Ultimate beef braciole

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time90 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy

For the braciole

150g panko bread crumbs
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 anchovy fillets, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
200g buffalo mozzarella bocconcini balls, sliced in half if large size
50g store-bought, drained and roughly chopped roasted red peppers
3 tbsp minced flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
910g piece flank steak
3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered lengthwise
For braising:
Extra-virgin olive oil
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, gently smashed
2 small onions, sliced
2 bay leaves
375ml low-sodium beef broth
1 (795g) tin tomatoes (recommended: San Marzano)
8 vine-ripened tomatoes, separated from vine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp good-quality balsamic vinegar
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped for garnish
1) Toast the panko bread crumbs in a dry skillet with a little olive oil over low heat, until golden. Add to a large mixing bowl along with the anchovy, garlic, bocconcini, red peppers, parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper, to taste. Stir together until well combined.

2) Set the flank steak on a piece of cling film. Make a deep horizontal slice along the steak almost all the way through and fan open like a book. Lay another piece of cling film on top. Using the smooth side of a meat mallet, gently flatten the steak until about 1-cm thick; take care not to tear.

3) Discard the top sheet of cling film; rub the surface with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread the stuffing evenly over the meat, leaving a 1.5-cm border all around.

4) Arrange the eggs lengthwise down the centre of the meat and roll up like a jelly roll log, using the plastic wrap as support. Tie the roll with kitchen twine in 4 to 5 places to secure - this will help hold the shape and keep the filling from falling out.

5) Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

6) Put a roasting tin across 2 burners and heat over medium heat. Add a 3-count of olive oil and add the thyme and garlic. Cook for about a minute until fragrant. Carefully add the braciole and sear until evenly browned all over, approximately 2 minutes each side.

7) Add the sliced onions and bay leaves, then stir in the beef broth to deglaze.

8) Add the tinned tomatoes over the top, then nestle in the whole vine tomatoes around the braciole. Bring to a simmer, then cover with foil and put in the oven to braise for 45 to 60 minutes. When done, remove the foil and remove the braciole to a carving board to rest.

9) Carefully remove the whole vine tomatoes, with a slotted spoon, to a plate. Let the sauce cool for about 5 minutes. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaf, then add the sauce to a blender and puree.

10) Pour the sauce back into the pan and set over medium heat to bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add the balsamic vinegar.

11) Remove the kitchen twine from the beef and cut into 2.5-cm thick "pin-wheel" slices. Arrange the slices on a platter and arrange the whole vine tomatoes around the beef. Pour the sauce over the top, garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

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