[ Braciole for Italian Thanksgiving ]
Continuing with the Italian American Thanksgiving dinner theme, we are at the pasta dish. The meats served with the pasta make it special. Pasta and meatballs are the everyday standby. For holidays we add country style spare ribs and BRACIOLE. Braciole is a stuffed rolled flank steak.
Each family has a variation on the stuffing ingredients. Our recipe has raisins which add sweetness to the meat. I sometimes think braciole is the Italian version of stew. You braze and cook the meet until it “melts in your mouth”. Preparation is a number of hours; the longer you let it simmer, the better it tastes. You can prepare and cook ahead of time, which makes this a good Sunday project.
There were holidays that I cheated. I traveled from Boston to the butcher shop in the Bronx, NY. There, the butcher makes the brigole using pork or beef. So, your preparation of the flank steak, the pounding and rolling, is done. They will have their favorite stuffing. However, you have to cook it to it's tenderness.
Difficulty: 4 stars
Serves 3-4 people.
Tomato Sauce - Make your sauce ahead of time, or use your favorite brand.
Flank steak ~1+ lbs. ( Used 2 for this recipe)
Garlic crushed or chopped ~2 or 4 (use your own taste)
3/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup packed with raisins
2 T Parmesan to taste
Flank Steak Preparation
1. Pound the steak on both sides until thin enough to roll. Unless the meat is thin, it will be difficult to roll. I use a mallet.
2. Cover the steak with crushed garlic.
3. Layer the bacon in strips.
4. Sprinkle with the raisens, chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.
5. Roll up the steak and tie with at least three strings. I use cooking string.
Don't worry if stuff falls out, this is a very messy process. Since I used 2 lbs. of meat, I rolled 1/5 times, and the roll was becoming too thick. So, I cut the piece of meat in half making 2 rolls.
6. Coat a non-stick frying pan with oil. Brown/sear the meat roll.
7. Place the rolled up steak in your tomato sauce and cover and simmer. Just like you
would with your meatballs.
8. Check periodically that the sauce is not reducing too much, do not cook off
all the liquid. You want to make sure that the liquid is at least half way up the
steak or more. Typically cook for 2 hours or a bit more. If you cook it less the
steak will be very tough, so take your time. Remove from pot and let stand for 5
min and cut the short way in 1/2 - 1 inch wide rolls.
9. Spoon sauce over the meat. Serve with your pasta dish.