RECIPE

Braciole with Bacon and Onion Sauce

Serve this Italian-American classic updated with Amatriciana (bacon and onion) sauce with a side of pasta or crusty bread for mopping.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, kept cold
  • About 2 cups cubed stale white or peasant bread, crusts trimmed
  • Milk, to soak bread
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons currants
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup baby kale, spinach or arugula, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • A handful of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 pounds beef round steaks, cut into 12 slices and pounded very thin (1/8-inch)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 12 slices prosciutto di Parma
  • 1/3 pound provolone cheese or young pecorino cheese, cut into 2-3-inch sticks about 1/4-inch square

For browning the meat and sauce:

  • Olive oil, for browning meat
  • 1/3 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine or red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock or veal stock
  • 1 can D.O.P. Italian tomatoes (32 ounces), hand crushed

Preparation

Cover the cold eggs with water; bring to full boil. Cover the pan, then remove it from the heat and let it stand for 10 minutes. Drain the eggs; crack and let stand a couple of minutes in cold water. Peel the eggs and chop.


Soak the bread in the milk to soften, then squeeze out the excess milk as you add the bread to a mixing bowl.


Combine the bread with the chopped eggs, toasted pine nuts, currants, parsley, chopped greens, garlic, chili flakes and Parmigiano Reggiano.


Season beef slices with salt and pepper and top each with 1 slice of prosciutto and a few spoonfuls of stuffing at one end. Nest a stick of cheese in the stuffing and tuck in the sides of beef as you roll into a bundle. Secure with kitchen twine. Repeat with the remaining beef slices.


Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan olive oil. Add the beef bundles, four rolls at a time so as not to crowd the pan, and brown well all over. Remove to a plate. Add the pancetta to the drippings and render for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the onions, garlic and bay leaves; season with black pepper. Partially cover and soften the onions, 7-8 minutes, then add the tomato paste and stir for 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and reduce by half; add the stock and tomatoes.


Slide the meat rolls back into the sauce and bring to a bubble. Simmer gently for 2 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender, stirring occasionally, and adding a little more water or more stock if the sauce reduces too much and the meat rolls aren’t completely submerged.


Remove the meat rolls to a warm platter and cut off the twine. If serving the beef with pasta, toss the pasta with some starchy cooking water and half the sauce; spoon the remainder over the rolls.


Charred ciabatta bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with EVOO makes a fine companion for mopping up the sauce as well.

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Rachael Ray