Growing up, Sunday dinner was usually served in the dining room with a table-cloth and the “good” dishes. 99% of the time, Sunday dinner was meatballs, sauce and mostaccioli. Sometimes manicotti. Sometimes chicken cutlets with roasted potatoes. A green salad with oil and vinegar dressing rounded out the menu. If we were lucky, my sister and I were given a little bit of red wine mixed with 7 Up or Sprite. Because of those memories, I love a good old-fashioned Sunday dinner. It’s probably why I love wine so much too!
Since my mother-in-law is visiting this weekend, and because she’s been asking me to make it for her, I’m going to make one of my top 10 dinner items – Braciole. Basically, Braciole is a rolled steak, filled with all kinds of yummy things. Every Italian cook has their own take on Braciole. Here is mine – guard this recipe with your life because I don’t just give this to anybody! 🙂 Oh, and all measurements are approximate. I’ve been making this for so long I don’t measure anything. Just give it the old eyeball to see if it looks like you have enough stuffing components.
- 1 to 1-1/2 pound flank steak
- 4 oz. proscuitto, paper-thin slices
- 5 oz. grated fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 4 cloves garlic, rough chop
- 28 oz can of whole tomatoes (Cento brand San Marzano tomatoes are the best!)
- olive oil
- kitchen twine for tying up the braciole
Start by assembling all of your ingredients to make it easier on yourself. Put the flank steak on a board and cover with plastic wrap. Pound the meat with a meat mallet to tenderize and flatten a bit. Lay the steak flat and rub the side facing up with 1 TBSP of olive oil. Rub 2 of the chopped cloves of garlic all over the steak.
Place slices of proscuitto on the steak, covering as much of the surface area as you can. Next sprinkle the breadcrumbs, covering the steak. Next, add your parsley. Finally add the grated fontina cheese.
Starting at the far end of the steak roll it towards you, making sure that the stuffing stays in place as much as possible. Some will fall out of the sides, but you can shove it back in after it is rolled and tied. After you have rolled it fairly tight tie it together in four spots. Two towards the center and two at each end.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat a heavy skillet with a few tablespoons of olive oil and brown the braciole on all sides. Transfer to a dutch oven, cover and bake for one hour. While the braciole is baking, in the same skillet you browned the meat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and saute the two additional cloves of garlic. Add the entire can of tomatoes, including the liquid and cook it down, breaking the tomatoes apart as it cooks. Add salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar to cut the acid of the tomatoes. Once it cooks down, take off the heat.
After the braciole has baked, remove from dutch oven to a cutting board and let it rest, covered with aluminum foil for about 10 minutes. Take the juices from the dutch oven and add to the tomato sauce. Slice the braciole and garnish with tomato sauce. Use the rest of the sauce for your favorite pasta side. Pour your favorite red table wine, grab some Italian bread and you are good to go.
The combination of flavors is meaty, salty, garlicky, and the parsley brings a clean, bright element to the flavors. Trust me, if you make this it will become one of your “go to” dishes for impressing friends and family.