OK….last night’s dinner was a bit of work with a lot of steps and a bunch of ingredients. Everyone liked it. That’s my story.
Braciole (serves 4)
- A 1 1/4 -1 1/2 lb flank steak
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 chopped shallot
- 1 10oz package Birds Eye frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 8-10 baby bella mushroom, stem removed and sliced relatively thin
- 1/4 cup of toasted pine (same as pignoli) nuts
- 2 tbsp Poly-O whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup of Sliced or Shredded Provolone Cheese
- 2 leeks – chopped
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 28oz can of Muir Glen tomato puree
- Herb bundle with Rosemary and Thyme
- Salt and Pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. In a medium saute or fry pan, over medium heat, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil and add 1 clove garlic chopped and 1 chopped shallot. Saute until fragrant (about 2 mins)
2. Add in 1 10oz package of Birds-Eye frozen chopped spinach – defrosted and squeezed dry. Saute until heated through then transfer spinach to a bowl and set aside.
3. Add 1 tbsp of Olive Oil to the same pan and heat over medium. Then add in 1 cup of sliced baby bella mushrooms. Saute until tender.
4. Add back in the spinach and stir to combine
5. Stir in 1/4 cup of toasted Pine Nuts – I buy these in the bulk aisle at Whole Foods. They’re expensive, but buying in the bulk aisle allows you to get just what you need.
6. Once heated through, transfer to a bowl and while still hot, stir in 2 tbsp of Poly-O whole milk ricotta cheese. I wasn’t going to add anything here…but needed a binder for the stuffing and I heart ricotta cheese!
7. Place the flank steak on plastic wrap on a cutting board. Cover with plastic wrap and using the flat side of a tenderizer, pound out the steak to about 1/2 inch thick. Be careful not to over pound and toughen the meat. If the flank steak is super thick, you can carefully butterfly the steak before pounding or even instead of pounding out.
8. Remove the top and bottom layer of plastic wrap and Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper the meat on the up side
9. Place 4 – 6 pieces of cooking string under the pounded flank steak at about 2 inch intervals. The string will need to be long enough to tie around the braciole once stuffed, so better to err on too long than too short.
NOTE: Putting the string under the meat before stuffing and rolling it, makes the ultimate tying process easier
10. Cover the meat with a layer of the spinach, mushroom, nut mixture. Leave about an inch uncovered all around – I didn’t leave enough space…
11. On top of that, add a layer of thinly sliced or shredded provolone cheese. You need a medium hard cheese here as you don’t want it all melty and oozing out of the braciole.
12. Carefully roll the flank steak – keeping the stuffing inside.
13. Tie the roll securely with the strings – mine looked a little frankenstein or maybe ‘The Mummy’, but that was fine.
14. In a roasting pan or a lasagna pan over two burners on med/high heat 3 tbsp of olive oil. I used my All-Clad turkey roasting pan…but, should have used a smaller one like the All-Clad lasagna pan.
14. Sear the stuffed flank steak on all sides – about 2 minutes a side.
15. Transfer the seared steak to a cutting board. Set Aside.
16. Depending upon size of pan…Add another 1-2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and heat over medium.
17. Add in 1 medium onion sliced, two chopped leaks and one chopped carrot. Saute until softened – about 7 mins.
NOTE: I might have added a second carrot…but only had one in the fridge.
11. Add in 2 cloves of garlic chopped and salt and pepper – saute another minute or two.
12. Raise the heat to med/high and pour in 1 cup of dry red wine to deglaze the pan. Allow about 1/2 of the wine to evaporate.
13. Pour in 2 cups of beef broth – I had some chicken stock I needed to use so I did 1/2 chicken stock, 1/2 beef broth.
14. Return the meat to the pan and cover with 1 28oz can of Muir Glen pureed tomatoes. Then add in an herb bundle of Rosemary and Thyme – about 2 sprigs of each….
15. Stir the sauce a bit. Bring to a boil, carefully cover with tin foil and place in the oven.
16. Braise in the oven for :50 – :60 minutes.
17. When done…Remove from the roasting pan and allow the meat to rest for :10 minutes.
18. Transfer a few ladles of the braising sauce to a blender and allow to cool….Then puree.
DO NOT puree while the sauce is still super hot – it’ll blow the lid off of the blender…really.
19. Slice the braciole and transfer to a serving dish. Serve with the pureed vegetable sauce. Make sure you remove all strings and…I had to toothpick the ends…remember to remove those too.
Holy Braciole! That was a bit of work – but well worth it. And…while it could serve 4, three of us ate all but one slice!
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