This is a continuation of the last post, in which Victor and I went to Virginia to visit Gina and her family for Easter. She hosted a brunch for several family members and our contribution was the Italian Beef Braciole, a traditional Italian Easter meal because it is made with a “hidden hard-boiled egg”…But this can be made anytime or for any special occasion with or without the egg… In this photo it looks like I’m doing the brunt of the cooking, I was just actually helping Victor, he was the one that orchestrated the whole recipe…
Italian Beef Braciole Recipe
Pronounced ˌbrä-ˈchō-lə… Described in a recipe I saw, “So good it will make you cry!!” Braciole is a thin strip of beef with seasoned breadcrumbs and prosciutto rolled up around a hard-boiled egg!!!, First I’ll give you the tomato sauce recipe in which you have to cook the braciole in it for about an hour and a half. You could stop there and really enjoy the sauce with pasta or if you’re brave you can continue for a “make you cry” meal!!!
This is the sauce my Italian mother-in-law made, she called it gravy…her name was Anna and she was one tough lady…in Italy, she once killed a pig to feed all eight of her children for several months…Everything she cooked from her simple kitchen was melt in your mouth delicious…we used to say her pots and pans had a certain magic…
Anna’s Tomato Sauce
2 cans kitchen ready tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery
1 medium size onion finely diced
3 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup of fresh basil
1 large dried bay leaf
2 Tablespoons of dried oregano
Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Crushed red pepper
1 large pork chop with bone
6-8 pieces of Supprasada sausage cut into 1/4 inch slices
Place enough EVOO to cover the bottom of heavy large sauce pot, heat until sizzle, place meat into pot and brown each side, when done move meat to dish to cook in the sauce later. Then enough EVOO in bottom of pot to sauté onions and garlic, while doing add salt and pepper to taste. When onions and garlic are nicely brown, mix in tomato paste and cook on low heat for about a minute. Then add the 2 cans of tomato sauce and add about 1/2 can of water. Add all the meat, vegetables and herbs to the sauce. When it starts bubbling, turn the burner down to simmer, put the cover on askew and let simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours adding a little water to keep the liquid from evaporating, add salt to your tasting and mix when checking on it, about every half hour.
Note: The meat, carrots and celery are really the flavorings for the sauce…my mother-in-law would place the meat and vegetables on a platter and serve them after we all ate a bowl of pasta and sauce. But now your sauce is ready to cook the braciole in it!! For this meal, I cooked the sauce and froze it for about a week then transported it to Virginia to finish it with the braciole!!
Beef Braciole Recipe
1 Cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/2 Cup of chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
4 Tablespoons of EVOO
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
8 Pieces of braciole steak (We got this at the supermarket)
8 Hard-boiled eggs, peeled
1/2 Pound of prosciutto (or 2 slices for each braciole)
EVOO to cook braciole in pan
Stir the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend. Stir in 4 tablespoons of EVOO. Season mixture with salt and pepper and set aside.
Lay the steak flat on a work surface. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture evenly over the steak to cover top evenly. Then place one layer of prosciutto over breadcrumbs. Next, place egg at one end of steak over prosciutto and start rolling steak over egg and folding sides in to cover egg. Tie braciole around the middle with twine and knot, then tie from sides to middle like a neat little package (we found that worked best, Victor started tying 3 ties around middle but the other way worked better.) Put EVOO in bottom of heavy skillet, heat over medium heat. Add the braciole and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. After bracioles are browned, add them to sauce and cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, mixing very carefully 2 or 3 times.
We cut the braciola in half, removed the butcher’s string and spooned sauce over them on a platter and served!! Use the sauce for pasta, it’s all so delicious, and make sure you have a tissue with you because “it will make you cry!!!”
This is the country road that Gina, Tom and the boys live on…it ends at their driveway…There is nothing like living in the country to bring up children…fresh air, running carefree over fields and seeing cows from your front yard is the best…and it’s not so bad for the grandparents either…I love it!!!
My favorite activity to do with the boys is walk to the mailbox at the end of their road …if the cows are out in the field it makes it a special treat…we were curiously looking at the cows and they were just as curious about us… Just beware of cow jokes from your 8-year-old… Q: Why was the cow afraid? A: She was a cowherd😂 Oh my, and there were many more…While out for a nature walk, looking for signs of spring, I caught these two in a touching moment…
“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero!”