I wrote about our partnership with Francis Ford Coppola Winery last week; I am thrilled to share our first recipe for Braciole. Those of you not familiar with Braciole, I like to think of it as a grown-up meatball, and I am sure you are going to enjoy this recipe as much as we do. The wine we chose to use with this recipe during cooking, as well as serving, is the Diamond Red Blend.
One of the things that we got us excited about working with Francis Ford Coppola Winery is that their Diamond Collection wines use grapes grown in California. The grapes that are used throughout this collection come from both coastal grapes as well as ones grown in the inland valleys of California. Another thing we liked is the playfulness that is used when making each wine. For instance, the Diamond Red Blend was inspired with Scarlet O’Hara in mind, and it is complicated as well as enticing just as her character was. There are hints of spice that kept us excited, as well as subtle vanilla danced with our taste buds. The Diamond Red Blend is made with a blend of Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot Syrah, and Zinfandel, for a jammy fruit explosion in each bottle. The wine is soft or as the winery likes to say “demure” and it pairs nicely with the slightly acidic tomato-based sauce as well as the herbed, salty mixture wrapped in each bite of beef.
Traditionally Braciole is filled with a breadcrumb filling that is seasoned with Italian seasonings. When I began working on this recipe, I tried it this way and wasn’t pleased with how the breadcrumbs tended to dry out the meat, even though it was simmered long and slow. The final recipe, I eliminated the breadcrumbs, which helped the meat stay moist, and even more flavorful with the addition of prosciutto and rosemary. I also used what is considered a “poor mans” cut of meat for this recipe. A boneless sirloin roast, which stays together nicely during a long slow braise, and it absorbs all the flavor of herbs, tomatoes and the luscious wine that is being used in this sauce.
Simply serve this dish with pasta or polenta as we did. I envision you sitting around the table enjoying the wine and the Braciole with loved ones, or even reduce the recipe in half to serve as a romantic dinner for two. Maybe on Valentine’s Day?
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1 bunch Italian parsley, washed and patted dry
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 fresh garlic cloves, peeled
2/3 cup grated parmesan
2 pounds boneless beef sirloin roast, ask your butcher to butterfly on the thinner side
6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves finely minced
1/4 cup Diamond Red Blend Wine
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or 3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 28 ounces can crushed tomatoes with juices
kosher salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
5 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
Place the parsley, rosemary, and garlic into a chopper. Chop until finely minced.
Add the parsley mixture along with the parmesan cheese into a large bowl. Mix well.
Lay the meat onto a counter, and pound with a mallet until about 1/16″ thick.
Season the meat with some salt and pepper, then lay the slices of prosciutto on top of the meat.
Evenly distribute the parsley mixture over the top of the prosciutto.
Tightly roll the meat lengthwise like a jelly roll. Secure with cooking twine. I cut the meat roll in half, as this makes it easier to brown.
Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Brown the meat on all sides, turning as needed, until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the onion to the dutch oven and cook, stirring until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, stir and cook for 1 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a very low simmer.
Cover the dutch oven, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through and very tender, about 2 1/2 – 3 hours.
Remove the meat rolls from the sauce, and cut away the cooking twine. Place onto a serving platter, and spoon the sauce over and around the rolls.
Garnish with the basil leaves.