Last Friday was Hiram’s birthday, and as is the tradition at our house, the birthday person chose the menu. So what did the birthday boy choose? Round Steak Roll-Ups, a dish I made for him when we were dating in college, and we looked like this:
Instead of like this:
I haven’t made the dish in at least 20 years, probably longer. After a diligent search of my old cookbooks, it seemed the recipe, like Hiram’s hair and my unlined face, was long gone. Today’s recipe is my best recollection of the original, and it received the coveted Hiram seal of approval…though neither of us could eat quite as much of it as we did the first time it graced our table.
Round Steak Roll-Ups
1 1/2 pounds tenderized round steak
1 4 ounce can mushroom pieces, finely minced
1/2 cup onion, finely minced
2 tablespoons sweet pepper, finely minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Cut round steak into 4, roughly rectangular pieces. Put a couple teaspoons of sweet pepper, onion, and mushroom on each piece. Roll each piece up, from the long side, and secure with toothpicks.
Heat oil in frying pan on medium-high heat. Put rolled up steak pieces in pan and brown, turning periodically until all sides are brown. Add remaining onion near the end of browning process, and continue cooking until they begin to caramelize. Add 1 1/2 cups water and bring to boil. Add any remaining mushrooms and pepper. Turn down heat until liquid simmers gently. Put lid on pan and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Check liquid level in pan every 15 minutes, and add water if needed. After 2 hours, remove meat to serving platter and cover.
Gravy: Measure remaining liquid and add enough water to make 1 1/2 cups. (You can use potato water for this.) Return liquid to pan and bring to slow boil. Put 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup water in a jar or gravy shaker and shake until all lumps are gone. Slowly add flour/water mixture to liquid in frying pan, stirring constantly. Return to a slow boil and continue cooking for 2–3 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with meat and mashed potatoes.