-30 minutes.
Very, very nice food. We ate it with mashed potatoes and mashed celery root (next to each other, not mixed) and the requisite green salad.