I have been infatuated with this dish ever since I saw the whole family mow through a platter of it on an episode of HBO’s “The Sopranos” years ago. Tony liked to eat and he attacked his meal as he would a ruthless adversary. It looked so good that I had to try it. An attempt at a recipe that you’ve only seen on television lead to results you might expect. Disappointing. I didn’t fully understand the patience required in this preparation. Now I do. You must be prepared to let the braciole gently simmer in your red sauce for at least 4 hours. If you can do this, you will be richly rewarded with a fabulous meal. I made a few substitutions. Often, recipes for braciole include golden raisins and Prosciutto. I am NOT a fan of raisins and Jeanie is not a fan of Prosciutto so I left the raisins out and added sweet capicola and Italian Sausage. Delicious and tender. Fuggetaboutit? Not likely!
2 pounds of sirloin or skirt steak, thinly sliced
1 (sweet or hot) Italian sausage, casing removed and browned
6 oz sweet capicola
8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 cup pine nut2 garlic cloves finely diced
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1 cup bread cubes soaked in milk, then squeezed. (I used day old baguette without crust)
2 Tbs olive oil
8 oz mushrooms (your choice-I used Cremini) Sautéed & chopped.
Fresh Basil leaves-rolled up like a cigar & chopped
1 Tbs Italian seasoning or dried oregano
1/2 cup red wine (Something you would drink or serve with dinner)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Butcher’s twine for tying
36 oz Italian red gravy (Recipe to follow OR use your favorite jarred Marinara)
It is very important to get your beef pounded as thin as possible between sheets of plastic wrap with a meat hammer. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Slice mozzarella into thin strips and toss in a bowl with bread, pine nuts, grated cheese mixture, garlic, herbs and browned Italian sausage. Lay the sweet capicola on top of your pounded beef then pile on the cheese mixture, bread crumbs & sausage. Roll up and tie.
Heat olive oil in dutch oven and sear the braciola on all sides. Remove Braciola to a platter and deglaze pan with 1/2 cup red wine. Add Red sauce or Marinara to the pan. When it begins to simmer, place Braciole into the sauce an let it gently simmer for at least 4 hours.
Going longer don’t hurt a thing. Your kitchen will smell amazing.
I didn’t want a heavy pasta meal this time so I got out my vegetti and some beautiful fresh zucchini from the Farmer’s Market and made zucchini noodles. Easy & delicious. I simply tossed them in a skillet with a little olive oil, butter, salt & pepper for about 3 minutes and they were perfect.
1 large yellow onion-small dice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Tsp Kosher salt
5 cloves garlic-minced
1 Tbs fresh chopped Rosemary
1 Tbs Dried Basil
1 Tsp dried Oregano
1/4 cup minced carrot
1 cup red wine
1 Large (28 oz) can whole San Marzano tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
Heat olive oil in large heavy bottomed pot and sauce’ chopped until until translucent but not brown. About 10 minutes. Add garlic, carrots and herbs, stirring for about 1 minute.
deglaze with the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste.
Bring to a low simmer. The longer it goes, the better it is.