Today’s Tasting: Braciola

Ingredients for Braciola:
  1. 3½# piece of bottom round sliced into ¼” thick slices.

  2. 4-5 cloves of garlic

  3. ¼ cup pignoli (pine nuts) lightly toasted

  4. ½ cup flat leafed) Italian parsley

  5. 3-4 tsp salt and pepper

  6. ¼-½ loaf of italian bread (day old best) thinly sliced,crust removed

  7. 3-4 Tbs Olive oil

  8. 1 cup dried currants

  9. 2-3 thin slices of Pecorino Romano for each roulade

  10. 1-2 qts “Sunday gravy” or your favorite tomato sauce

  11. Chopped parsley for garnish

  12. 2-3 additional Tbs olive oil for browning meat

Directions for Braciola:

The easiest way to prepare the beef is to have a good rapport with your butcher.  Get him to cut a 3½-4 pound piece of bottom round into ¼ inch thick slices on the slicer. Depending on the weight you should get 14 or more slices of beef.

In a food processor place the garlic, pine nuts,parsley, and 1 tsp each salt and pepper.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Scoop out into a mixing bowl and reserve.

Place the bread slices into the processor next and pulse until you have coarse crumbs.  By eye scoop the crumbs into the mixing bowl with the garlic mixture until you have about two cups of filling.

Place any remaining crumbs in an air tight zip lock bag and freeze for another day.

Add the currants to the mixture and combine thoroughly, then add olive oil until the mixture is slightly moist and holds together loosely.

Depending on how large your work area is, layout the beef slices and  with a meat tenderizer or mallet pound the slices to about 1/8 inch in thickness, then lightly salt and pepper one side and turn over and lightly salt and pepper the other sides.

The slices of bottom round will be slightly triangular in shape.  Place 2-3 Tbs of the filling  at the wide end of the triangle then with a peeler shave 2 or 3 pieces of the Pecorino Romano on top of the filling.

Begin to roll up the beef folding the sides in to encapsulate the filling and continue to roll to the thin end and secure with one toothpick to hold the roll closed.

All this can be done in advance of cooking.  the entire cooking time will be about 3 hours 15 minutes.

When you are ready to cook set your oven on 300º-325º and using either a large sauté pan or the non reactive pot you are going to cook in, place a small amount of olive oil and in batches brown all sides of the braciola and once browned remove to a warm plate.

When all are browned, place the sauce into the pot and bring up to medium simmer. place all the braciola into the pot so that they are covered with sauce, place the lid on the pot and set in the oven for 2-3 hours until the meat is fork tender.

Serve with pasta or noodles or even potatoes your choice as to what your family will like.

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