This wonderful comfort food is served throughout Italy. It is the Roman version of involtini – meat, chicken, or fish wrapped around a filling of vegetables, bread crumbs, cheese, and roasted slowly in tomato sauce. There are a million variations of braciole in Central and Southern Italy. This version combines the best of traditional recipes from Rome and Naples.
Roman Braised Rolled Beef in Tomato Sauce – Braciola
- Large heavy skillet or Dutch oven with cover
- Small bowl
- Meat tenderizer hammer, butcher twine
- 1½ lb Flank steak
- ½ cup Seasoned Italian bread crumbs
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup Hard provolone cheese, grated
- ⅔ cup Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 3 tbsp Fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp Basil leaves, chopped or 2 tsp dried
- 1 tbsp Pine nuts, optional
- 1 tbsp Currants or raisins, optional
- 5 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 cup White wine
- 32 oz Marinara tomato sauce
- Prepare Meat – Lay steak flat on a cutting board and flatten further with a meat mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Season meat with salt and pepper.In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, garlic, grated cheeses, parsley, and basil. Mix in pine nuts and raisins, if using. Stir in 2 tbsp oil.Sprinkle bread crumb mixture evenly across the top. Starting at the short end near you, roll the steak up tightly like a jelly roll. Using twine, tie roll about every ½-inch. Sprinkle outside with salt and pepper.
- Cook Braciole – Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a deep, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add meat and brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Add wine to pan, bring to a boil, and scrape up the loose bits on the bottom. Pour tomato sauce over the meat. Cover with a lid or tin foil and bake for 1 hour, basting meat every 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake another 30 minutes.
- Serve – Remove meat from the sauce to a cutting board. Discard the strings. Cut the meat crosswise into ½-inch thick slices. Transfer slices to individual serving plates and spoon sauce over and serve. Meat slices can be place over spaghetti and then sauced.