Braciola and sauteed chard

BraciolaThis was the first meal I posted on Facebook.  But I am getting around to posting the recipe now.  This is not a dinner for when you are pressed for time, but the results are spectacular.  The recipe came from Sunset’ “Easy Basics for International Cooking.”  I’ve made a few minor modifications.  I find that with all the cured meat and cheese, there is plenty of salt in the dish without adding any, so I cut salt out completely and used low-sodium bacon.

  • 1 large flank steak (1 ½ to 2 pounds)
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 strips low-sodium bacon
  • 4 slices provolone cheese
  • 6 thin slices salami (I used cotto)
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

 Trim and discard excess fat from steak.  Then butterfly steak.  Split it horizontally, leaving one long edge attached.  Open steak out and place between two sheets of plastic wrap; pound with a flat surface mallet, until evenly flattened, especially at the center ridge.

 Cook bacon in a wide frying pan over medium heat until some of the fat has been rendered and it is limp (do not cook to crisp stage).  Arrange bacon strips across steak, top with provolone, then with salami.  Place eggs in a row, end to end, along the center.  Using plastic wrap to help you lift, tightly roll up the meat to enclose the filling.  Tie the roll lengthwise with kitchen string, tucking in the meat ends.  The tie the role crosswise at 2-inch intervals.

 Heat oil in a side, deep kettle over medium heat; add meat and cook, turning, until well browned on all sides.    While meat is browning prepare sauce by combining

  •  1 can (28-0z) tomato puree
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • ¼ pound sliced mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 ½ tsp dried oregano leaves
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¾ cup water.

 Pour sauce over meat.  Bring to boil over medium-high heat.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer turning meat over occasionally, until very tender when pierced (about 2 1/12 hours).  While meat is cooking, prepare chard.

  • 1 bunch white, Swiss, red or rainbow chard
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Wash and drain chard.  Strip leaves from stems.  Dice stems and slice leaves.  Heat up olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Ad garlic clove and sauté garlic, stirring constantly until your house smells heavenly.  Do not let garlic burn.  Remove garlic.  Turn heat up to medium high and add chard stems. Cook stems for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add leaves, and sugar, and cook stirring, about 3 more minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Set chard aside.  Like many Italian vegetables, these are best served at room temperature.  Have a glass of wine (or two), read a book, do household chores, play with the squirrels.  When meat is tender, collect:

  •  1 pound dried spaghetti
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp oil

 Bring a large pot with a large quantity of salted water in which 1 tsp of oil has been added to boil.  Add 1 pound dried spaghetti and stir.  Set timer to 12 minutes.  While spaghetti is cooking,

Lift meat out from pan.  Skim and discard any fat that has collected on the surface of the sauce.  Remove strings.  Cut meat crosswise into ½ inch slices (they will look like large coins).  When spaghetti timer goes off, drain spaghetti.  Mix some of the sauce with freshly boiled spaghetti.  Top with sliced meat and more sauce.  Serves 8.

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