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The Crock Pot Returns

September 22, 2010

You may have noticed that there’s been a big, empty echo around this place for a while. Yep, I haven’t posted in a dinosaur’s age. Chalk it up to life, liberty, and the pursuit of the outside world. But hey, it’s not like I charge you for these recipes 🙂

But, at long last, the weather is turning cooler (OK, not today; it’s 80°; but I swear it was almost fall-like earlier in the week). And I’ve excavated the crockpot from the depths of my basement. And this is the first dish I made…

Crock Pot Beef Braciole

2 lbs of round steak, pounded thin (or, if you’re as lucky as I am, your market will have the meat prepped and packaged for braciole)

1/4 cup mixed, pitted olives (I used something called “Mediterranean blend”)

2-3 tbsps. capers

2-3 tbsps. white raisins (it’s not weird; it’s a Sicilian thing)

3 tbsps pine nuts (you can toast them, but I was in too big a rush)

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, stems removed and thrown out

2-3 tbsps. grated cheese (I like Romano)

A stream of olive oil (I’ll explain this later)

1/4 cup, more or less, of Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

1 12-oz. can of diced tomatoes

1 12ish-oz can of tomato paste (I prefer San Marzano paste)

6ish oz. of decent red wine

S&P to taste

Directions

  1. Break out the food processor, and drop the olives, capers, raisins and parsley in it. Whir until this is all chopped up fine.
  2. Add the grated cheese, and with the processor running, start streaming in the olive oil. Stop when you have something resembling a thin pesto.
  3. Scrape the parsley-olive pesto into a bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Add enough to turn the mixture into a thick paste.
  4. Get ready to get messy.
  5. Lay your prepped beef out on a flat work surface covered in wax paper, parchment, or something else that you don’t care about getting gloopy.
  6. Spread a thin (but not cheap) layer of parsley-olive pesto on the beef–you don’t need to go all the way to the ends, but cover most of the surface.
  7. Roll up the beef, jelly roll style, starting from the short end.  Try to keep as much of the pesto in the roll as you can, but don’t despair if a bunch of it oozes out. We’ll use it.
  8. Either tie up the beef rolls to keep them closed, or use toothpicks or wooden skewers to keep them in shape. About 3 pieces of skewer should do it.
  9. Stack the finished beef rolls (I got 4 from close to 2 lbs of braciole) in the crock pot.
  10. Throw any pesto that you didn’t use, or that escaped during the rolling process, into the crock pot, alongside the beef.
  11. Pour the diced tomatoes with all their liquid around the beef. Add the red wine the same way.
  12. Spread the tomato paste over the top of the beef rolls, making sure each roll is covered.
  13. Cook on low for 5 hours. Flip the beef after about 4 hours, so the paste mixes with the rest of the liquid in the pot.
  14. Slice the beef, and keep warm. Taste the sauce and add s&p, if needed. At this point, if the sauce seems thin, leave the lid off the crock pot and let it simmer another 15ish minutes.
  15. Serve the sauce and sliced beef over pasta, smashed potatoes, or rice.
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One Comment leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    September 28, 2010 1:56 pm

    Cool – one of your “possibly related posts” links to a photo of a crock pot beef stew I made.

    Your recipe sounds delicious. I’m going to save it to try when I get a chance. 🙂

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