Thursday, February 9, 2006

Recipe: Generalized Rollup (my favorite food)

Category:   Meat & Seafood
Style:   American
Special Consideration:   Quick and Easy
Servings:   4-6


This is a flexible, frugal dish that my parents encountered in college, and have passed on to my generation. It's very filling and pretty cheap - multiple people can have a meal or two for the cost of one fast-food "value meal" - so it's a good choice for large families, college students, and all the rest of us who aren't fabulously wealthy just yet.

"Hamburger Rollup" was my favorite dish as a child, and of course my mother handed down the recipe. Nowadays, it might be made using other ground meat instead of hamburger, but it can be adapted to fit just about any diet.

Ground meat - This can be beef, turkey, buffalo, ostrich, a ground meat substitute, or... well, basically whatever you prefer. It takes less than a pound to feed three people, and a little over a pound would feed five.

Biscuit dough
- You can make it from scratch. You can use a mix, like Bisquick. I suspect even pre-made Pillsbury biscuit dough from the refrigerated section at the supermarket would work, but I haven't tried it yet.  I used to buy little pouches of just-add-water Bisquick mix that had dried milk in them, but the dried milk would form hard clumps, so now I use just-add-milk Bisquick mix, the same kind I'd use for waffles.

Milk - a tablespoon or two.  Can be soy milk or whatever you like.
Flour - a tablespoon or two again.  Doesn't matter if it's wheat, white, gluten-free, etc.

Anything else you feel like adding. I usually put in chopped onions and diced green peppers, but chopped zucchini would also work, or garlic, or beans, or spices, or... whatever! Really!

Any toppings you want. Some folks put pasta sauce and shredded mozarella on theirs before eating it; others use melted American cheese. The Amish top theirs with a mushroom sauce. I eat mine plain. This is 
totally about doing things your way.


Find a skillet, a wooden spoon to stir stuff around a bit, a couple bowls and a baking pan or pie plate (Pyrex ones work well for this).

If you're putting in onions, cook them some first, in the skillet.

Add the meat to the skillet and cook it 'til it's browned.

Add the flour and milk to this mix, and set it all aside to cool. If you can chill it for a bit in a refrigerator or freezer, it'll be even easier to work with. (Note: You can make a big batch of this stuff and freeze it for later use.)

Mix up some biscuit dough (or take it out of the container you bought it in, you lazy slacker!) and roll it out flat.

Spread the filling out on the flat dough.
If you're putting in diced peppers or whatever, sprinkle them on top of the filling.

Starting at one edge of the dough, roll it up, as if you were rolling up a rug (which just happened to have meat spread all over it). When you're done, you'll have a long thing of roughly cylindrical shape with a spiral cross-section.

Cut this into segments about 2 inches long (thus revealing the spiral cross-section) and arrange them, spiral side up, in a buttered/greased/sprayed baking pan. They don't need to have a lot of space between them, but the dough will expand a little when baked.
Add any toppings you need to put on before baking.

Stick the baking pan in the oven for 20 minutes at 425 F / 220 C. Basically, just follow the instructions for baking your biscuit dough - the filling is already cooked, after all.

Remove it from the oven, and use a spatula to take out individual segments. If you want to put condiments on 'em, go for it. Stuff yourself. If you've got leftovers, they'll keep for a couple days in the refrigerator, and can be reheated in the oven or microwave.

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