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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Crockpot Braciole

For anyone living under a rock who hasn't heard Rachael Ray talk about this stuff (like my husband), it's pronounced "brah-ZHOL".  It's round steak rolled around a filling and braised in tomato sauce.  Delish, as the Rach would say.
I am a big fan of putting this puppy in a crockpot instead of babysitting a pot on the stove for 2 to 3 hours.  Freeze-ahead and crockpot-friendly, oh jah.

I found that it's easiest to pound out the steak on a cutting board on the floor.  The countertop absorbs too much of the energy from each blow (and is ridiculously noisy), but the concrete slab underlayment in my kitchen doesn't give a millimeter.  Hard on the feet, great for pounding steak.

Crockpot Braciole (makes 4-6 servings)
1 1/2 pound round steak
1/3 cup packed fresh spinach
1/4 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp pine nuts
3 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 15 oz. can tomato puree + 1/4 cup water OR 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Pound round steak between two pieces of plastic wrap until steak is 1/4" thick. 
In a food processor, pulse spinach, onion, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese until finely chopped.  Stir in vinegar and black pepper. 

Spread the filling over the pounded round steak.  Roll up the steak and tie with butcher's twine every 2 or 3 inches.  Depending on the shape of your crockpot, you can choose to roll from the long side or the short side.  Combine tomato puree, water and Italian seasoning.  Freeze tomato sauce in a ziptop bag.  Freeze roast in a vacuseal bag.  Put both bags in a larger bag with cooking instructions.  Or cover both and fridge overnight. 
To cook the braciole, put the rolled steak in a 4-6 quart slow cooker.  Pour tomato sauce over the steak.  Cook on low 8-10 hours.  To serve, slice roast into 1/2" thick slices and spoon tomato sauce over top.
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