Falsomagro or Braciolone(Serves 6-8)
Sicilian Stuffed Beef Roll
The name of this dish, Falsomagro, means false lean or stuffed lean. Although it looks like a simple roast beef, hidden inside are rich layers of prosciutto, cheese, and a meat/sausage stuffing studded with peas. At the center of the roast is a row of hard-boiled eggs that form a bull’s-eye surrounded by the ring of meat. When the slices of meat are set on a platter over the rich meat-flavored sauce, the presentation is quite dramatic. Prepared for the most important feasts, falsomagro is traditionally on Sicilian dinner tables for Christmas or New Year. Every Sicilian family puts it own variation of stuffing inside.
The roast is also delicious at room temperature served without the sauce or with the sauce reheated.
The sauce itself can be served with pasta as a first course with the meat served as a main course. If the sauce is very thin and you want to serve it with pasta, put it in a saucepan and reduce it to your desired consistency.
2 pounds round steak, about 1-1/2 inches thick
8 ounces prosciutto, sliced thin
4 ounces provolone, sliced thin
8 ounces ground beef
8 ounces Italian sausage, removed from casings
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
6 hardboiled eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1 cup red wine
1 cup tomato puree
2 cups beef broth
To butterfly the steak:
Lay the steak on a surface with the long side facing you. Using a sharp knife, slice the steak in half horizontally. You don't want to separate the meat into 2 pieces, so stop slicing before you reach the end. Open the meat like a book.
Place the meat between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound to an even 1/2-inch thickness. The steak should be roughly a rectangle about 14 x 8-inches.
To assemble the beef roll:
Arrange the slices of prosciutto and then the provolone over the surface of the steak. In a bowl, combine the ground beef, sausage, pecorino, peas, onions, garlic, and parsley. Add the egg and season with salt and pepper. Stir or use your hands to blend the mixture well. Spread the mixture over the prosciutto and provolone. Don’t spread it all the way to the edges of the meat or it will be difficult to roll.
Cut the ends off the hard boiled eggs so that the yolks are still intact but exposed. Arrange the eggs, end to end, down the center of the meat.
Roll the meat from the bottom up over the eggs. Bring the top edge of the meat down over the eggs and slightly overlapping the bottom edge.
Tie the roll at 1-inch intervals with kitchen string along the entire length. Tuck in the ends of the meat and tie the roll from end to end to secure the filling.
Bake and serve:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dust the meat roll with flour and add it to the skillet. Brown the meat on all sides, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the meat roll to a roasting pan; set aside.
Add the wine to the skillet, scraping up the brown bits in the pan. Cook the wine briskly until reduced by half. Add the tomato puree and beef broth to the skillet; bring to a simmer. Pour the sauce into the roasting pan; turn the meat in the sauce to coat. Cover the roasting pan with a lid or aluminum foil; place it in the oven. Cook for 1-1/2 hours, turning and basting the meat every 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes. Cut off the strings and cut the meat roll into 1/2-inch thick slices. Ladle some of the sauce onto a deep platter. Arrange the slices of meat on top. Serve hot.
The roast may also be prepared ahead and refrigerated before slicing:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut off the strings and cut the meat roll into 1/2-inch thick slices. Pour some of the sauce in a baking dish. Arrange the slices of meat over the sauce. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
Falsomagro - Sicilian Stuffed Beef Roll
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