Monday, June 1, 2009


See also the picture of these with my sister at the beginning of the blog.
This is the kitchen of the rental we had in Salina.

A simple involtini of beef or any other meat for that matter is just a layer of thinly cut or thinly pounded meat with a stuffing. I have discussed the stuffing of bread crumbs etc elsewhere. Check Bracciole and Stuffed Things posts. However, if you go to Salina and pick up involtini of beef(Manzo) from the butcher, you get a very simple thing. They take a lean cut of beef, either cut paper thin or pounded as in Cutlets, Scallopini or Bracciole, and lay a slice of cured meat(Prociutto Cotto or Prociutto Crudo, Speck, etc. on it along with a nice cheese like Fontina or Provolone(In this case the round kind you see in the supermarket and in shrink wrap would work) and roll it up and secure it with a toothpick. You often get round steak on more or less small oval pieces. If you ask your butcher to thin slice the piece of meat that these come from (sort of like a thick Bologna slice or thick cut bacon slice)You will probably have no trouble. This would take very minor pounding to get a nice piece of meat for rolling up.
Brown the Involtini in plain olive oil or clarified butter, Add a couple of crushed or minced garlic cloves along with a chopped onion near the end of cooking time and allow to soften, then de-glaze the pan with beef broth and add two or three hand crushed tomatoes or canned plumb tomatoes crushed in the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste(Broth can be salty so be careful) a bit of dried oregano and a bay leaf.(a couple of cloves would be good with the beef as well.) Simmer covered at a very low temperature till the meat is very tender. Serve the meat as a main course and serve the broth and gravy with pasta.

Alternatively, after browning the meat, remove it to a plate. Replenish the frying fat and drop in a finely chopped carrot, onion and celery rib. Cook over medium heat till soft and crush as you go with a spoon or a potato masher. Add two crushed cloves of garlic near the half way point of this process. When it is nearly cooked, add a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste and stir to combine and allow it to brown with the veggies. Add broth, salt, pepper, a bay leaf and dried Oregano to the mixture.(A couple of cloves work well here too.) When all is combined and simmering over low heat, return the Involtini to the pan and simmer covered, very low, till the meat is tender.

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