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26 November 2014

Nettle-Filled Beef Rolls in Red Wine & Balsamic Vinegar

Nettles have always been considered the bothersome weeds at home. My kids (dog included) learned to stay away from them after experiencing the pain that comes after touching them. You know how those little ones are. They only listen to you after experiencing the pain themselves. The dog's yelp and shrilly shrieks of Mommy seal the promise of never going close to them anymore.

The thing is, we have quite an abundant growth of nettles around the house that I keep on pulling and throwing away. They are delicious with risotto (which I have to share pretty soon too) but my cooking with them is limited there. When I was in the Republic of Georgia last spring, one of the best dishes I had was a very simple and fresh tasting plate of sautèed nettles. 

So when I came back home, I gathered some of the nettles growing around the house and sautèed them. But I didn't stop there. I used them as stuffing to the beef rolls I was thinking of making and then I cooked them in Saperavi red wine that originated from the Kakheti region of Georgia. While I made my husband try the wine that was given to me during that trip, I poured some in the saucepan while I was cooking. The result was delicious. So let me share with you this recipe. I hope you are all having a wonderful week!

More Dishes with Red Wine and Balsamic Vinegar:

Veal in Barolo and Grapes
Slow-Roasted Cherries with Brandy & Balsamic Vinegar
Beef Stew in Chorizo and Red Wine Sauce with Polenta

Nettle-Filled Beef Rolls in Red Wine and Balsamic Vinegar

Serves 2

  • Extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup sliced leeks  
  • 3 cups rinsed nettle
  • 2 beef tenderloin fillet
  • Salt  
  • Pepper 
  • 1-1/2 cups full bodied red wine
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I used Monari Federzoni's IGP Invecchiato Etichetta Oro)
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  1. Over medium heat, in a saucepan with about 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Sautè the garlic then when it turns golden brown, discard. 
  2. Sautè the leeks. Toss for 2 minutes then add the nettles. Cook for 5 minutes then sprinkle with salt and pepper. When it is cooked, transfer to a plate and set aside.
  3. Tenderize the beef by sandwiching it between two sheets of plastic wrap then pound with a mallet.
  4. Lay the meat flat on a plate then put some nettle on top. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Roll then close with a toothpick.
  5. Over medium heat, in a saucepan with extra virgin olive oil, brown the beef rolls until cooked through. 
  6. Pour the wine, balsamic vinegar and the sugar. Let it boil then simmer until the sauce is reduced. Adjust the taste by adding more salt & pepper.
  7. When the beef rolls are cooked, slice them to shorter pieces. 
  8. Drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil.
  9. Serve while warm.