Friday, March 8, 2013

Italian-French Fusion Braciole or Stuffed Beef Rolls

My Grandma was half French and Half Italian. Her nationality was French, but her mother was Italian. There is an awesome love story of her parents there with Algeria as a backdrop. A story for another day. This Braciole is not her recipe but it is definitely in honor of her and her mad cooking skills.

I love a good stuffed beef roll. Even more I love a braciole which has been cooked in marinara sauce. However, I also love a quick, uncomplicated meal. That is the hurried American in me. Typical braciole is a little longer process. Unfortunately, I am in that stage of life where longer process meals are seldom on my menu.

But my adaptation of this Italian meal (with a small shout out to the French in me with the use of one of my favorite cheeses -- gruyere) is amazingly good (even better as leftovers) and it is simple and takes under an hour to cook. And yet it still turns out nice and tender.

As an added bonus it gets beef on the table within my dinner budget. These thin beef strips go a long way. I bought a pack of about 8 precut beef strips (about 12 inches long, 3 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick) for around $6.50.

Italian French Fusion Braciole
Six to eight servings

6 to 8 thin strips of beef appx. 10-12 inches long and appx. 3 inches wide.
1/2 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 slices of prosciutto
1/2 Cup of spinach leaves
1/4 Cup of Gruyere cheese shredded or thinly sliced.
 garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of marinara sauce.
1 Tb olive oil

Season each beef strip with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Spoon a layer of bread crumbs down one side of each beef strip. Layer each strip with a piece of prosciutto, spinach leaves, and Gruyere cheese.
Roll beef lengthwise from one end to the other and secure with baker's string or a toothpick.
Heat olive oil in a heavy pot. I used a ceramic coated cast iron pan.
Place beef rolls in pan and sear on all sides until brown.
Remove beef rolls and add 1/2 cup marinara sauce to pan. Scrape browned bits up and mix into the sauce.
Return beef rolls to pot. Cover with remaining sauce.  Cover pot and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

Serve warm.

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