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Neapolitan Pork Rollup Recipe - Braciole di Maiale

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As I have noted before, a braciola is a cut of meat -- a slice, to be precise, and what happens to it once it has been sliced varies from place to place in Italy. In the south they are generally rolled up around a filling, and this Neapolitan recipe for pork braciole rolled up around a filling with cheese, prosciutto, raisins, and pine nuts is quite traditional.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices pork, from a fresh (not cured) ham, weighing about 2 1/4 pounds (1 k) in all
  • A clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 pound (100 g) provolone cheese, diced
  • 1/4 pound (100 g) thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 1/4 pound (100 g) mixed raisins and pine nuts -- say, 1/3 cup (50 g) raisins, and a little more than 1/3 cup (50 g) pine nuts
  • A small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • Pepper to taste (thanks to the prosciutto salt will not be necessary)
  • Slightly less than 2 ounces (50 g) pork fat, i.e. fresh lard
  • Slightly less than 2 ounces (50 g, or about a half cup) rendered lard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Half an onion, peeled and chopped
  • About a half cup (100 g) tomato paste
  • Half a glass of dry red wine

Preparation:

Trim away all fat and gristle from the slices of pour, pound them with a meat pounder taking care not to break through them, and lay them flat on your work surface.

Mince the fresh lard and combine it with the parsley and the garlic; season the mixture to taste with pepper.

Cut the provolone into thin strips.

Wash and pat the pine nuts and raisins dry.

Lay one sixth of the prosciutto over each slice of pork. Spread the lard mixture over the prosciutto, then the cheese, and finally the nuts and raisins. Roll the slices up, making certain to seal the ends by folding the meat over, and tie the rollups lest they open while cooking.

Using the remainder of the ingredients listed above, cook the braciole as you would carne al ragù, keeping in mind that the braciole need only cook for 90 minutes. Should it prove necessary, remove them to a warm serving dish when they are tender and continue slowly simmering the sauce until it is dark and thick.

About 10 minutes before the cooking time is up remove the strings from the braciole and return them to the sauce to heat through.

Yield: 6 servings pork braciole.

A wine? Red, and I would think about a Taurasi here.

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