I was sitting here this morning, having a cup of chai and thinking, “I wonder when that post I did on braciole awhile back is going to post. I’m surprised I haven’t seen it. Maybe it’s today. Let’s check.”
Log in. Post is nowhere to be found. So now I’m in a spot of wondering whether I somehow lost it, or whether I dreamed doing it in the first place, or some combination of the two.
Did everyone have a nice holiday? Mine was lovely, although busy and tiring- by the end of Christmas night, my body felt like it might actually just collapse. But, I have to say, this was one of my favorite Christmases, because it was the first year that Jonathan really “got” what was going on. He understood the concept of Santa, although he had 0% interest and 100% loathing fear when we went to see him. He is an expert gift-unwrapper, and was so excited with each new thing that he opened. He was particularly fond of decorating cookies, as you can see:
But one of my favorite parts of the holiday was actually taking some time off from the blog. I’m sure that the vast majority of you, unless you’re a blogger yourself, don’t have any idea how much work running and growing this site actually entails. David says that I’m a hustler, because I’m always doing something, and that something ALWAYS has a purpose- whether its sharing recipes to Facebook, pinning on Pinterest, endless sharing groups, not to mention the cooking, photographing, editing, and writing. Then the cycle starts all over again. It can be exhausting.
So I gave myself a little vacation, shared only what I wanted to and when I wanted to, and hoped and prayed that it wouldn’t make a difference in my page views. It didn’t. They actually increased. *Eye roll*
Now, onto the braciole, which I have wanted to try making myself for a long time. If you’re unsure what it is, think of it as the “turducken” of Italian cuisine- sausage rolled inside prosciutto rolled inside flank steak. The whole thing is then tied up and braised in a tomato sauce. I was curious how this was going to be, since when I typically cook flank steak it’s done quickly on the grill.
This was great and easier to do than I expected. The prepwork was minimal- nothing needed to be precooked, all I had to do was assemble it, make a quick tomato sauce, and then let it bathe for a few hours in the oven. Served with polenta, it was tasty, tender, and a repeater for sure. The only modification that I am making to the written recipe is the addition of more tomato- I think this would be even better if it was a little “wetter.” I seemed to lose a lot of liquid during cooking.
I also think you could do this in the crockpot, but you’re not really saving yourself any effort there- you would cook it on LOW for about 6 hours or so. You could assemble the components the night before to better suit this for busy mornings.
- 1/4 lb italian sausage
- 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs
- 2 T parmesan
- 1 T fresh parsley
- 1 T fresh basil
- 1 egg
- 1-2 lb piece flank steak
- 1/8 lb prosciutto thinly sliced (3-4 slices)
- For the Sauce:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 carrot finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 rib celery finely chopped
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1 T anchovy paste
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
- 1-28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 T dried oregano
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the sausage, bread crumbs, parmesan, herbs, and egg. Stir together using a fork until evenly combined.
- Sandwich your flank steak between two pieces of saran wrap. Pound out gently until it is mostly rectangular and approximately 1/4" thick- the longer your rectangle, the better.
- Place the prosciutto slices evenly over the top of the steak. Add the sausage stuffing and spread it out evenly. Leave a 1/4" border around all sides.
- Starting at the short side, roll up the steak and tie with cooking twine. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large dutch oven or other oven safe, lidded pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, garlic and celery and saute for approximately 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste, anchovy paste, then pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce and oregano.
- Place the steak in the pot and pour sauce over. Cover and cook in preheated oven for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
- Remove from pot and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Cut crosswise into slices and serve topped with additional sauce.