The Begeny Braciole
• 1/2 cup homemade bread crumbs
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 2/3 cup or more grated Pecorino Romano
• 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
• 1/2 cup pancetta, chopped
• 1 onion, chopped
• 8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 3 1/4 cups marinara sauce
After several days of talking about making this braciole, we went to the store about five minutes before we wanted to start cooking. They were out of flank steak. Oh well. We went with skirt steaks and made little individual ones. I pounded them out to make them a bit more uniform in size and shape. And then…
Combine the first four ingredients to blend. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season mixture with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Heat 1 tb of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add pancetta and continue to cook until lightly browned and starting to crisp. Remove from heat and let cool enough to handle.
Lay the flank steak flat on the work surface. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the steak to cover the top evenly. Top with the pancetta and onion mixture. Starting at the short end, securely roll up the steak to enclose the filling completely. Using butcher's twine, tie up the roll. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Heat 1 Tb of olive oil in saute pan (we used the same one the pancetta and onion had been in) over medium heat and add mushrooms. Saute until they release their moisture, about 8 minutes and cook off the liquid.
Preheat oven to 350º.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the braciole and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the marinara sauce. Cover partially with foil and bake until the meat is almost tender, turning the braciole and basting with the sauce every 30 minutes. After 1 hour, uncover and continue baking until the meat is tender, about 30 minutes longer. The total cooking time should be about 1 1/2 hours, less for skirt steaks.
Remove the braciole from the sauce. Snip the strings holding it together and cut the braciole crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. We served this over cavatappi pasta sprinkled with olive oil and all the leftover bits: the extra bread crumb mixture, pancetta and onion and extra cheese — and of course more sauce spooned over.