A dear Italian friend of mine gave me this recipe. It has all the flavors of braciole with less fuss. Instead of stuffing and tying the roast, you sprinkle a gremolata with similar ingredients to the classic braciole stuffing over the roast at the end. Easy and very tasty. —Leith Devine
In a deep frying pan, brown the pancetta until crisp. Remove to a plate. Dry the pot roast and season with salt and pepper. Brown the meat on both sides in the pancetta drippings. Remove the roast and set aside.
Into the hot pan, add the onion and celery and saute until soft. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cooked pancetta, the can of tomatoes, basil and bay leaf and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the sauce into the crockpot. Place the roast on top of the sauce.
Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low until the roast is falling apart tender.
Remove roast from crockpot and serve with sauce and gremolata on top.
Gremolata: Over low heat in a small saucepan, add olive oil and breadcrumbs. Toast until the crumbs are brown. Add the Italian herbs, parsley and lemon zest. Stir to combine and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool in the refrigerator. When cool, add the cheese and stir to combine. Don't add the cheese when it's hot!
To roast in the oven, brown roast in a dutch oven and follow the above directions. Keep the sauce in the dutch oven and add the roast on top, then bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 2-3 hours or until roast is tender.