|~ Roma ~|
Cook once, eat twice. It’s a mantra I live by and many of my Recipes have been created with exactly this phrase in mind. Whether it be the Bistro Rigatoni that begins as Braised Short Ribs, or the Braised Rabbit that leaves meat behind for a wonderful pasta ragu, the notion that two great meals can be had from one preparation is always a winner. Today’s dish takes its inspiration from Roma and is a simple flank steak dish that is braised in San Marzano tomatoes. It’s a great Secondi to follow a primi of pasta or salad and the leftover sauce makes a great condimento for pasta the next day.
Involtini alla Roma
2 pounds flank steak
6 oz. prosciutto
Carrots & Celery, sliced (see below)
1/2 sweet vidalia onion (chopped)
24 oz. San Marzano Whole Plum tomatoes
Splash dry white wine
Salt & Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lay the flank steak on a flat cutting board, season inside with salt and pepper. Lay a piece of Prosciutto on each piece. Repeat for as many rolls as you have.
|~ Step 1: Season liberally with pepper but lightly with salt. The prosciutto lends an aspect of salinity and you will also season the tomatoes too ~|
Take carrots and celery and arrange a few pieces at one end of each involtini. The amount of carrots and celery you need will depend on how much meat you have and how large your vegetables are. You want these to be satisfying bundles, so you’ll want more than 1 or 2 pieces for each involtini.
|~ Step 2: Here you can see how I’ve got the carrots and celery sliced and how many I’m fitting in each involtini. If you have extra vegetables, chop them cross wise and include them in the sauce ~|
Starting at the vegetable end, roll each Involtini up and secure closed with a toothpick. Do this for each bundle and then in a skillet large enough to hold all of the meat, brown the involtini in olive oil until they develop a nice color, about 3-4 minutes on all sides.
|~ Step 3: Browning the meat. Season the outside now with salt and pepper and brown. Once browned, remove from the pan and set aside ~|
Once the meat have browned, remove and set aside. Add the onion and any remaining vegetables you may have to the pan and saute until softened; about 3 minutes. You should have some browned particles sticking to the pan and that’s fine. That’s flavor! Deglaze the pan with the white wine and scrape up the browned bits. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes. Then return the meat and all juices they’ve let out to the pan with the tomato. Set the heat to low, cover and simmer for at least a few hours but as long as 6 hours.
|~ Step 4: This is the Involtini after about 6 hours of cooking. If the tomato looks like it’s becoming too dry, add some water to the pan. You want to make sure the meat is 1/2 way covered in the sauce all the while it’s cooking ~|
At this point, you can do one of two things. You can either serve the dish immediately, or you can allow the pan to cool and then refrigerate the dish for 2-3 days. I’ve done both and I think after allowing the dish to sit, the flavors meld incredibly. Make this on a Sunday and it’s great knowing that 2 of your dinners for the next week are essentially done. Just reheat and serve! You should also have anywhere from 3/4 – 1 cup of rich, beefy tomato ragu for a hearty pasta condimento.
|~ The Chef’s Plate: Take the time to cook the involtini long and slow. The meat will be fork tender. If you shorten the cooking time, the meat may be tougher ~|
August 23, 2016