I work five blocks from one of Philadelphia’s hidden treasures, Rieker’s Prime Meats, a German butcher and deli. Rieker’s is located in Fox Chase, a section of Philadelphia nestled between Elkins Park and Northeast Philly. I feel incredibly lucky to work so close to this unique place. Not only do they make the wursts, sauerkraut, and rouladen in house, Rieker’s also imports European chocolates (mostly German and Swiss), pierogies, and German condiments. During the holidays the store is practically bursting with exotic sweets and pastries, or so I’ve been informed by my coworkers. I hope they are right about this one.
Tonight while walking to the train station right behind Rieker’s, I decided a German-style meal was in order but that I didn’t feel like cooking too much since I was only cooking for myself. I walked back to the butcher, bought one single rouladen, 1/4 pound of the succulent sauerkraut (yeah, I love the stuff), and a bag of dried spaetzle. Under most circumstances I would make my own spaetzle, having been coached by my Berks County relatives I am fairly good at it, but tonight was not the night for making noodles. I opted for the rouladen because I figured it wouldn’t take long to cook as it is a pre-portioned amount of food.
German rouladen is delicious, if you like meat that is– this particular one was comprised of a beef shank pounded and flattened, meatloaf, bacon and mustard rolled into a little pouch of… well, meat. Some folks will add cheese to the roll, but really it isn’t needed. To prepare dinner, I seared the unholy alliance of meats on my beloved cast iron skillet, deglazed the pan with some Williamette Pinot Noir, added shallots and garlic to the mix, then returned the roll into the pan and braised it in the oven at 350 degress for 30 minutes. I served it over hot, buttered spaetzle and the pan gravy.
Rieker’s did not disappoint, the meat roll was delicious! I’ve also had their Oktoberfest Bratwurst which was clearly homemade, but amazingly tasty and herbal. It’s definitely worth the jaunt up to Fox Chase to grab reasonably-priced gourmet meat and German chocolates!
Rieker’s Prime Meats
7979 Oxford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19111