I first heard of it on a cooking show but, involved with something else, I wasn't really watching. I heard the name, noticed a couple of the ingredients, and looked up at the end to catch a glimpse of the finished dish. That was around nine months ago and during the time the idea of braciole had grown until it was something I had to fix.
I suspected the rolling, which would in effect change it from a steak to a roast, would improve results. I was right.Braciole is not a particularly complicated or elegant dish. It's simply a piece of meat — most often beef or veal and sometimes pork — wrapped around a stuffing and then braised. Sometimes it's made using scaloppini in individual portions and sometimes it's prepared as a large roast. I had guests coming for dinner last weekend and decided it was time to harvest.
I looked up a dozen or more recipes in books I had and on the Web. I began my search with a couple of prejudices that had already formed in my mind. First, I wanted to do a roast and not individual rolls. Second, the sauce should be based on fresh tomatoes (that's one reason I hadn't already made it). Eventually I put together a recipe.
For the meat I decided on round steak. This isn't a cut I use often. It has a good flavor — nice and beefy — but as a working muscle it's tough. Furthermore, it has little fat to lubricate and ameliorate the tough fibers and because it's a steak and not a roast, slow cooking typically just wrings what juice it does have out of it. But I suspected the rolling, which would in effect change it from a steak to a roast, would improve results. I was right.
The meal and the braciole were a success. The meat was reasonably tender and richly flavored with a luscious broth (serve with plenty of bread for sopping).