Hye Thyme Cafe: Beef Rollatini

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beef Rollatini

Leave it to me. I didn't think this was going to turn out well, so I was sort of half heartedly snapping pics as I went along. Meanwhile, it turned out great and everyone loved it!! Typical.  What happened was that we had a big family Sukiyaki night on Wednesday, and I found out we still had a lot of beef left over. Nobody was in the mood for Philly Cheese Steaks tonight, so this popped into my head as an alternative.

The reason I didn't think it would turn out well was that I realized the beef had all sort of fused together and was more like a plate of beef "threads" than the beautiful thin slices it started out as. The two "rolls" pictured above were all I managed to assemble. The rest of the beef was so uncooperative, I just sort of improvised and threw it together lasagna style - a layer of sauce, then a layer of beef, the veggies over that, another layer of beef and then sauce. Didn't matter. It was a BIG hit!

Thin sliced beef
2 small zucchini
2 small summer squash
1 lg red onion
10-12 pickled peppadew peppers

2 T butter
2 T flour
28 oz can crushed tomatoes with basil
1 c Cabernet Sauvignon wine
jarred minced garlic with red pepper

I knew the beef was so thin it wouldn't take long to cook, so I needed to make sure the veggies would cook at the same rate. I was originally thinking about blanching the squashes, then I thought about cutting them into matchsticks. I ended up going with a veggie peeler to get super thin slices. I also decided to pre-cook the peppers and onions.

So, once you've got everything sliced, go ahead and heat a pan with a tablespoon or two of butter over medium heat and slowly caramelize your onions. If I was doing them in olive oil, I would have added a little salt up front, but I was using butter today. When they started to cook down, I did add a pinch of sugar. Once those are done, remove them from the pan to a small plate and toss the peppers in the same pan with a little of the minced garlic with red pepper until soft. If you need to, add a little more butter or a shot of olive oil.  

I can't tell you how much we all love those peppers! They're hot, but very sweet at the same time. I can't help it. Every time I walk by an olive bar and see them, I have to buy some. I hear them calling my name "Pssst, Chrissy, over here. You know you want to take us home with you!"

While you're cooking your onions and peppers, you can get your sauce going in another pot. I wanted it to be on the thick side, so I started by melting the butter and whisking in the flour, cooking it until it was a nice golden roux. Then I added the tomatoes, about a teaspoon of the minced garlic with red pepper, and the wine. I just let that bubble over medium heat until I was ready for it.

You might want to work on a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap in case your beef gives you a hard time. That way, you can used it as a tool to help you roll. Depending on how big your slices are, lay one (or two overlapping side-by-side) on your work surface, lay a slice or two of the squash down the center, top that with your caramelized onion and peppers, then the zucchini, and roll it. Use the chives to secure the ends, then coat the bottom of a casserole dish with some of your sauce and start placing your rolls.

Like I said, two rolls was all I could manage because the beef had all fused together, so over the rest of the casserole dish, I just spread out the beef the best I could, covered it with the veggies in the same manner as the rolls, topped it with the rest of the beef and then sauce. I was afraid cutting it when it came out would be a nightmare, but even that wasn't too bad!

Bake at 350 until done. For most people, about 20" should be good, but we've got an eater who is phobic about stuff potentially being underdone, so I let it go for 30". Since I didn't end up needing the chives for "ties," I chopped them up and sprinkled them on top. You will probably have more sauce left too, so you can hit it with more sauce if you want.

See the squash and zucchini peeking out the end? 


Here's a shot of the lasagna version ...

I know, the plate is different. I was trying out a sample I received from Marx Foods. These plates were actually made from palm leaves! I'm testing them out with different things before I comment.



  1. Looks yummy! Great ideas are born from leftover foods is what I always say.


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