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SUNDAY DINNER AT NONNA’S HOUSE – BEEF BRACIOLE

Sunday Dinner At Nonna'S House - Beef Braciole

Truth be told, I am half Swedish and half English, so I never had an Italian Nonna, but I did marry an Italian guy who did.  This dish is a classic Sicilian dish that has a lot of variations, but traditionally consists of very thin slices of pounded beef that is tightly rolled with cheese,  breadcrumbs, and sometimes raisins, pine nuts, and/or herbs.  The rolls are then seared and cook low and slow all day in a tomato sauce.   The full recipe is listed below if you scroll to the bottom, but here is a step by step guide on how I make mine:

First, the beef.  Top round steak is the most common cut used for braciole.  Some supermarkets sell it already thinly sliced and packaged in the meat section, but if you don’t see it, you can ask your butcher to slice the top round into ¼” slices for you.  This is a traditionally ‘tough cut’ of meat, but slicing it very thin, tenderizing with a meat pounder, and braising in tomato sauce for several hours, created a tender and delicious result.

If the slices of steak are very long, cut them into portions about the size of one slice of prosciutto.  Pound each with the tenderizing side of a meat mallet to tenderize, but do not tear the meat.  Season the slices with about 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of black pepper.  Top each slice with 1 slice of the prosciutto.

Combine ½ cup of Italian breadcrumbs, ½ cup grated parmesan, 1 ½ cups shredded provolone, ½ cup yellow raisins, ½ cup chopped fresh basil, and ¼ cup of milk in a small bowl and massage everything together with your fingers until well-combined.  Spread this mixture evenly over the top of the prosciutto on each slice of beef.

Sunday Dinner At Nonna'S House - Beef Braciole

Tightly roll each slice, starting at the short end, tucking in any of the stuffing that escapes out of the sides as you roll.  Tie the rolls on each end with kitchen string to hold them together during cooking (or use toothpicks).

Sunday Dinner At Nonna'S House - Beef Braciole

Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large brasier or Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add the rolls and sear on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove to a plate.

Sunday Dinner At Nonna'S House - Beef Braciole

Add 1 medium chopped onion to the pan drippings, and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add 8 cloves of chopped garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Add I cup of red wine and cook for 2 minutes, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add ½ cup of beef stock, 1, 28-ounce crushed can and 1, 14-ounce can of diced San Marzano tomatoes, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 1 ½ tablespoons Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Italian seasoning, and 1 tablespoon of sugar to the pan.  Cook for 2-3 minutes more, stirring, until the sauce is at a low boil.

Add the beef rolls back into the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cover the pan and let cook for 2-2 ½ hours until the rolls are very tender, turning them in the sauce once or twice during cooking.  You can also cook in the oven at 325 if you prefer (just make sure you use an oven-proof pan).

Sunday Dinner At Nonna'S House - Beef Braciole

Cut off the strings and slice the rolls cross-wise.  Serve over pappardelle, risotto, or polenta.  Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with grated parmesan on the side.  Pour a big glass of red and mania!!

Sunday Dinner At Nonna'S House - Beef Braciole

If you don’t have them yet, you can get the DotB Ciao Bella Italian Spice Blend on the blog!

Sunday Dinner At Nonna'S House - Beef Braciole

BEEF BRACIOLE (INVOLTINI)

2-pounds top round steak, cut into thin ¼” slices (you can ask your butcher to do this)

2 ½ teaspoons salt, divided

1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

10-12 slices prosciutto

½ cup Italian breadcrumbs

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 ½ cups shredded provolone cheese

½ cup raisins

½ cup chopped basil

¼ cup milk

¼ cup olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

8 large cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup dry red wine

½ cup beef stock

1, 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)

1, 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)

1 ½ tablespoon Dish off the Block Ciao Bella Italian Spice Blend

1 tablespoon sugar

If the slices of steak are very long, cut them into portions about the size of one slice of prosciutto.  Pound with the tenderizing side of a meat mallet to tenderize.  Season the slices with about 1 teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the black pepper.  Top each slice with 1 slice of the prosciutto.

Combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, provolone, raisins, basil, and milk in a small bowl and massage everything together with your fingers until well-combined.  Spread this mixture evenly over the top of the prosciutto on each slice of beef.

Tightly roll each slice, starting at the short end, tucking in any of the stuffing that escapes out of the sides as you roll.  Tie the rolls on each end with kitchen string to hold them together during cooking (or use toothpicks).

Heat the olive oil in a large brasier or Dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add the rolls and sear on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove to a plate.

Add the onions to the pan drippings, and cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Add the red wine and cook for 2 minutes, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add the beef stock, tomatoes, the remaining salt and pepper, the Italian seasoning, and sugar to the pan.  Cook for 2-3 minutes more, stirring, until the sauce is at a low boil.

Add the beef rolls back into the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cover the pan and let cook for 2-2 ½ hours until the rolls are very tender, turning them in the sauce once or twice during cooking.  You can also cook in the oven at 325 if you prefer (just make sure you use an oven-proof pan!).

Cut off the strings and slice the rolls cross-wise.  Serve over pappardelle, risotto, or polenta.  Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with grated parmesan on the side.

Sunday Dinner At Nonna'S House - Beef Braciole

 

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