Before I get to all the facts about this recipe, I just want to say that my heart, thoughts, and prayers go out to everyone here in NY (and all over) that were effected by Sandy. Hopefully this recipe finds you well and lucky enough to have a home to cook it in. Maybe if you know someone that has had a loss, this would be great to make and invite them over, it's great for a lot of people, not a lot of work, and definitely warms your soul (and your tummy). No matter who or what you believe in, I think this would be a good time to take a minute before eating this meal to really be thankful for what you have, because at this moment some people have nothing. If anyone in the NYC/LI area needs a helping hand cooking or anything like that email me- I am free on the weekends. xoxo
On a lighter note, braciole is one of those dinners you cook all Sunday and is especially good for a chilly day- which we just started experiencing here in NY.
Braciole is an Italian dish, mainly thin pieces of beef rolled up and pan fried, then braised (cooked low and slow) in liquid. Serve alongside some pasta (Rigatoni is my personal fav) and a salad with some bread for all the extra sauce.
Not exactly the healthiest meal, but it is easy and can feed a lot of hungry people. This recipe takes about three hours to complete, so make sure you prep for that.
Also, since there are so few ingredients, I would definitely make the effort to use fresh herbs here. I used a roast, then sliced it myself because it was the cut of meat that was on sale this week. Try to get a cheap cut of meat, because we cook it so long that it is going to be super tender regardless.
- A tough cut of beef- traditionally its flank steak, but I used bottom round roast and cut into thin slices, then pounded out thin. The roast was a little over 3 lbs and made about 18 rolls.
- 1 cup of bread crumbs
- 1 handful of fresh parsley
- small handful of fresh basil
- 1/2 cup of pecorino cheese, grated
- 2 tbsp of pine nuts, toasted
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced (2 for the filling, 3 for the sauce)
- salt, pepper, olive oil
- 1 cup of red wine
- 1 (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
- 14 oz of water (just fill the 28 oz tomato can half way with water-good way to get all the sauce out of the cans too)
- 1 (8 0z) can of tomato sauce
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 small carrots, chopped
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Combine the bread crumbs, parsley, basil, cheese, pine nuts, and 2 garlic cloves into a bowl. Mix to combine.
- In this case, slice your beef and then pound thin (you don't have to go to crazy here, just try and cut as thin as possible and then I just pounded a bit with my hands to flatten). The last bit of beef was too small to make into slices so I just cut into small bite sizes which we'll just throw in along with the sauce. (No wasting here!)
- On each slice, top with some of our bread crumb filling and then tightly roll up and tie with some string (or toothpicks). Definitely use the string, I think it makes handling them and frying them so much easier.
- In a large deep skillet or dutch oven, put heat on high and get some olive oil hot. Season the meat with salt and pepper then fry each roll until brown on all sides (I had to do this in two batches to ensure correct browning). Don't forget to brown the little bite sized left over pieces too!
- Remove all beef and reserve. Then if pan is dry, add a bit more oil and saute the onion, carrot and 3 garlic cloves for a couple minutes until soft.
- Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Let that cook out for a minute or two. (If you don't have wine, or don't want to use it, use beef broth- but if you have the wine- SO use it- it tastes amazing)
- Then add your tomatoes- crushed and sauce. Then add the water, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. I added some salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add your beef rolls back into the sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover and then put into the oven.
- Cook for one hour, then check on it- stir it. Then put back in for another hour. Check it again- if it's tender- eat it! If not, cook for another half an hour. Before serving make sure you taste the sauce to make sure it is seasoned properly.
- Just boil some pasta and serve!