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Entries in Steak Braciole (1)

Sunday
Dec022012

Steak Braciole (Stuffed Beef Steak)

My mother made this for us when we were kids, but it was never my favorite.  She made it with brown gravy, and more than likely she used Gravy Master, which has an aftertaste I have come to avoid.  Not long ago, Chris and I dined on Wooster Street, and he ordered Braciole.  When the dish came to the table, it was with a tomato sauce and served with gnocchi.  The minute I stole a taste, I started crafting my own recipe, and this is the result.

I would recommend that you ask your butcher to slice the meat fresh for you, rather than buying it already cut in the meat case, and ask that the top round steak be cut lengthwise, so you get about  four very large slices of steak from a single top round steak about an 1 ½ thick.  Why?  Because you can get four large rolls out of it, which is a lot less work than eight small roles.  You can add bread to the stuffing if you wish (about a cup should do it, and perhaps a little bit less of everything else).  Since Chris is a “no-carb” guy, I don’t.

For the Stuffing:

¼ lb Fontina or Sharp Provalone Cheese, diced small
¼ cup black or Italian green olives, pitted
¼ lb prosciutto or salami, or any other cured meat you wish, diced small
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
8-10 slices sun dried tomato, cut into 3rds
2 large handfuls baby arugula (you can substitute nearly any other green, such as parsley or even broccoli rob)
1 egg
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

  • Put all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is just shy of a paste.  Set aside.

For the Steak:

1 large top round steak, 1 ½ inches thick, sliced into four pieces
12 six-inch long pieces of cooking twine

For the Sauce:

2 medium sweet onions, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs dried oregano (or any or all other dried Italian herbs, such as majorum  or basil)
½ cup red wine
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp red pepper flakes, optional
1 28 ounce can crushed red tomatoes (I prefer Centos)
1 Tbs tomato paste

  • Pound the steaks in a plastic bag with a meat hammer or rolling pin, just to even out the thickness and for a little tenderizing.
  • Place about 1 cup of the stuffing on each piece of steak, spread out into about a one inch roll, down the length of the meat.
  • Fold the two ends of the steak in, then fold once side over and roll over the other side, with the edges facing down.
  • Tie the steaks with three pieces of string each.  You can refrigerate the meat at this point, and continue the recipe later in the day or even the next day.
  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tbs of the olive oil until just smoking.  Place the steak rolls edge side down in the hot oil and don’t move them until they release easily from the pan.  Sear again on the top side, carefully turning the rolls so as not to squeeze out the stuffing.  You can sear on all four sides, however, I find that by the last side, the stuffing is beginning to ooze out, so I remove them to a baking dish.  They will cook plenty again in the oven.
  • In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tbs of olive oil.  Add the garlic and the onions and cook until the onions between to caramelize.
  • Add the herbs and the salt and pepper, give it a stir, and then add the wine and the tomato paste.  Once the paste is dissolved, add the crushed tomatoes and the water, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Pour the sauce over the steak rolls, cover loosely with foil and place them into a 300 degree oven for about an hour.  Remove the foil, turn the oven up to 350 and continue baking, until the steaks are browned on the top and the sauce has thickened.
  • Serve with Angel Hair or your favorite vacuum-packed gnocchi.