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Braciole For My Valentine

For the past few years, John and I have opted to stay in for Valentine’s Day dinner. I firmly believe that the best way to express how much you love someone is by preparing a meal that he/she adores. For my wonderful husband, one of those meals is braciole.

A decidedly Italian blend of breadcrumbs, two cheeses, and herbs is rolled snugly into a lean flank steak, which is then braised in a slow oven embraced by a flavorful wine-infused tomato sauce.

Be sure to leave yourself plenty of time to make this meal, as the cooking time is 1 hour 30 minutes. The preparation is simple and straightforward, and the braciole requires minimal “babysitting” while braising in the oven. As is the case with most slow-cooking meat dishes, the aroma emanating from the kitchen while this braciole cooks is enough to send anyone’s heat aflutter.

Make this dish for your husband, wife, or partner, and I guarantee he/she will be overcome with appreciation and love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Braciole

adapted from Giada’s recipe

serves 2, with plenty of leftovers!

  • 1 (1 to 1 1/2 lb) flank steak, pounded to about 1/4-inch thickness
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat italian-style bread crumbs
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups tomato sauce of your choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, cheeses, and 2 Tbsp olive oil in a small bowl.
  3. Spread breadcrumb mixture evenly over the flank steak, pressing lightly to adhere. Starting at one short end, roll the steak up jelly roll-style. Tie pieces of butcher’s twine tightly around the rolled steak at 2-inch intervals; trim twine. Season the filled steak with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the rolled steak and sear on all sides, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pot, then add in the tomato sauce.
  5. Partially cover the pot with aluminum foil and braise in the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the braciole and baste with the sauce, then return to oven, partially covered, for another 3o minutes. Uncover the pot and cook for 30 additional minutes, or until the steak is tender.
  6. Transfer the braciole to a cutting board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for a few minutes. Remove the butcher’s twine and cut the braciole crossways into slices. Serve with whole wheat pasta and sauce.

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