Braciole in Tomato Sauce and Roasted Veggies, a recipe brought back from the region of Tuscany, Italy, on "La Cucina Povera" The Poor Kitchen. A cuisine utilizing budget wise ingredients to create substantial hearty food.
Braciole in Tomato Sauce and Roasted Veggies, beautiful beef cutlets breaded twice, then fried, and finally into an oven with a thick rich tomato sauce. Intense in flavors and served with an array of roasted vegetables, absolutely soul food that is budget-wise and substantial enough for a hungry family.
[This post is sponsored by the Italian Centre Shop. We were financially compensated, but the opinions are completely our own].
A trip down memory lane
Braciole has something that I cannot say no to. You just have to say cutlets and I am in. I remember when I was in Elementary school and my mom would tell me that we were having cotolette (cutlets), that was all I could think of for the rest of the day. When that bell went off signifying that school was done, I was literally running home and the trek was at least a good mile. While running, I dreamed of sinking my teeth into that thin pounded crispy bread coated beef fillet. The golden color, the tenderness of the meat. My breath and beating of my heart, the rhythm taking me home, pushing through the door, sweat dripping down my cheek, chest heaving, but soon to be relieved by the aroma of cutlets in a pan sizzling. I would ask my mom several times if it was ready yet, up until she gave me the look. I don't know about you, but Italian moms have these specific looks and you know not to push the boundaries or wooden spoons were going to fly. Finally, supper was ready and I was the happiest kid in the world, my only dilemma, an older brother who also loved the cutlets, and the battle of forks to flesh began, lol. These are great memories and ones that are ignited by this Braciole recipe. When asked by The Italian Centre Shop to do a recipe featuring their products, this was definitely on the list.
Back to the present
One of the things I love is our trips to Italy. I love the moist warm air, the fact that history exists and is verified by the many historic sights still standing today that date back to stories I read as a child, and the regional food! Truly an amazing experience. Our trip last year was planned around a cooking course in Tuscany. Giulia, from Juls' Kitchen, a blogger out of Tuscany offers cooking classes in the comfort of her kitchen studio located at the back of the house. The setting beautiful, stone houses, rolling and rambling countryside, with abundant farm fields and olive trees, and a bright warm sun, what could be better than this you ask? Well, learning "La Cucina Povera" (The Poor Kitchen), from a true Tuscan native, right in the region it came from. It was an extraordinary day making dishes that were delicious, substantial, easy to make, and using ingredients that are easy on the pocketbook. One particular dish was this Braciole in Tomato sauce. Made from using cheap cuts of meat filleted nicely and breaded twice using stale bread and then cooked in a rich tomato sauce. I loved this dish and when I heard we were making it, my heart began to pound just like I was a kid again.
Today, from our Canadian kitchen, I give you our experience and recipe for Braciole in Tomato Sauce and Roasted Veggies.
The great thing about having a place like The Italian Center Shop is the wonderful products and ingredients we can find. Messinger Meats products are sold there and I have to tell you it is a great product. Piedmontese beef comes from an Italian breed of cow (a few were shipped over to North America in the '70's and there is currently about 15,000 head in North America). Messinger sources the Piedmontese solely from Peony Farms, a Lacombe farm. So now we can experience a bit of Italy right here in the prairies. Lately, I have been buying some ground beef for my parents and they love it. You have to understand that my parents usually buy where the great deals are, but due to illness are looking for better organic ingredients. Nicoletta and I have been telling them for years that these products taste better and are better for you, finally they are tasting it and my mom asks for these things every week. For this recipe, I used a flank steak which is not the most tender cut and usually requires a lot of cooking time. By filleting it and pounding the fillets with a meat clever and then marinating them in olive oil, spices, and garlic, breaks down the protein, making these succulent, moist and extra tender. Encased in that double egg, double breaded coating then fried, ensuring a crispy golden coating housing that wonderful fillet inside. Luxury comes in on a poor person's budget with the addition of that rich tomato sauce. The flavor brilliant, and somewhat acidic with hints of sweetness from the lovely Mutti Passata.
