Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What I Cooked Today… Braciole a great meal on a budget

We are all on a budget, but we still want to eat well. Now that fall is here we can buy cheaper meat and braise it for a very flavorful and satisfying result. My Italian mother-in-law inspired this recipe.


2 cups fresh Italian tomato sauce*
2 cups water or chicken stock
2 lbs skirt steak or sirloin
1 cup chopped parsley (must be fresh)
6-8 garlic cloves minced
¼ cup oregano
½ cup olive oil
Chef Pinch of salt and a little more (3 times as much as you would normally put in)
Butcher’s twine (buy this because it is always great to have on hand)

In a large braising dish add tomato sauce* and water or stock. Next in a bowl mix the oregano, parsley, garlic, salt and olive oil and combine well. Pound out your meat between plastic till it’s about ½ inch thick. Place the meat on plastic wrap and spread the parsley mixture over the top. Then roll the meat to create a roulade (pinwheel effect of meat). Tie with butcher’s twine. Get sauté pan and heat oil to a little before smoking point. Salt and pepper the outside of the meat and then sear on all sides for a nice golden brown. Then place the meat into the braising dish (if the meat is too long you can always cut it before you tie it so that it can fit). Braise covered at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 to 3 hours. It should be nice and tender. Serve with pasta of your choice.

*Tomato Sauce:

1 can tomatoes
10 whole roma tomatoes chopped and deseeded
4 cloves garlic
1 bunch basil
1 cup water
Salt and pepper

Cook for ½ an hour on simmer.