My husband has been begging me for years to make bracoila. Bracoila in basic terms is a stuffed steak. I resisted mostly because I did not feel like tending to a dinner all day that I knew would disappear within 5 minutes of hitting our plates. However, since it was our 10 year wedding anniversary I thought I would surprise him with an extra special dinner. Well actually the surprise was when he saw the flank steak in the grocery bag because there really is no hiding this dinner as it fills the air with smells reminiscent of your favorite Italian restaurant.
I decided to make the Bracoila recipe from Giada De Laurentiis Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipescookbook. I adapted it slightly by using wholegrain breadcrumbs and substituting fontinella cheese in place of provolone only because that is what I had on hand. The recipe also called for her marinara sauce which I made and will post that recipe soon. The meal was exquisite! My husband could not get enough of it. He actually said “this is the bomb”. Ha! I know so 1990s but hey I will take it.
Keep in mind this entrée definitely is a labor of love and not without some extra calories. To really enjoy the beauty of this dish make it for a special occasion, when you have extra calories to spare, and about 3 hours to dedicate to it. In the end it was worth it and I will without a doubt make it again.
Servings: about 5
Serving size: 1 slice of braciola, 1 serving of cooked whole grain pasta, and 1/2 cup or so of marinara sauce.
Approximate nutritional information:
Calories: 614 * Carbs: 34 * Fat: 38 * Protein: 36 * Fiber: 6
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/3 cup grated Fontinella cheese
1/2 cup dried whole grain bread crumbs (Italian style if you can find it)
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 flank steak (1 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1 cup dry white wine
3 1/4 cups marinara sauce (recipe will be posted shortly)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Step 1: In a small bowl mix the cheeses, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Set aside.
Step 2: Lay out the flank steak on a flat surface. Spread the mixture evenly over the flank steak. Then starting at the end roll it up jelly roll style. Secure and tie tight the entire steak with kitchen twine.
Step 3: Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large oven proof frying pan. Salt and pepper the steak then place in pan and brown on all sides. This can take about 8 – 10 minutes.
Step 4: Add in the wine and bring to a boil then add in the marinara sauce.
Step 5: Cover partially with foil and bake in the oven for 2 hours. This is where the real labor of love begins. Every 1/2 hour turn it and baste it with sauce. This is the reason why you must secure it really tight with the kitchen twine. As it cooks the steak roll will expand and if not careful the stuffing could come out. If for some reason this starts to happen then don’t turn it but do baste it. The last 1/2 hour cook uncovered.
Step 6: Remove bracoila from pan, let it cool slightly, then slice it and serve it with sauce and pasta.
Freezing instructions: I really do not think this meal is meant to be made ahead of time and frozen. You could if you wanted but like I said earlier this should be made for a special occasion and when you have time. It is perfect for a Sunday supper or anniversary dinner. If you do choose to make and freeze it then complete steps 1 -5, completely cool, put into a freezer container, and store in the freezer.
Reheating instructions: To reheat take it out a day or two beforehand and completely thaw in the refrigerator. Then place in an oven safe dish and warm it up in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.