Braciolone

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Braciolone

The above is the correct spelling of a dish served all over New Orleans Italian restaurants. In other parts of the country, a smaller version of the same dish is known as braciole. It’s not often prepared at home except by old-time cooks, because it’s more than a little bit of work. However, it’s a good cheap red-sauce thrill when made well.

Braciolone

  • 4 slices veal round, about 1/4 inch thick, 4 inches wide and 6 inches long
  • 2 cups seasoned Italian bread crumbs
  • 12 slices lean, smoky ham or prosciutto, very thinly sliced
  • 12 slices provolone cheese
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced thin
  • 8 sprigs parsley, leaves only, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped garlic
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 quarts marinara sauce (recipe below)

1. Pound out the veal until tender, and about twice its original dimensions. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of each slice and press down to stick.

2. In layers, top the veal with ham, provolone, boiled egg, ham, parsley, and garlic.

3. Carefully roll up the veal in the direction of the narrow dimension, for a jellyroll effect. Tie the roll securely with string.

4. Dust the roll lightly with flour seasoned with the salt, and white pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet and brown the veal roll lightly on all sides. Remove veal roll and drain.

5. Heat the tomato sauce in a large saucepan. When it simmers, add the veal rolls and cook 45-55 minutes, to allow sauce to penetrate all the way through.

6. Remove veal rolls from sauce. Remove string, and slice on the bias into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Serve with extra sauce, pasta, and grated Parmesan cheese.

Serves eight.

2 Readers Commented

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  1. Kim McDaniel on November 19, 2014

    I grew up eating braciolone with spinach stuffed in it along with the boiled eggs. Rocky & Carlo’s still makes it. I know Mandina’s used to have it as a daily special, but am unsure if they still do. Great memories. I think I might make it on a Sunday in the next few weeks. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Elizabeth Porretta on October 17, 2017

    You still didn’t give the recipe for the sauce!

    TOMMENT:
    Yes, I did! Here it is again:

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    Fresh Marinara Sauce

    This is the kind of red sauce we make most often at home. It’s cooked only a few minutes, so the freshness of the tomatoes doesn’t turn into sweetness. The flavor of fresh basil–which we have growing out on our sunniest deck during the warmer months–is a top flavor note.

    In that and some other ways, this is not your Sicilian grandmother’s recipe for red gravy. However, you can get close to that by letting the pot of sauce simmer at a low temperature for a few hours, stirring often and not allowed to get very thick. This sauce will be especially good with the likes of braciolone, for example.

    • 2 cans whole plum tomatoes with basil
    • 4 fresh, ripe plum tomatoes
    • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh garlic
    • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
    • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • Leaves of six sprigs of Italian parsley, chopped
    • 15 leaves fresh basil, chopped

    1. Drain and reserve the juice from the canned tomatoes. Put the tomatoes in a food processor and chop them almost into a puree. (You can also do this by squeezing the tomatoes with your fingers in a bowl.)

    2. Cut off the stem end and cut an X on the smooth end of each fresh tomato. Drop them into boiling water for about fifteen seconds. After they cool a bit, peel the tomatoes, squeeze out the seeds and pulp, and chop them finely.

    3. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over high heat until it ripples. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, and oregano and cook for a minute. Add all the tomatoes and stir, maintaining the heat, until you have a pretty good boil. Lower the heat, add one cup of the reserved juice, and return to a low boil.

    4. Add the salt, parsley and basil, and continue cooking for about ten minutes, stirring once in awhile. You can cook it longer for a sweeter sauce, but I think it tastes best right at this point.

    Makes about six cups of sauce.

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