We decided to serve it with some roasted veggies. In Italy, this is something you will see quite often on the table after the pasta round, and mostly it is one of Nicoletta's favorite and her go-to veggie side dish. A blend of colored peppers, onions, potatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, etc, with some good extra virgin olive oil, seasoning, and herbs, thrown in a hot oven to get all caramelized and crispy-edged.
This has hearty and delicious written all over it. It is just about time to get things to the table. The aromas are intoxicating, from the rich slow stewed tomato sauce with its sweet acidic nature, the braciole, and that bread coating hearty, meaty, exuberant. There is something about slow-cooked food, it is intense in aroma and taste. The vegetables: sweet, peppery, crispy roasted goodness. I love this meal, just what I need to remember good times and also to warm the coolness of winter in our kitchen.
So if you are looking for a meal for your hungry family, and budget is of utmost importance, this Braciole in Tomato Sauce and Roasted Veggies will offer all those things and will have a bonus of wholesome goodness full of soul, body, and love.
Thanks to The Italian Center Shop for allowing us to express our passion and creativity, and to Jul's Kitchen for the tremendous experience and inspiration!
- 16 ounce piece of Messinger Farms flank steak filleted
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 table spoon Colavita olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped roughly
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups of Mutti Passata
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 leaves of fresh basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups of Pastene Italian style bread crumbs
- 1 cup home made bread crumbs (using stale Italian bread)
- 4 organic free range eggs
- Sea salt, cracked black pepper
- Pinch of onion powder
- 1 ½-2 cups Colavita olive oil
- ½ white onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic whole and pressed
- 1 red pepper chopped roughly
- 1 yellow pepper chopped roughly
- 1 large zucchini diced
- 1 cup chopped brown cremini mushrooms chopped
- 2 tbsp. Colavita olive oil
- Cracked Sea Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp mixed dried oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary.
- Take flank steak fillets and pound each side with a meat tenderizer.
- Place into a large Tupperware and add in olive oil, garlic, rosemary, oregano, some salt and pepper.
- Toss the steaks ensuring all the fillets get coated with the herbs and oil.
- Put in fridge for an hour.
- In a saute pan drizzle in olive oil, garlic, and begin to heat.
- When garlic starts to sizzle, pour in tomato passata (puree).
- Toss in basil and dried oregano. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Turn heat to a low simmer and cook till sauce gets thick about 20 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
- In a large bowl toss in onions, whole garlic, zucchini, red pepper, yellow pepper, mushrooms.
- Drizzle olive oil through out. Sprinkle in herbs.
- Toss well and place in a large parchment lined oven safe dish and put in oven for 45-50 minutes or until desired texture is achieved.
- While sauce is cooking start breading the beef fillets.
- Place bread crumbs into a shallow large bowl.
- In another shallow bowl crack in eggs and blend in salt, pepper, onion powder.
- Take fillets out of fridge. Dip fillets in egg mixture making sure it is well coated with the eggs, then
- in bread crumb bowl and bread both sides.
- Dip breaded fillet into the egg mixture again.
- Then back into the bread crumbs coating them well making sure all surface is breaded.
- Place fillet on a parchment lined plate.
- Pour olive oil into a large frying pan. When oil is hot place fillets in and fry turning till both sides golden brown.
- Take fillets and place on a plate with paper towel to capture any excess oil.
- When all fillets are done place into the pan with the tomato sauce and coat well.
- Place pan in oven for about 10 minutes.
- Take roasted veggies and braciole out of oven.
- Place a couple of pieces of braciole on plate and serve with a portion of roasted veggies. Also good with some nice rustic bread on the table.
Marinating time for the fillets is about 1 hour in the fridge.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Serving Size: 4 servings
When I am not cooking, I enjoy playing musical instruments, singing, writing. I have learned over the years to live in gratitude and enjoy the moment.