Braciole & Italian Sausage

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If there’s ever a meal that really brings back good memories of my childhood, it would be this one! There were so many years of family gathering around a long stretch of tables that flowed from the dining room and well into the living room hoarding some of the best Italian food there is. And among everything it was this particular dish that never failed to bring an already satisfied tummy just from the aromas to a starving existence. I’m telling you! Give yourself a weekend to enjoy your time in the kitchen with some family or friends to round these little bracioles together!

Slow cooking the Italian sausage for 8 hours draws all the natural fat from the pork and creates a hearty depth of flavor to the marinara sauce. And the sausage really melts in your mouth. The braciole becomes infused with all the flavors from the sauage, marinara sauce and it’s own stuffing; your taste buds may be a little overwhelmed with pleasure. I must admit… this is one of the many reasons why I would never turn back time and go back to my childhood. Because I would have to wait so long until the next time I can have this dish. Nowadays, if I want it… I can make it whenever I want to!

While I love sharing… this is a tough one to share because sometimes it’s fun to have little secrets and excite people. But honestly, I’m trying to share more and be a little less selfish in that regard. So please, try this some time. And hopefully it will spark some ideas for you to create your own in the future. Enjoy!

6 – 8 servings

2 pounds chuck beef round eye, thin cut
8 large fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
6 large garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup Italian bread crumbs
1/8 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/8 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
Cooking twine
Extra virgin olive oil
5 Italian sausages
8 cups (64 oz.) basic marinara sauce

If the meat isn’t already cut into individual pieces then go ahead and cut pieces that are about four inches long and 3 inches wide. Then pound each one thin with a meat tenderizer to about 1/4“ thick.

In a bowl combine the fresh basil, garlic, Italian bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, romano cheese, pepper and salt together. Then using a spoonful of the mixture lay it down the center of each piece of meat. To roll the braciole together start at one end of the meat and roll it up tight using your fingers to catch any of the mix that may fall off pushing it back towards the center. Cut some cooking twine to tie around both ends firmly.

With a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, drizzle the bottom with extra virgin olive oil and sear the Italian sausage for a couple minutes on each side until the skin creates a thick crust. Transfer them onto a plate and set aside. Then sear the braciole for two minutes on each side as well and put them on the plate. Cut the Italian sausage in half down the center diagonal and place them into a slow cooker set for 8 hours, along with the braciole and marinara sauce. Keep it covered the whole time.

Let it slow cook for about 8 hours. Gently move the meat around a few times throughout the slow cooking process.

Serve over your favorite pasta.