Braciole (bra-zhol) is an Italian dish that consists of thin cut of meat stuffed rolled up and braised. Two years ago I was in Florida for my grandmother’s birthday and being the good Italian grandma that she is, she cooked a huge feast. One of the dishes was these beef rolls simmering in tomato sauce. I had never heard of it before. They were delicious. Well fast forward two years. I’m browsing my favorite food sites and up pops the braciole recipe with pork instead of beef. I had a huge loin defrosting in my fridge so I thought perfect! I will finally try this.
The recipe I read called for using the fat you trim off the meat to be used in the stuffing. I figured it was worth a try. You can of course choose to stuff this however you please. I went with a more Mexican flavored dish than the classic Italian ones.
8 pork cutlets
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
3 gloves of garlic chopped
1 yellow onion chopped
3 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp oregano
2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
3 tbsp olive oil
1 dried ancho chili
5 red jalapenos (green will work too)
3 cloves of garlic
5 green onions
fat trimmed from pork
Heat a deep pan on medium high heat. Add olive oil, garlic, and onion to the pan. Cook until the onions begin to look clear.
Add tomatoes and paste to onions. Fill the empty cans with water and add that to the pot. Stir in all seasonings and simmer covered, over low heat.
While your sauce simmers prepare your pork cutlets.
I had a pork loin so I cut finger thick pieces to create pork chops.
Then on a cutting board I placed one cutlet. I covered it with parchment paper and pounded it thin. This is your chance to really get that stress out.
My cutlets were still frozen so I had a triceps work out too! You want to pound them until they are about 1cm thick.
The key to this step is to pound evenly so that one section does not become too thin and split.
Continue this until all the cutlets are pounded out.
Process the filling in a food processor until it forms a paste.
Spoon a tablespoon of filling on to one side of a cutlet.
Roll the cutlet tightly making sure to keep the filling in the center. Tie the roll-up on each end tightly. If your roll ups are longer you will want another tie in the middle.
Continue to fill and roll until all the cutlets are done.
Carefully place the roll-ups in the sauce and cover the pot.
Cook for 6 hours on low heat occasionally turning the roll-ups.
In the last 5 minutes of cooking, wash your cauliflower and chop into large pieces. Process in a food processor with a grater or grate it by hand with a cheese grater. This will yield what looks like rice.
Cook the “rice” by steaming it or pouring enough boiling water to cover the bottom of the pan. Stir frequently, rice is done when it is soft but not mushy.
Serve the braicole on top of the “rice” and spoon more sauce on top. Sprinkle some fresh chopped cilantro on top.