Wednesday, December 20, 2006

To try: Braciole

Aka rouladen if you're a good ol' German boy. Meatloaf version is Rachael Ray; steak version is haphazardly adapted from Alton Brown recipe which reviewers said was "like my Nonna's" and impressed "my seriously Italian girlfriend."

Alton advises on how to flatten flank steak, how to wrap n' roll and how to pitch a tinfoil tent here.

I loooove Alton, but after all that, Rachael's looks so much simpler it's probably what I'll try first!

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, pork and veal mix from the butcher's counter (meatloaf mix)
(3 cups tomato or spaghetti sauce plus
(1 pound flank steak: get butcher to butterfly it, then pound it 1/4-inch thick)

For braciole mix:

Salt and pepper
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 small white onion, grated
2 tablespoons golden or dark raisins, chopped
3 tablespoons pine nuts, chopped
3 tablespoons grated cheese, Parmigiano or Romano
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (rosemary, oregano)

For layering (skip for steak):
1 cup arugula leaves or baby spinach
6 slices prosciutto di Parma
6 slices deli sliced provolone

For drizzling:
Extra-virgin olive oil

Meatloaf version:
---Preheat oven to 450. Mix meat and next 10 ingredients. Flatten meat out on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet into a thin layer: 1/2-inch thick, 12 inches long by 6 to 8 inches wide.
---Layer on spinach, prosciutto and cheese, then roll the meat, using the waxed paper to help roll up into a large log, rolling up the short side to get a 12-inch long log.
---Drizzle the log with olive oil to coat lightly. Roast meatroll 20 minutes. Cut into 1-inch slices, 3 pieces per portion, and serve.

Thin steak version:

---Preheat oven to 350.
---Pound steak flat under plastic. Mix next 10 ingredients into a paste.
---Brush steak with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the filling evenly over the meat. Roll tightly and tie with butcher's twine.
---Put spaghetti sauce in 9-by-13 baking dish and place in the oven to heat. Make a tinfoil tent for the dish that won't touch the meatroll once placed inside.
---In a large saute pan, sear all sides of the rolled meat.
---Put meatroll in the sauce; cover with tinfoil tent so that the foil is not touching the meat. Braise for 35 minutes or up to 3 hours. (Reviewers say 35-45 min results in very rare beef and an hour ten or an hour 25 is more like it.)

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