Braciola is a term which, in northern Italy, refers to a cut of meat with bone from the loin of cattle and pigs.
At one time, it even referred to a rib of beef or a veal chop.
Today, pork knuckle or pork chop is referred to as braciola.
In southern Italy, on the other hand, a braciola is a roulade, made from loin or rump, stuffed with herbs, cheese and so on.
MAKES 10 BRACIOLE
- 3 pounds sirloin roast trimmed and sliced on a meat slicer to 1/8th inch thickness
- 2 bunches fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
- 1 bulb fresh garlic (separate into cloves)
- 2 pounds pancetta or bacon
- Wooden tooth picks
- grated Pecorino Romano cheese (to taste)
RECIPE FROM SCRATCH
Take the Italian parsley and cut the leaves from the stems and discard the stems.
Peel the cloves of garlic.
Take the pancetta or bacon and cut the entire set of slices intact as they come out of the pack into one inch pieces.
Prepare a food processor with the chopping blade in place (my Mom used a chopping bowl and a hand held chopper).
Place enough parsley in the food processor to loosely fill the container and add one clove of garlic cut in 3 pieces.
Chop the parsley and garlic until finely chopped but not pasty.
Add about 1/3 pound of pancetta or bacon to the chopped parsley and chop again until the mixture is a greenish paste that is spreadable.
Lay the sirloin slices out on a cutting board or large plate and sprinkle with salt.
Spread the parsley and bacon mix thinly across the meat with a table knife.
Add the grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
Roll up the slices and secure with two (or three if needed) tooth picks and set aside on a platter.
Repeat the chopping and spreading until all of the meat has been used up.
Place a large (10-12 quart) saucepan on the stove and place 3/4 inch of extra virgin olive oil on the bottom and heat.
When the oil is hot, place braciole in the pot one thin layer and brown on all sides.
When browned, remove and continue with another layer until all braciole are browned and removed.
Place braciole in your favorite home-made pasta sauce and cook for 45 minutes or so.
Watch them carefully that they do not overcook.
They should be tender but they should not fall apart.
When cooked remove carefully and place in a bowl to await the completion of cooking of the sauce.
Return the braciole to the hot sauce to heat up before serving.
Serve directly to the individual plates or serve in a bowl with some sauce to help keep them warm.