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The recipe falls into the catagory of tasty "modernisms" as mentioned on the Sodalis front page. It is one of the specialities of my kitchen. This is a rolled, stuffed flank steak. I learned how to make it from my mother, she from hers and so on...
Braciola (pronounced in our family as breh' zjole) is one of my favorite things to make and eat.
I've included a variation for the vegetarians in the audience.
The stuffing ingredients can be varied as the list of foods which compliment the flavor of beef.
Some stuffings I have used: Italian sausage (hot and sweet) with mushrooms - Mozzarella cheese and mushroom - Popcorn shrimp and smoked ham - Mixed Italian cheeses and hardboiled egg - Mixed Italian cheeses, egg and pepperoni - Celery, carrots, mushroom and onion
The variety of tastes in the Braciola can be as simple or complex as the cook likes.
In this article I shall describe a Braciola filled with mushrooms, cheeses, onion and peppers.
- Take a large flank steak (as close to 2# as possible) and butterfly it (cut it through the thickness, across the grain so it lays flat like the leaves of a book).
- Pound the steak with a coarse meat mallet to help tenderize and stretch it out.
- Season the meat on both sides with a light sprinkling of salt, ground pepper (black, white, cayenne and sweet paprika), oregano, sweet basil and powdered, dried onion & garlic.
- Roll up the meat in plastic wrap and let it "marinate" in the refrigerator while the stuffing is prepared.
- Mix together: 1 c chopped white mushrooms (flavored with 2 T of rehydrated, chopped Porcinis), 3/4 c shredded, low moisture Mozzarella, 1/4 c each, freshly grated Asiago, Romano and Parmesan, 1 ea sm yellow and red onion - diced, 1/2 ea green, yellow and red Bell peppers - diced. Don't worry if this seems too much, the excess is spread over the outside of the Braciola when it is placed in the baking dish.
- Lay out the meat, place 2/3 of the stuffing alongside the center line of the steak. Fold this side of the meat over and roll the rest of the steak around this pocket. Tuck the ends in and secure the roll with cotton butcher's cord.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a hot pan, pour in just enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Sear the meat all around.
- Place the browned meat roll into a lightly oiled baking pan. Spread the rest of the stuffing over it. Drizzle on a little olive oil and red wine. Bake covered for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done to taste (I like mine medium rare).
- Slice into 1" (approx.) portions.
Serve over fresh-baked flat bread with steamed spinach and black olives (dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and crushed garlic).
(((Another method, if one likes sauce, is to cover the whole with 1# each of diced and crushed tomatos (Roma or Plum), and then the rest of the fill-mix before baking, also sprinkle with some fresh, minced basil and oregano. Then serve over macaroni or spaghetti.)))
A further variation is to use the stuffing mix (seasoned with the spices normally used on the meat) as the filling in a pair of pies and use a little extra grated cheese as a topper. Bake at 325F for 45 to 50 minutes, until golden brown. (Wrap the crust rim in aluminum foil to prevent overcooking.) The finished pie is wonderfully complimented by spinach and olives (as above), almonds and figs.
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