Friday, March 18, 2011

Braciole - Maybe-Maybe Not!

I've been thinking about recreating a braciole I remember from childhood it was stuffed rolled beef cooked in tomato sauce. I was going to use one of my mom's recipes, but she won't let me take any liberties with hers. I wish I was kidding, she was in the hospital a few months ago, I was sitting there keeping her company and I was telling her about this butterscotch cannoli recipe, she doesn't even speak Italian; but I'm pretty sure she was cursing in it! But since when do I do what I'm told, I decided to use a pork loin and get a little pork crazy with the stuffing. Besides I love pork and I'm the one making it, and what my mom doesn't know won't hurt her and since we are all friends now; I know none of you are going to tell her - are you?

Pork Braciole
(1) - 2 lb. pork loin
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage (or links with casings removed)
6 thin slices provolone cheese
6 thin slices prosciutto
8-10 basil leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4-5 cups Brandywine Marinara (or Marinara sauce of your choice)
1 cup red wine

Take the pork loin and cut off any silver skin and place it long ways on your cutting board. Use a sharp knife and start cutting 1/2" or so from the bottom of the loin. Cut into the loin about an inch at a time. Think of it as something you are unfolding, cut, unfold a little, cut another 1", and unfold a little, till your loin is flat like the picture below.

Next put plastic wrap on your counter, place the pork loin on it and cover it in wrap again. Then use a meat mallet or heavy pan and flatten the loin till even. No need to go crazy on the poor pork loin, what did he do to you? Oh, maybe he forgot your birthday; sorry about that got off track for a second!

On top of the loin place half of the basil leaves along the center and half more about 2" above that, and then cover the loin with a layer of provolone cheese. Add a layer of prosciutto, and on top of that add the Italian sausage.

Now all you have to do is roll it up. Start at the end nearest you and roll it away from you. Then you are going to tie it up with some butcher's twine. Add a little salt and pepper on the outside now.

Heat a skillet on medium heat; add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and put the loin in and keep turning till browned on all sides.

Place the loin in a large ovenproof pot and put the sauce in and a cup of red wine. Put a lid on the pot and put it in a 350 degree F oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Don't forget to make some pasta for all that beautiful sauce you are going to end up with and cut the strings off the loin before slicing. I'll write an eggplant and green bean recipe for you soon; I've gotta at least get in a few minutes by the pool today!



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