Saturday, May 12, 2012

Carmela Soprano's Braciole / Stuffed Beef Rolls in Tomato Sauce

Last weekend we watched the movie Sex and the City on TV.
Not the second movie.
The good one.

Anyway, when I saw Kim Cattrall rolling up raw fish sushi rolls, then posing as a human platter with sushi on her naked body - a little something to spice up Valentine's Day - I got to thinking.

It was time to try something new.
We were getting in a rut.
Night after night.
Same old, same old.

Yep, it was time for a change.
Time to try something like I'd seen on Sex and the City.
Time to make some beef rolls.

The Sopranos Family Cookbook has a fine recipe for Braciole (Stuffed 
Beef Rolls in Tomato Sauce) in the Cooking the Neapolitan Way chapter.
Sorry, Carmela.
The recipe, and its variations, is a little more popular than that.
I know it's similar to the German recipe Rouladen.

About the prosciutto...
My local grocers are beginning to wonder about me.
Last week it was the truffles.
Big laughs.
Now I'm asking for prosciutto?
Ain't gonna happen here.

Okay... think this through.
Prosciutto is dry cured ham.
Just ham.
Not something weird that fell from Mars.

Braciole is very similar to my Ma's Bragoli
In her Bragoli, Ma added pork, ham and bacon.
Got it.
Stuff the beef with something from a pig.

I bought some good quality bacon.
I used a slice for each beef roll.
So there.

This recipe serves four.
Since it's going to cook for 2 hours, you might want to make a few extra.
The math is easy.
Kill two meals with one cooking.

Place between 2 pieces of plastic wrap
4 thin slices boneless beef round (1 pound) 
Pound gently to about 1/4 inch, or as thin as possible
Remove the top piece of plastic.

1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons grated Romano cheese
2 Tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
Spread the spice/cheese mixture over the beef slices.
Cover with
4 thin slices prosciutto
Roll up each slice like a sausage and tie with a string.
In a dutch oven heat
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
the Braciole
Cook, turning the meat until it is browned on all sides.
1 Cup dry red wine
Simmer 2 minutes.
Remove the garlic.
4 Cups tomato puree
4 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces

Cover and simmer 2 hours, turning the meat occasionally.
If the sauce is too thick, add water.

1 pound ziti or penne
Serve the sauce over the hot pasta as a first course.
Serve the Braciole as a second course.

Would I make Braciole again?
With bacon.
Hey, I didn't get any complaints.
And I served them with the spaghetti.

One recipe down.  Ninety-six more to go. 

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