Ingredients for Sunday Tomato Sauce
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- One 6-ounce can tomato paste
- One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- One 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
- 2 whole cloves
- Salt and pepper
Ingredients for Braciole
- 8 large eggs
- 4 large, thin slices of beef top round (ask for “braciole” meat at the butcher counter)—the larger the better (about 1½ to 2 pounds total)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
- 12 thin slices Genoa salami
- ¼ cup shaved Parmigiano cheese
- 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
- ½ cup raisins
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- Olive oil for frying
1. First make the Sunday tomato sauce. In a 5-quart stain-less steel saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re a pale golden color. Add the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes to caramelize the paste, stirring casually. Fill the tomato paste can with water and stir to dissolve any paste left in the can, then add the water to the pot. Add another canful of water to the pot. Stir to dissolve the paste fully. Add the crushed tomatoes to the pot; fill the can with water and stir to release any tomatoes left in the can; then add the water do the pot. Do the same with the diced tomatoes—adding the tomatoes, then filling the can with water and adding the water to the pot. Add the bay leaf, cloves, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove the bay leaf and cloves. (To make the cloves easy to remove, make a small pouch out of a coffee filter; add the cloves and tie closed with kitchen string. When it’s time to remove the cloves, simply take out the pouch.)
Meanwhile, as the sauce is simmering, make the braciole. Place the eggs in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside for 10 minutes. Drain, peel, and cut the eggs in half vertically; set aside.
3. Place the meat on a cutting board. With a meat mallet, pound the meat to flatten and tenderize. Sprinkle the entire surface of the meat with salt, pepper, garlic, pars-ley, and breadcrumbs. Layer salami, Parmigiano, onion, raisins, and pine nuts on top of the meat.
4. Then sprinkle the Romano cheese over the filling; place eggs (4 halves per slice of meat) and potatoes across each slice of meat. Roll the meat tightly, tucking in the ends; tie with butcher’s twine or secure with strong toothpicks.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sear the braciole on all sides until browned. Add to the pot of tomato sauce, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 1½ hours or until the meat is tender when pierced with a knife. Take the meat out of the sauce and cool for a few minutes. Cut into 1-inch thick rounds and garnish with more tomato sauce.
You may add browned sausages to the sauce after the braciole have cooked for 20 minutes, and then add fried meatballs to the sauce. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring gently from time to time, until all the meats are cooked. Simmer another 30 minutes or so. Any leftover sauce and meat can be packed in containers and frozen.