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  Beef Braciole                                               Braciole is magical food.  It is pronounced bra-jool, and it’s an Italian-American dish consisting basically of parsley, garlic, and breadcrumbs stuffed in thinly sliced beef roll, commonly served with pasta and sauce.  In Northern Italy they are usually called involtini.   Involtini is the Italian word for any stuffed, rolled meat and involtini can be made with a variety of meats and stuffings.  But this beef Braciole, to me, is the most succulent and flavorful of all.

It’s hard to find Braciole even in Italian restaurants any more.   The best way to enjoy it today is to make it yourself.   After you’ve made it once and find out how really easy and how magically delicious it is, you’ll be making this on a regular basis.     

Hint:   It’s a great crock pot dish!!  You can make up the Braciole rolls and brown them off  the night before and then refrigerate them till the next day.  Put them in your crock pot with the marinara sauce on low the next morning before you leave the house and when you come home…..magic!!

Recipe By     : Sitara
Serving Size  : 6   Preparation Time :30 preparation plus cooking time
Categories    : Main Dishes    Italian    Meats   Pasta   Sauces

  Amount    Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    --------     ------------       --------------------------------

    1-2         pounds         flank steak or round steak
    4            Tbls.              extra virgin olive oil
    1/2         cup               grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
    1/2         cup               seasoned bread crumbs
    2           cloves           garlic, finely minced
    2           Tbls.              freshly chopped Italian parsley
    1           medium        onion, finely diced
                 Handful of the little oil cured black olives; halved (optional)
                 freshly ground black pepper
    1           cup               semi-sweet red table wine.  
    3-4       cups              basic Marinara sauce
    2          large              eggs
   1/8        teaspoon      Anchovy paste

1.  In a large mixing bowl, or small food processor, add the eggs, olive oil, minced onions and garlic, Parmigianino Reggiano cheese, chopped parsley, a good pinch of freshly ground pepper, bread crumbs, and the Anchovy paste.  (Some of you may recoil at the thought of anchovy, but in a small amount as required here, the layer of flavor it adds is wonderful).  Use only the small amount suggested.  It really does make a difference.   

Pulse ingredients till well mixed.  Then mix in the olives by hand so as not to break them up ( if you are using them).  The mixture is supposed to be a soft spreadable paste, add a little olive oil if it becomes too dry.  Set aside while you prepare the steak.

2.  Your main objective is to get that  piece of steak pounded down to about 1/4 of an inch thick or a little less.  You do this by placing the meat between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound it down with a meat mallet.  This also helps to tenderize the meat.  Try to shape it into a rectangle so that it is easier to roll up.
You can do one large roll to slice into rounds for serving or you can cut the steak in to individual serving pieces.  Each individual piece should be about 7” x 4” for one roll.

3.   Now that your components are ready, lay the meat down on a clean work surface and Layer the prosciutto, all over the steak, then generously spread the bread crumb stuffing evenly over the prosciutto.  Keep the stuffing away from the edges so that it won’t cook out.  Start at the narrowest end and roll up the meat like a jelly roll tucking in the ends so the filling does not come out.  Tie up the roll(s) securely with butcher’s twine so the filling does not leak out.  

4.  Heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat in a heavy duty, oven proof deep frying pan or a heavy bottomed oven proof stew pot.   Add in the Braciole and lightly brown on each side. Gently roll the Braciole so that all sides are browned.  This only takes a little over 5 minutes.  Add the wine and deglaze the pan.   Add the marinara sauce and bring to a quick boil.
Put in a 350 oven and bake, covered, for about 2-3 hours.  The meat should be silky, soft and tender and the sauce will have a fabulous rich flavor.  

Serve the meat and sauce with a good sturdy pasta like spaghetti or tagliatelle.