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Beef Braciole

Beef Braciole

slow-cooked beef braciola stuffed with Italian cheeses, breadcrumbs and garlic

Beef braciola is a special Italian meal I'll make only for certain occasions. It's labor intensive, requires several hours to cook and is a bit pricey, to boot. WHY would anyone ever bother, you ask?

It's. Just. That. Good. 

 "braciola" is a southern Italian dish of a thin cut of meat layered with toppings, rolled and baked.

"braciola" is a southern Italian dish of a thin cut of meat layered with toppings, rolled and baked.

We used a large flank steak and pounded it thin between two sheets of plastic wrap, then seasoned with salt and pepper before adding a generous layer of garlic, cheese and breadcrumbs. Finally it's rolled, tied and browned in a skillet. 

 all those lovely brown bits on the bottom ("fond") give the sauce an amazing depth of flavor! 

all those lovely brown bits on the bottom ("fond") give the sauce an amazing depth of flavor! 

White wine deglazes the pan beautifully, bringing up all those tasty brown bits of meat and my husband's (not-so-secret) family recipe for sauce is the final touch that makes this meal shine! It's a fairly easy dish to prepare, just time consuming.  Most of it is "hands-off" though.

 I relax with wine and grab the camera while Matt slices & plates it up. 

I relax with wine and grab the camera while Matt slices & plates it up. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (2 pound) flank steak, pounded thin
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup Parmesan-Pecorino blend cheese, grated  
  • 1/3 Provolone or Mozzerella cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup dry white wine
 even the little guys get excited about braciole!

even the little guys get excited about braciole!

Directions: 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheeses, bread crumbs, TWO Tablespoons olive oil, parsley and garlic.  Set aside.  Season each side of the steak with the salt and pepper.  Spread the cheese mixture evenly over the top of the meat and roll it up LENGTHWISE (you want a long, thin roll, not a short fat one).  The filling will try to spill out, keep it contained as best as you can...stuff it back into the ends.  Secure it from all sides with kitchen twine.  (I find that a surgeon's knot works best since it may be slippery.) Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large oven-proof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Brown the meat for about two minutes on each side. Carefully pour in the wine and bring to a boil. Pour the marinara sauce around and over the meat. Partially cover it with a foil tent and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn it over a quarter of the way, basting with the sauce. Recover with foil and continue the process until the meat is almost tender, about another hour. Uncover and finish baking until meat is tender throughout, another 30 minutes. Total cooking time should be approximately 2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven, set the braciola on a cutting board or platter,  slice into half inch thick pieces on the diagonal. Spoon the pan sauce over the top, garnish with remaining parsley and serve!

serves 4 

recipe from Giada De Laurentiis 

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