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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Braciole and Sweet Italian Sausage

on December 18, 2013

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My Braciole And Sweet Italian Sausage is a childhood favorite. I’ve updated my grandmother’s Braciole recipe.

Braciole or Involtini are stuffed beef rolls filled with just the right amount of ingredients along with the perfect balance of flavors.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: mini food processor, 6-quart Dutch oven, 12-inch sauté pan, 6-quart saucepot with a tight-fitting glass lid, cast-iron grill pan, meat mallet

Ingredients For Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of good tomato paste
1 pint of Cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1/4 cup of good red wine, Chianti
2 fresh bay leaves, (substitute dried)
2 28-ounce cans of San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
6 to 8 large basil leaves, finely chopped, for garnish

1 pound of sweet Italian sausage links (5 links)
2 1/2 cups of unsalted chicken broth
12 thin-sliced top round beef steaks (Scallopini-syle)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of red wine

Ingredients For The Filling:
1 cup of Italian season breadcrumbs
1/4 cup of freshly grated Pecorino cheese
1/4 cup of golden raisins
2 tablespoons of fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of olive oil, plus extra if needed

Directions For Tomato Sauce:
Start by the tomato sauce. First, preheat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and tomato paste, allowing the tomato paste to begin to melt. Next, add the diced onions, dried oregano, light brown sugar, Kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper, frequently stirring, cooking the onions until they become translucent around 1 to 2 minutes.

To the onions add the quartered mushrooms, dried thyme, and bay leaves, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release all their water and begin to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. To the mushrooms and onions, add the minced garlic, stir and cook for another minute.

Next, add the red wine, stirring and scraping the bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring up to a bubble and allow the wine to reduce by half. Finally, add the crushed tomatoes, stir to combine, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 35 minutes.

Directions For Italian Sausage:
First, using a fork, prick 3 sets of holes into the sausage links on both sides. Transfer the sausage links into a large saucepot. Cover with chicken broth and cover with a tight-fitting lid, preferably glass. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes or until the sausage is no longer pink. Using a pair of tongs, transfer the sausage links to a plate and set aside.

Preheat a cast-iron grill pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to the grill pan. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the grilled Italian sausage to the pot of tomato sauce.

One at a time, place the beef between two pieces of plastic wrap. Using a meat mallet (smooth side), gently pound to 1/8-inch in thickness. Set aside.

Directions For The Filling:
In a large mixing bowl, add the breadcrumbs, grated Pecorino cheese, golden raisins, finely chopped basil, toasted pine nuts, Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and olive oil, mix until the filling just comes together.

Directions For Braciole:
Line all the prepared beef slices on a (meat-safe board) flat surface. Sprinkle the filling evenly over all the beef slices. Roll the beef into a cylinder, tucking in the sides to hold in the filling as you roll. Secure with toothpicks.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place the beef rolls, seam side down in the pan and brown seam side first to seal the rolls. Cook, turning the meat occasionally until each roll is nicely browned on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the seared stuffed beef rolls (Braciole) to the pot of tomato sauce. Still on medium-high heat, to the same pan add 1/4 cup of red wine, scrape all the bits, from searing the beef rolls,  off the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to reduce by half. Pour all that delicious flavor right into the pot of tomato sauce, stir to combine.

Continue to cook the Braciole and Sweet Italian Sausage in tomato sauce on a low simmer, anywhere from medium-low to low heat (depending on your stove), for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Finish by garnishing with finely chopped fresh basil.

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