Home > Food, Wine > Sumptuous stuffed beef rolls

Sumptuous stuffed beef rolls

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes Yield: 4

Italian cooking is without doubt my favourite form of cuisine, so much so, that I sometimes wonder whether way back in the deep, dark past of the McFarlane Clan, there might be some Italian ancestry.

The Romans after all, came from the Italian peninsular way back in 40AD and left such legacies as Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonine Wall amongst other monumental constructions.

But it was the drought induced famine in Italy in the 1890’s that resulted in substantial immigration, when thousands of Italians sought a better life in Scotland.

Who knows how many of them found their way to Arrochar, between Loch Lomond and Loch Long, the ancestral lands of the McFarlane Clan, and became integrated into the Clan through marriage?

Genealogy aside, my dear late Mum’s love of Italian cooking must have rubbed of on me, and paging through one of her much loved books  – “The Heritage of Italian Cooking” – I happened upon a delightful recipe for stuffed veal rolls with fruit mustard.

Veal rapidly became beef – I have a problem with the thought of a milky eyed baby cow being knocked off to feed me with pale, insipid meat – fruit mustard became Dijon mustard, mild sausage became pork sausage, and voila! My recipe is born.

Ingredient Selection and Preparation

8 x beef schnitzels: your friendly local butcher will be able to cut them for you. Try to get them slightly oblong to facilitate the rolling process.

350g sausage meat: I used a ¾ pack of pork sausages. Just squeeze them out of the skins into a medium mixing bowl.

2 x slices white bread: remove the crusts and soak in milk.

2 egg yolks: this along with the bread will help to bind the filling. Separate using one of those fancy plastic gadgets, or just use your hands.

30g grated Parmesan cheese: Parmesan is great, but Grana Padana or Pecorino is a good substitute.

1tbsp Dijon mustard: the whole grain variety if you have it, otherwise the smooth one. You could use Hot English as well, but I find it too pungent in this dish.

½tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper: for seasoning the filling.

2tbsp olive oil: for browning the beef rolls.

100ml dry white wine

500gm pasta: the choice is yours, but I used spaghetti and it was lovely.

Juice of ½ a lemon

2 cloves garlic: crushed

2tbsp chopped parsley

50ml olive oil


Combine the sausage meat, egg yolks, cheese, mustard, salt and pepper in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Squeeze the bread as dry as possible, and add to the mixture. Discard the milk.

Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly.

Divide the mixture evenly between the eight beef schnitzels.

Roll carefully and tightly, and secure each with three cocktail skewers: one on each side, and one in the middle.

Set on a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

Heat the olive oil on a large shallow saucepan or frying pan over a medium heat.

Fry the rolls for 20 minutes, turning them often to brown well on all sides.

Deglaze the pan with half the white wine, then cover and cook over a low heat for a further 10 minutes, turning periodically.

The pasta water should be boiling by now, so add 2 to 3tsp of salt, then add the pasta.

Use the balance of the white wine to keep the bottom of the pan moist, and if you run out, use a bit of water.

Check that the pasta is cooked al dente (with a subtle “bite”). Drain it thoroughly and anoint it with the lemon juice, crushed garlic, olive oil and parsley and mix well to coat the pasta.

Divide between four plates, and set two beef rolls atop each. You may also serve with a small side salad. Enjoy!

Wine Match

The Dijon mustard in the filling, together with the slight spiciness of the pork sausage meat, lends a piquancy that just begs for a Shiraz.

Waterkloof Estate on the southern slopes of the Schapenberg makes must such a Shiraz, and a bottle of the 2007 Circumstance Shiraz found its way home the other day.

Deep clear purple in colour, the nose is al vibrant red berry fruit, with logan berries dominating, underpinned by a note of white pepper and clove.

The fruit follows briskly onto the palate, and the well integrated wood rounds it out in mid palate.

The finish is long and succulent, and the tannins have the very slightest hint of brawniness, but right at the tail end.

Categories: Food, Wine
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