Monday, December 20, 2010

Braciola

I find it really difficult to not say Braciola in a heavy Italian accent while using a hand gesture. Anyway, Braciola is a southern Italian dish that refers to a dish where a slice of meat is topped with different ingredients, rolled up and baked. This is easy to make and pretty economical, especially for entertaining, but it does take a while to cook. This is so the meat can become super tender. This recipe is courtesy of Giada de Laurentiis. It uses flank steak, which is baked and basted in marinara sauce. I made it for my annual get together with my closest and dearest friends. It is great dish for the holidays.

Ingredients:
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/3 cup grated Provolone cheese
1/2 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
2 Tbsps. chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
4 Tbsps. olive oil
1 flank steak
1 tsp sea salt (I used Kosher)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
kitchen twine
1 cup dry white wine
3 and 1/4 cups marinara sauce (See the recipe here.)

In a medium bowl, stir the cheeses, bread crumbs, parsley and garlic to blend. Stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and set aside. Lay the flank steak flat on the work surface, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture evently over the steak to cover the top evenly.


Starting at one short end, roll up the steak as for a jelly roll and enclose the filling completely. (Some might fall out. It's ok.) Using kitchen twine, tie the steak roll to secure. Sprinkle the braciola with the remaining salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large, heavy, oven proof frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over a medium flame. Add the braciola and cook until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Stir in the marinara sauce. Cover partially with foil and bake, turning the braciola and basting with the sauce every 30 minutes, until the meat is almost tender, about 1 and half hours. Uncover and continue baking until the meat is tender, about 30 minutes longer. (I doubled the recipe so I transferred the meat and sauce from the frying pan to a roasting pan.)

Remove the braciola from the sauce. Using a large, sharp knife, remove the kitchen twine and cut the braciola crosswise and diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Transfer the slices to plates. Spoon the sauce over and serve.

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