Friday, May 13, 2011


There is only one meat for the real braciole: A very lean cutlet of beef tenderized with a heavy meat pounder. The secret to great braciole is its fillings.

Ingredients for the Neopolitan pasta sauce:
3 pounds of chuck, blade or other inexpensive beef or veal, tied in a roll
10 pounds medium yellow onions, finely sliced
1 small to medium carrot, finely sliced
1 small rib celery, finely chopped
3 teaspoons salt
4 rounded T finely cut parsley
4 T bacon drippings, or canola or other vegetable oil
4 T canola or other vegetable oil
4 T extra virgin olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
4 ounces parmigiano reggiano
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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Ingredients for the braciole:
6 pieces of beef
3 ounces pine nuts
3 ounces dark seedless small raisins or currants
3 ounces mozzarella (firm, not fresh)
3 ounces prosciutto
3 ounces fresh bread crumbs
chopped Italian parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparing the sauce:
Pour 4 tablespoons of canola or other vegetable oil into the pot, followed by all the onions. Cook at a medium heat and keep turning until all onions are beginning to become translucent.

In a cast-iron frying pan, heat up the bacon drippings until they're almost smoking. Now place the beef roll in the pan and turn it until it is forms a light brown crust all the way around.

Remove the beef roll from the pan and place into the onion pot, covering the beef with onions and pouring the beef and bacon drippings into the pot. Deglaze with a little dry white wine if necessary. Turn to a medium-low simmer so that the juices from the beef and onions don't evaporate and leave the pot dry. Add a bit of water throughout the process if necessary. Simmer gently for 6 to 8 hours, taking care not to burn the sauce.

About one hour prior to eating, remove the beef roll and set it aside to rest. Stir the carrots and celery into the sauce.

About 15 minutes before eating, add the parsley and wine and shred the beef roll and stir back into the sauce.

About 3 minutes prior to serving, add all the salt and pepper as well as the extra virgin olive oil. Stir and ladle it over pasta. Grate parmigiano to cover the sauce with a layer of cheese and pop under the broiler for a couple of minutes, just enough to melt the cheese.

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Preparing the braciole:
Combine the filling ingredients and spread them over the pounded beef tenderoin cutlets. Roll up tightly and secure with toothpicks or tie with string.

Brown the braciole in a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil until they are golden to dark brown all around, ends included. Cover them in a big pot of Neopolitan pasta sauce and simmer for 4 to 8 hours.

Serves 6


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