Sunday, August 7, 2011


Of the many gravy meats my mom prepared, “Bra-zhoul” was my favorite, a thin piece of beef rolled up with garlic, parsley, and cheese inside. This was first browned in a skillet and later allowed to finish cooking in the gravy, giving it a rich, deep flavor. It was years later that I learned this was actually Braciola, and last year in Italy discovered it is also known as Involtino in some regions of the country. The things they don’t teach you in an Italian-American household.

So, I woke up with Braciola (or more accurately…Bra zchoul) on my mind this morning and remembered I had a flat Iron steak in the freezer. I thought, “why not”?


Flat iron steak, sliced and pounded into thin pieces
Fresh parsley, basil, and oregano
Parmesan cheese
Lemon juice
Garlic, onion
Whole peeled tomatoes, 28oz can
Crushed tomatoes, 14oz can
Olive oil


Mix together minced garlic, herbs, and cheese with enough olive oil to make a thin paste. Season both side of the meet, and then spread the paste on one side, followed by fresh lemon juice. Roll the meat up tightly and fasten in closed with toothpicks or string.

Heat some olive oil in a deep pot and brown the meat on all sides and remove. Deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping the debris and remaining wine into the plate that is holding the meat.

Add more olive oil and cook the garlic and onion until soft, then add the tomatoes. Simmer for several minutes then return the meat to the pot along with the debris and several leaves of fresh basil. Cover and simmer over low heat for at least one hour.


My concerns were unfounded. The Braciole was delicious…tender and tasty…and capable of triggering memories of meals in our kitchen on the farm oh so many years ago. Of course not as good as my mom’s.

Our dear friends Lee and Dee joined us for dinner so we were able to avoid the problem of leftovers by sending them to 6th street.

1 comment:

Gus said...

One of my very favorite meals. Gotta try it your way...we make a paste like yours, but add mushrooms and bread crumbs to the blender jar. It can make VERY fat Braciole.