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Okay, I have been putting this off for weeks, but it snowed, then I sliced my finger, so here I am.
I’ve started a new project with my Nonna.
Nonna has been the first person I fell in love with, and she is secretly my best friend. Of course she is my Nonna and she is not getting younger.
I have designed a special project with my grandmother; we will cook our way through our family recipes together. It’s the perfect project that brings us together and some really great recipes your way.
Braciole is one of these recipes. I’ve already shared my Pasta Primavera recipe, which is also a family recipe, and a must taste!
Like many of the best Italian recipes, this requires few ingredients and little skill. The hardest challenge with this dish is possibly the rolling and tying of the Braciole. Finding one big slab of meat (or maybe making personal sized portions) will make your job easier.
In the pictures I used about 6 slices of meat and “knit” them together with my adorable baby meat mallet. To really get the right cut you may want to consult your neighborhood butcher. It’s very similar to a flank steak, but ultra thin. You can also buy a flank and beat it till its thin enough to roll.
Another handy tip for this recipe is a meat thermometer if you have a hard time telling if this dish is cooked all the way through. Your looking for 145 degrees on your meat thermometer. Personally, I just let the meat cook in the sauce long for as long as I can stand it and then I know it’s ready.
This dish can easily be paired with some pasta and red sauce (use the sauce from the meat if you have enough), or my friends and I took a non-traditional route and cooked some veggies with our Braciole.
You really can’t go wrong with a pairing, but be sure you are drinking red wine 🙂
Time: 30 – 40 minutes
- 2lbs of thin flat beef steaks (flank steak beaten thin)
- ¼ – ½ cup pine nuts
- ½ cup Grated Romano Cheese
- 6 tbsp Capers
- ¼ – ½ cup Raisins
- ¼ lb of Mortadella (in a pinch: Ham, or Prosciutto)
- ¼ cup unflavored bread crumbs
- 1-2 cans of tomato paste
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Olive Oil, for the pan
- Baker’s twine
- Begin by taking your stress out on your meat. Pound your flank steak into a thin slab.
- Arrange three strings under your meat to make the tie up easier. (you can totally skip this too)
- Start layering all of your ingredients. Start with your mortadella, covering your meat all over. Next, in no particular order, add your bread crumbs, romano cheese, pine nuts, capers and raisins.
- Start at the short end and begin to roll up your flank. Keeping a tight roll so it stays together when you cut it later.
- Use your twine to tie your meat together securely. I like to take three string to keep the roll from unraveling and another lengthwise to keep the stuffing from falling out.
- Once your Braciole is secure, heat your saucepan at medium high and add some Olive Oil to the pan to keep the meat from sticking. Place your Braciole in the pan and sear the outside. Rotate the Braciole around so all sides have been browned.
- Once the meat has a seared brown color all over add your sauce.
- I like to mix the tomato paste with water in a separate bowl until I get the right thinness. If you make your sauce too watery, no worries. Just let the sauce cook down.
- At this stage add some salt and pepper to your taste. Feel free to add some red pepper flakes for a kick.
- Let your Braciole cook and simmer on medium low for about 30 minutes or until done.
- Once it is cooked, cut off your strings (don’t want to serve that!) and slice the Braciole in disks, smother in the extra sauce and enjoy!