Braciola: chop or cutlet, usually pork but also lamb, beef, or game (and even fish).
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- 1/4 pound pancetta, chopped
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped or grated
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 cup currants
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmigiano cheese
- 8 top round steaks (1/4 inch thick), slightly pounded
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano plum tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 pound rigatoni
Yields: 6 servings
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Place a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, about 2 turns of the pan. Add in the chopped pancetta and cook until brown and crispy, 3-4 minutes. Add in the ground pork, garlic, allspice and cook until the pork is brown and has cooked through, 7-8 minutes. Season the mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper, add the currants and toasted pine nuts, transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool.
Once cooled, add sage, parsley and chopped eggs to the pork mixture. Lay out the pounded top round steaks and sprinkle each one with Parmigiano. Divide the mixture evenly amongst them all, spreading it across the entire steak. Roll up each steak from wide end to wide end and secure it with a few toothpicks.
Once all the meat is rolled up, place a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, about 2 turns of the pan. Add the brasciole to the pan and sear them until golden brown all over, about 4 minutes per side (work in batches if you need to). Once the meat is seared on the outside, remove and reserve the brasciole on a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon EVOO to the pan along with the onion, carrot, garlic and bay leaf. Cook the veggies until they begin to get tender, 4-5 minutes. Add the tomato paste to the veggies and cook until the tomato paste caramelizes and smells sweet, 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the pot and mash them up with the back of a spoon or a potato masher. Add in the red wine and beef stock, and bring the sauce up to a bubble, scraping up all of the brown bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Add the brasciole to the sauce, cover the pan and place it into the oven. Bake until the meat is tender, about 1-1 1/2 hours, until tender.
When the meat has about 20 minutes left to cook, place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring it to a boil. Cook the rigatoni in the boiling water until al dente, according to package directions.
To serve, transfer the finished brasciole to a serving platter. Add the cooked pasta to the pot with the sauce and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl to pass around the table and enjoy!
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