Della Mia Famiglia Italiana Braciole

I grew up eating this at every of my Father’s Italian family gatherings. However, this was the first time I made it. I added my own touch by adding the sundried tomatoes and parsley, which gave it a nice pop of color. It wasn’t as hard as my Nanni had always made it seem.

Because this weekend is Easter, I am visiting my family (and cooking.) Today is Holy Saturday, and we are cooking this recipe, our sweet and spicy Italian sausages and meatballs in our homemade tomato sauce. We are doing this a day in advance so it’s easy to just reheat tomorrow in the big pot of sauce.

So you still want all the cooked meat to simmer in the tomato sauce for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Then when your schedule allows it, just let it cool down to room temperature and store it in the refrigerator overnight. About three hours before you plan on eating, let it sit out for about an hour to get to room temperature. Then heat it up on the lowest temperature for two hours.

We are serving it with rigatoni and homemade white bread tomorrow.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour and 20-30 minutes

Serves: 4 people

Ingredients:

  • 3 lb. Flank steak – top brown meat
  • ⅓ c. Italian breadcrumbs
  • ⅓ c. Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 3-4 sundried tomatoes, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Homemade tomato sauce

Supplies:

  • Wax paper
  • Meat hammer (one side flat, one side with points)
  • Shish kabob sticks, soaked in water

Directions:

Soak shish kabob sticks in water. Start to simmer your homemade tomato sauce in a pot.

In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese, sundried tomatoes, parsley, olive oil and a little water until it forms a paste. You may need to add more water and oil or breadcrumbs and cheese depending on whether or not the paste is too dry or liquidy.

Take the meat, roll it out on top of wax paper. Put another sheet of wax paper on top. If you have fragile countertops (like granite), put it on top of a cutting board. Then hammer in between wax paper until thin. This is to try to cut through the tough connected fat and ligaments, to make it tender. You might need to keep readjusting the meat to keep it in between the wax paper and on top of the cutting board.

The meat should be getting thinner and wider as you go. Start with the pointy side, then once the meat almost seems to be tearing apart, switch to the flat side of the hammer. Turn it over and hammer it with the flat side only.

Add the paste to the meat, keeping about 1/2 an inch away from the edges, like a pizza. Then roll up starting from the thinnest edge and push through the shish kabob sticks.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side, rubbing it into the meat.

Fry in a pan with a little olive oil, browning on the top and bottom. Then take the meat out, cutting in between the shish kabob sticks. For my size of meat, it made four smaller pieces. Put the meat back in the pan, browning the other two sides. This should take between 20-30 minutes all together.

It should look like this:

 

Braciole 3

As you can see, it’s okay if some of the paste comes out. It will still be delicious.

Lastly, take the shish kabob sticks out, then add the braciole to the tomato sauce and simmer for at least one hour.

Serve over a bowl of your choice of pasta, a ladle of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of cheese.

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