I have part two of a previous post Mom’s Homemade Gravy. My friend Michelle continues her story about cooking and shares her recipe for Bracioli. Check this post out – lots of pics and love went into this post. I’ve made it several times now. Most recently when my folks came to visit and we all agreed it is an AMAZING dish!
Here’s Michelle’s story & recipe –
When I was growing up in Boston, all the women in our Italian family made gravy every Sunday morning. This was a rich tomato sauce, with meatballs, sausage, and, if we were lucky, Bracioli. Bracioli is basically a stuffed piece of beef. There are lots of recipes with many variations, but here’s how we make ours.
MEAT: Buy thin round steak at the grocery store. It used to be hard to find, but they now sell Carne Asada, top round cut into thin pieces. I make sure I get the package that has as little fat as possible. Take each piece out and trim off any fat. Then, put the pieces between waxed paper, and pound until they are thin and tender – not too thin or the meat will tear.
FILLING: I use freshly made breadcrumbs, my favorite are stale croissants, or some crusty bread left out for a few hours to get dry. Stick in the blender, small pieces at a time, and add parsley and fresh basil to each small batch. Pour into a bowl and add parmesan cheese, one beaten egg, salt and pepper. Add a handful of raisins, and about ¼ cup of pine nuts (optional). Moisten with a bit of olive oil or water squeezing with your hands until it all stays together. Let the egg and olive oil sit a bit on the bread before you squeeze together.
MAKING: Lay each piece of beef down on paper towels and put some of the filling in each one.
Don’t overfill or the filling will fall out. Roll each one up and secure with either thread or toothpicks, whichever you prefer.
Saute in olive oil until lightly browned on all sides . Remove from frying pan and add to your own pot of simmering Marinara sauce. Cook for about 45 minutes until fork tender. (I changed it up just a bit here, by covering the Bracioli with Marinara Sauce, covering lightly with tin foil and popping it in the oven at 300 degrees for an hour.)
Remove string or toothpicks before serving. You can cut each bracioli into rounds, or serve as is and let each person do his/her own (not quite as pretty, but easier).
This is everyone’s favorite, so make sure and make lots. As I don’t make gravy every Sunday, I just make a big pot of without all the other meat. Then, we have lots of leftovers for freezing.
Author, Michelle T., Fabulous Fab Four Friend!
I completely agree with my buddy Michelle – this is an incredible dish. A labor of love to make and completely delicious. The meat melts in your mouth and the sweetness of the stuffing and marina sauce is a perfect combination. I hope you give this a try and make it for the most special people in your life! Souper Chef Debra
Bracioli - Stuffed Beef
Bracioli - Stuffed Beef A labor of love to make and completely delicious. The meat melts in your mouth. The stuffing and marina sauce is a perfect combination.
- 1 lb . thin sliced round steak
- 6-8 stale croissants
- 1 tablespoons handful parsley about 3
- 1 tablespoons handful basil about 3
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Serve with Mom's Sunday Gravy - or your favorite Marinara sauce
- Begin by preparing the meat. Remove the fat. Place between wax paper and pound each slice of meat until it is thin and tender. Do not pound too thin as the meat will tear. Set the meat aside.
- If you are making your own breadcrumbs, do that next. Using a food processor, tear the croissants into small pieces and add to the processor. Also add the parsley, basil. No need to chop the parsley or basil, just add them to the food processor and pulse until all of the ingredients are chopped into small pieces. Remove from the food processor and put into a bowl.
- Add the Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and raisins to the breadcrumbs. Season the stuffing with salt & pepper. Mix lightly. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a lightly beaten egg. Allow to sit for a few minutes before mixing everything thoroughly.
- Lay each piece of beef down on paper towels and put some of the filling in each one. Don't overfill or the filling will fall out. Roll each one up and secure with either butchers twine or toothpicks, whichever you prefer.
- Saute in olive oil until lightly browned on all sides . Remove from frying pan and add to your own pot of simmering Marinara sauce. Cook for about 45 minutes until fork tender. (or pop in the oven for one hour at 300 degrees.
- Remove twine or toothpicks prior to serving. You can cut each bracioli into rounds, or serve as is and let each person slice his/her own (not quite as pretty, but easier).