• 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 cups bread cubes (1/2-inch), cut from day-old bread with crusts removed
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped coarse
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped fine
  • 2 pounds beef bottom round, cut into 12 slices, each about 1/2 inch thick
  • 12 slices Prosciutto di Parma (about 6 ounces)
  • 1/4 pound imported provola or provolone cheese, cut into 1/4-by-1/4-inch sticks
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small onions (about 8 ounces), chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 (35-ounce) canned Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Water as needed
  • Salt
  • Crushed red pepper


Makes 6 servings. Pour the milk into a medium bowl, add the bread cubes and let soak until the bread is very soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess milk from the bread cubes with your hands and return the bread to the bowl. Stir in the chopped eggs, parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano, raisins, pine nuts and garlic. Mix well and set aside. With the toothed side of a heavy meat mallet, pound each slice of beef round to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Arrange one of the pounded meat slices in front of you with one of the short sides (if there is one) closest to you. Top with a slice of prosciutto and tap the prosciutto with the back side of a knife so it adheres to the beef. Spread 2 tablespoons of the stuffing over the prosciutto, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Place a stick of provolone crosswise over the edge of the stuffing closest to you. Fold the border closest to you over the provolone, then fold the side borders in to overlap the edges of the stuffing. Roll into a compact roll. Secure the end flap with a toothpick. Proceed to finish all, then season the rolls with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy casserole over medium heat. Stir in the onions and garlic and cook until the onion is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add as many of the braciole as will fit in a single layer and cook, turning the braciole as necessary, until golden on all sides, about 7 minutes. If necessary, repeat with any remaining braciole. Meanwhile, empty the tomatoes into a bowl and squeeze them with your hands until coarsely crushed. If necessary, return all the braciole to the casserole. Pour the wine into the casserole, bring to a boil and cook until most of the wine has evaporated. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add tomato paste and bay leaves and stir until the paste is dissolved. Adjust the heat to simmering and cook, adding water as necessary to keep the braciole completely submerged, until the beef is tender, about 3 hours. Remove the toothpicks before serving. The braciole can be prepared up to 2 days in advance, then reheated over low heat until heated through. NOTE: The slices of beef should measure about 4 to 5 inches on each side before pounding. To obtain pieces of the right size, look for -- or ask your butcher to cut -- six 1/2-inch-thick slices from a whole bottom round, then cut those slices crosswise into two pieces.

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