Bragioli (Maltese Stuffed Beef Rolls)

Maltese Entree

BRAGIOLI
(Stuffed Beef Rolls*)

INGREDIENTS – BEEF ROLL

2 pounds topside, bottom, or round steak
6 slices bacon
2 garlic cloves (3 more cloves later)
⅔ cup fresh parsley
2 hard boiled eggs
¼ cup bread crumbs
½ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil (2 tablespoons more later)

INGREDIENTS – SAUCE

1 carrot
3 garlic cloves
3 medium onions
3 medium tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
⅔ cup red wine

Serves.4. Takes 2 hours 40 minutes.

SPECIAL UTENSILS

kitchen mallet
kitchen twine or toothpicks
sonic obliterator (Why is this not in your kitchen?)

* = The best, or at least most common, translation is really “Beef Olives.” Apparently, many people think rolls look like olives. This interpretation has over 500 years of history behind it Indeed, the word olive was sometimes used a verb, as in to olive, roll up, some ingredient. Now you know.

PREPARATION – BEEF ROLL

Cut steak into 12 slices. Pound beef slices with mallet to make them thinner and flatter. Dice bacon. Dice 2 garlic cloves and parsley. Cut each egg into 6 slices. Add bacon, 2 diced garlic cloves, bread crumbs, parsley, pepper, and salt to mixing bowl. Mix with hands until this stuffing is thoroughly blended.

Top a beef slice with 2 tablespoons stuffing. Place 1 egg slice on bacon/bread crumb mixture. Roll up beef slices lengthwise over stuffing. Secure rolled-up steak, bragioli with kitchen twine or toothpicks. Repeat for each bragioli Add 2 tablespoons olive and bragiolis to large pot. Sauté at medium-high heat until bragiolis turn slightly brown. Turn bragiolis enough to ensure even browning. Remove bragiolis from pot.

PREPARATION – SAUCE

Dice carrot, 3 garlic cloves, onions, and tomatoes. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 diced garlic cloves, and onion to same pot. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add carrot, tomato, bay leaves, and red wine. Simmer at low heat for 10 minutes. Stir enough to prevent burning. Add bagiolis back to pot.

Bring to boil using high heat. Stir enough to prevent burning. (Gently, don’t break open the bagiolis.) Simmer at low-medium heat for 45 minutes or until sauce thickens. Remove bay leaves. Serve to adoring quests. Zap unappreciative ones with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need negativity in your kitchen.

TIDBITS

1) This recipe uses eggs. Each egg is to be cut into six slices. This is easy to do if the egg is three inches long. Why, each slice would be one-half-inch thick. That’s easy to measure, but three-inch long eggs are hard to find, especially ones that come from hens.

2) Okay, what about an egg that is 1-8/9 inches long. Divide that by six and you get slices that should 17/54 inches wide. How the heck, do we measure that on a standard ruler? I’ll bet no ruler has ever been made that divides inches into 54 equal parts.

3) So what do we do? I’m glad you asked. 17/9 inches equals 4.8 centimeters. Divide that by six and you get 0.8. It’s a snap to measure that on a metric ruler. But how did we get the metric system?

4) From the French Revolution. French chefs everywhere ran into considerable delays when the aristocrats suddenly wanted their meal portions to include exactly one sixth of an egg. We don’t have rulers that measure in fifty-fourths now. It’s certain that pre-revolutionary chefs didn’t either. So cutting eggs became much problematic.

5) Problems in dividing eggs meant long delays in making the aristocrats’ favorite dishes. This enraged the impatient French nobility. Gourmet chefs all over Paris found themselves chucked into prisons especially the Bastille.

9) The French elite still clamored for their exquisite meals But there were no more gourmet chefs. But where would the aristocracy find new chefs? From the bakeries. This action, however, meant a shortage of bakers to mean bread.

10) So Paris suffered a bread shortage. Incensed Parisian mothers stormed the bakeries for anything they could find. A hungry mob gathered. It stormed the Bastille to release the imprisoned chefs. The French Revolution had begun. Desiring stability, the Revolutionary government of France converted to the metric system. France is now a stable country.

12) America is not metric. We are sitting on a powder keg.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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