Using left-over hard cooked eggs….. I got a glimpse of summer during the kid’s Spring Break and I liked it! But, back to the real world and that means using up holiday leftovers, grocery shopping, packing lunches and making dinners that can extend into said lunches. My Monday night meal usually consists of some version of spaghetti and meatballs (due to my teenage son’s disproportionate love and adoration of this meal), but this week, I had extra hard-cooked eggs the Easter Bunny left behind that I needed to use. What to do? I made Beef Braciole in a Tomato Braising sauce with Polenta….this week’s version of spaghetti and meatballs. I used the leftover cooked eggs, parmesan cheese, spinach and breadcrumbs to make a stuffing for the steak and braised it in a tomato sauce spiked with beef broth. Serving it over a creamy corn polenta changes up the pasta routine a bit and is a hit with my kids.
Beef Braciole with Egg and Tomato Braising Sauce
2 lbs eye of round steak or flank steak
2 hard boiled eggs,
chopped 1 medium shallot, diced
Handful of baby spinach,
chopped 2 T parsley,
chopped 2 T panko, toasted
Zest of one lemon
2 T freshly grated parmesan cheese
Prosciutto, one slice per steak
Kosher salt and ground pepper
2 cups beef broth
1 28oz can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
1 bay leaf 4 sprigs thyme
Directions: Prepare by chopping and dicing the eggs, shallot, spinach, parsley, parmesan and zesting the lemon. Toast the panko in a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. Set these ingredients aside. Saute the shallot in a skillet with one teaspoon of olive oil until soft. Add the chopped spinach to the pan with the shallot and saute until wilted.
Place shallot and spinach in a bowl, add the panko, chopped parsley, lemon zest, parmesan cheese and chopped egg. Combine the stuffing ingredients and set aside while preparing the meat. Set the steak on a cutting board covered with plastic wrap.
Butterfly the steak by cutting horizontally and fan open like a butterfly. Continue for each piece of steak. Lay another piece of plastic wrap on top of the butterflied steak and gently flatten each steak with the smooth side of a meat mallet. Discard the top piece of plastic and lie each piece of butterflied steak on the cutting board.
Working assembly line style, season with salt and pepper, apply one piece of prosciutto to each steak, and spread the stuffing over the top of the prosciutto. Roll each steak jelly roll style and secure each piece with toothpicks or twine.
Heat a pan on medium/high heat with a small amount of olive oil (I used a heavy bottom stainless steel skillet). Sear the meat on all sides. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside to make the braising liquid. Stir beef broth into the pan and deglaze by scraping off any caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring broth to a simmer and add the canned tomatoes, bay leaf and thyme. Return to a simmer and add the braciole back to the pan.
Cover, reduce heat to low and let braise for about an hour. When the meat is cooked through and tender, remove Braciole, bay leaf and thyme from the pan and pour the sauce in a blender to puree. Return the sauce to the pan set on medium heat and reduce for a few minutes to intensify the flavors. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Remove the toothpicks or twine from the braciole and cut into pinwheel slices. Arrange slices on a platter (or over creamy polenta which is how I served mine) and pour over with sauce and a sprinkling of parsley.
8 cups liquid (I used the leftover beef broth and water, but all water is fine)
1 cup polenta corn grits
1 cup semolina flour (OR use 2 cups high quality corn meal if you cannot find semolina)
1 T butter ½ grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping
Bring water and broth to a boil in a large sauce pan.
SLOWLY pour cornmeal and semolina into water, stirring continuously with a wire whisk. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to thicken (3-4 minutes). Turn heat down to medium/low and cook for another 20 minutes or so. Continue stirring every few minutes. Polenta should be bubbling like a volcano. Turn off heat, add butter and parmesan and stir to combine. Cover until ready to use. When ready to use, stir with a wooden spoon. If too thick, add a little boiling water until the right consistency. You could also add a bit of cream instead of the water if you prefer. Serve polenta on a platter or in a bowl with sauce or parmesan cheese. It can also be spread out on a sheet pan, chilled and cut into pieces. When I do this, I like to fry the polenta pieces in a little olive oil and top with parmesan cheese.
Kerrie Ciano is a stay-at-home-car-sports-