Friday, January 7, 2011
Rolling Meat & Drinking Montepulciano
January 7: Dinner
Based on another sale item at my grocery store, I decided to attempt rolled meat with an otherwise ordinary pasta meal. The thin beef slices were perfect for braciole. I found the tastiest-looking recipe in Michele Scicolone’s cookbook, “1,000 Italian Recipes”, one that my mother bought for me last year. The recipe in its entirety can be found here, though I used only half the meat recommended.
Basics: Flattened beef and covered with mixture of chopped garlic, bread crumbs, parsley, freshly grated parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and a few red pepper flakes. Rolled and tied with twine. Seared in hot pan sprinkled with olive oil until all sides were browned, tossed in more garlic, sautéed in red wine to scrape up bits in pan. Poured all into larger pan already containing large puréed can of peeled plum tomatoes and small can of tomato paste. Cooked on low heat for about 30 minutes. Added spaghetti.
I veered from the recipe in a few areas, like adding bread crumbs and red pepper to my meat, and using tomato paste to thicken the sauce. I also simmered for much longer than recommended because…well…I was watching Rachel Maddow.
It was a very tasty meal. The meat was nicely done, not overcooked as I feared it might be. I should have minced the garlic instead of chopping it. And I didn’t need the tomato paste added to the sauce, as I now have a lot of leftover sauce. But for the most part, the meat was easy and came out well, and the sauce was average.
I’ll score this one as a win!
This dinner obviously called for a red wine - an Italian one - as the recipe needed a little and I needed a lot. I chose one of my favorite types of rich reds, Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, a particular type of wine from the Abruzzi region of Italy. This brand was Citra, one that I hadn’t tried before, and the year was 2008. It was a little peppery and full, but it went perfectly well with meat and pasta. I’ve had better Montepulciano brands, but this one was great in a pinch.