My sister’s father-in-law owns an awesome restaurant that represents exactly what Italian food is. No frills, rustic, AMAZING tasting food. I could seriously eat there every day. And they make the BEST braciole.
Braciole may look intimidating, but it’s not. Just make sure your meat (which can also be pork, by the way) is thinly cut and pounded down, and that you have some butcher’s twine or toothpicks. I used toothpicks but I don’t recommend them for a braciole “virgin”…twine will keep your meat intact and your filling inside.
Raisins are a common ingredient…I LOVE them in braciole…I think they add a nice, sweet undertone…so please, include them in yours!
Again, quality ingredients are of utmost importance when it comes to Italian cooking. Don’t skimp out on anything! It’s all about simplicity and quality for the best tasting food.
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
3 tablespoons whole milk (you can also use a mix of heavy cream and lowfat milk)
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons pignoli nuts, toasted
1/4 cup pecorino romano, grated
2 eggs, hard boiled, chopped
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
3 large slices (about 1 lb.) beef bottom round, already cut into braciole slices by butcher, or cut and pounded thin
Prosciutto, thinly sliced
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cans crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
small amounts of basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper
Place bread crumbs in a bowl and add milk a little at a time. Make it so the bread becomes damp but not too wet. Stir in the eggs, parsley, cheese, pignoli nuts and garlic. Mix well and set aside.
***If your meat isn’t already pounded thin*** With a meat mallet, pound each slice of beef round to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.
Arrange one of the pounded meat slices in front of you and top with prosciutto. Spread some of the stuffing over the prosciutto, leaving a 1 inch border around the edges. Place a stick of provolone crosswise over the edge of the stuffing closest to you. Fold the border closest to you over the provolone, then fold the side borders in to overlap the edges of the stuffing. Roll into a compact roll.
Secure the end flap with twine or toothpicks. Finish all the rolls, then season with salt and pepper.
Put oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat with chopped garlic and add rolls. Turn after first side is seared. After second side is seared, turn again, then add tomatoes, seasonings, and tomato paste. Stir together carefully (work your spoon around the meat), turn heat down to low, and cover. Cook for at least 2 hours (the longer, the better), stirring occasionally. Serve with pasta.