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Author Notes: This is my adaptation of a beef dish we always had for special Italian gatherings. Beef that is butterflied, filled with cheese, garlic, Italian parsley, basil and prosciutto, rolled together and then braised in an Italian tomato sauce. My mother always used round steak with smoked bacon and cut them into an individual size about the size of a large meatball. I like to make large rolls using flank with prosciutto, and serve sliced and arranged on a sauced platter. Either way, as the braciole simmers, it becomes tender, mouth-watering juicy, releasing a wonderful flavor throughout the kitchen; you will know it is done when the sauce sticks to the meat and the aroma fills the air with Italian goodness. Serve with pasta or polenta and a salad; leftover slices are great for a sandwich the next day. SPECIAL NOTE: Normally we will have braciole during the cooler months; but during the summer we cook it outdoors. Grill to brown the meat on all sides, over direct heat, then simmer, covered in sauce using a cast iron dutch oven. This method ends in a delicious smoky flavored braciole. - lapadia
Food52 Review: I grew up eating Braciole, my mother made it often when she made a mixed meat ragu. So Lapadia's recipe brought back some wonderful memories. I'm glad that my mother doesn't use a computer so she won't see this, because I love Lapadia's version more than hers. I was a little intimidated at the idea of butterflying a flank steak but Lapadia made this step so easy by providing a link to a wonderful how-to video. Thanks to that I was successful. The filling is delicious. It was a perfect balance of flavors. The only change I made was not to the braciole itself but to the sauce; I used basil instead of oregano. The braciole flavored the sauce so beautifully it was irresistible and I thoroughly enjoyed every bite. This recipe is a keeper! - sdebrango - sdebrango
MEAT & FILLING
- 1-1/2 lb flank - butterflied
- Minced garlic; at least 4 cloves
- Chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 1/2 cup fresh basil - chiffonade
- 1 cup micro-plane grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 6-8 thin slices prosciutto
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 lb crushed plum tomatoes with basil
- 6-8 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- Butterfly the flank - see step 2 (or ask the butcher to do it). Cover with plastic wrap and pound out it out to an even thickness; and you can trim to square off the meat, if needed - for easy for rolling. At this point decide if you would like to make one large roll or smaller rolls; if not, then divide the meat into 2-3 pieces.
- Here is a helpful 1 minute demo butterflying the flank: http://www.cuisineathome.com/extras/050/video/butterflying-flank-steak/
- Sprinkle the interior of meat with pepper, garlic, parsley, basil, cheese and prosciutto (I don’t salt this, the cheese is enough).
- Roll the meat jellyroll fashion with the grain - so that it will be cut against the grain when serving. Tie the roll(s) up with butcher string about every 1-1/2 inch.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet and sear to brown the meat thoroughly on all sides.
- Add the crushed plum tomatoes and seasonings to the browned braciole. Cover skillet. Simmer the meat for at least 2 hours, or until beef is tender when pierced with a knife.
- When ready, place on serving platter, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, cut the string and slice about every 2 inches…spoon some sauce over and serve.