We don’t eat a ton of red meat but sometimes I crave it. Beef braciole is one of those slow cooked meals that just make your house smell amazing. But finding the time to spend a few hours cooking seems to be hard to come by. That’s what Sundays are for.
We have been eating a ton of vegetarian and chicken dishes lately. Sometimes our weekends are pure chaos and other times we actually have some down time. On the weekends where there is some down time I don’t mind cooking something that takes a few hours. Plus when something is cooking that long your house is bound to smell good.
On Friday my husband had told me he had been craving some kind of Italian dish with red sauce. I started searching around for inspiration. I go to Pintrest often to find inspiration for meals. I never really follow recipes just more or less see a title or read a snippet and then make something my own. Beef braciole came up on my search. I really wanted to make it but saw that on average it took 2.5-4 hours to cook. I did not have that kind of time on a Friday night.
When I was checking recipes I came across some standard concepts in braciole which tended to be a the beef, a breadcrumb mixture of sorts then rolled up and cooked in a red sauce. I saw some recipes that had cheese in them (provolone or mozzarella), pinenuts, wine etc so I figured I would make my version a hybrid of what I saw from other recipes.
Most recipes called for flank steak or round steak. Unfortunately my grocery store did not have a grass fed version of either so I went with skirt steak. You need any cut of beef you can pound thin. You certainly don’t need to make homemade tomato sauce but it’s actually really easy so I figured why not?
I also decided to make my own bread crumbs. They had these great small ciabatta loaves at Whole Foods that I had made croutons with previously so I figured bread crumbs would be easy to make with this as well. Bread crumbs are easy if you have a food processor. I used the bread, pinenuts, garlic cloves, Italian flat leaf parsley and parmesan cheese in my mix. It’s as simple as putting the ingredients in and pulsing. I would recommend saving the cheese for the very end so it does not start to melt due to the blade getting warm.
Then in my typical fashion I wanted some more veggies in the dish. I decided to layer in spinach and some provolone cheese before I rolled up my beef. Making the beef rolls was the most time consuming part of this recipe but that really only took 10-15 minutes.
Don’t be discouraged when you see the cook time for this recipe. Once you get the food on the stove it pretty much cooks itself for a few hours. All you need to do is stir. You do need an afternoon or evening to let it all come together but trust me your house will smell amazing!