Magazine article Sunset

You Roll Up Sausage, Cheese, Spinach Inside Flank Steak

Magazine article Sunset

You Roll Up Sausage, Cheese, Spinach Inside Flank Steak

Article excerpt

Flank steak--split open, stuffed, and rolled--is the basis of a flavorful braised dish the Italians call braciola. This is a loose extension of the actual definition of the word, which means cutlet, and comes from the way the steak is handled.

Slices of the cooked meat have a pinwheel pattern, with Swiss cheese and Italian sausage links in the center. As the meats cook, their juices flavor the tomato-wine sauce. To serve, pour the sauce over hot spaghetti, then arrange sliced meat on top. Accompany with a green salad.

You can shape the meat roll a day ahead. Brown the roll in oil, then simmer to tenderness. Serve braciola for a family supper or casual company dinner. Sausage and Cheese Braciola 1 large (about 1-3/4 lb.) flank steak 3/4 pound spinach 4 Italian sausage links (about 1 lb. total) 6 ounces sliced Swiss cheese 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed 2 tablespoons olive oil or salad oil Tomato sauce (recipe follows) 3/4 cup dry red wine Salt 1 pound dried pasta such as spaghetti or long macaroni Water About 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Trim and discard fat from flank steak. To butterfly, lay steak flat and, with a sharp knife, split meat horizontally from a long side, leaving the opposite edge intact; fold half of meat back to open out the steak. Place meat between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound with the flat side of a mallet until thickness is uniform.

Discard stems and coarse leaves from spinach; rinse and drain tender leaves.

Cook sausages in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat, turning, until well browned on all sides; remove from pan. Discard all but 1 tablespoon drippings. Add spinach to pan; cover and cook over medium-high heat until leaves wilt, about 1 minute; stir, then remove from heat. …

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