There I go taking liberties with food once again. Braciole is a very traditional Italian recipe made with beef. Flank steak, butterflied and pounded thin is the meat of choice for it. I used pork tenderloin. And I made it sous-vide. Reckless. Times two.
PORK TENDERLOIN, BRACIOLE STYLE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen, inspired by Jeff Mauro)
1 pork tenderloin, butterflied, pounded thin
salt and pepper
smoked mozzarella, sliced thin
8 asparagus stalks, blanched and cooled
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup sun-dried cherry tomatoes packed in oil, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons walnuts, toasted and diced
3 tablespoons raisins
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
a little olive oil
a little lemon juice
a touch of maple syrup
Make the filling by mixing Panko bread crumbs, tomatoes, walnuts, raisins and olive oil in a small bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Place the butterflied pork tenderloin on a flat surface, season with salt and pepper. Lay slices of smoked mozzarella over the surface, leaving a little border without cheese all around. Place the stalks of asparagus over the cheese, add the filling on top. Roll the meat as tightly as you can make it, tie with kitchen twine at 2 inch intervals. Season the surface lightly with salt and pepper. If using sous-vide, seal the meat and place in a water-bath set to 140F. Cook for 2 to 6 hours.
Make the brushing sauce by mixing olive oil, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Remove the meat from the bag, brush the surface with the olive oil mixture, and sear on a hot grill or non-stick pan. Cut in slices and serve.
If cooking on a regular oven, sear the surface of the meat over high heat after brushing with the olive oil mixture. Place in a 375 F oven until done to your liking.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: You can definitely make this exact recipe without a sous-vide gadget. The big advantage of sous-vide is keeping the rolled meat nicely tight. No filling spills out, it is all contained by the vacuum packing. And, of course, the flexibility with timing is a nice touch too. Anywhere from 2 to 6 hours will work perfectly well, all you have to do after is sear the outside for cosmetic reasons. For our taste the pork cooked at 140F was too rare. I was kicking myself for choosing that temperature, knowing that we do not like the taste of the meat when it’s still a bit pink. So, full disclosure: I seared the cut slices briefly on a skillet before we enjoyed them. Next time I’ll go for 150F.
The smoked mozzarella does a magical job in the filling. It packs so much flavor, and it pairs well with the sweetness of the raisins and the sun-dried tomatoes. A very nice main dish well suited for company. You can serve it with many sides: mashed cauliflower, mashed potatoes, a little pasta, or a lemony risotto. If you prefer a more austere route, just a salad with a bright vinaigrette will do.
Soon I’ll make the traditional version with flank steak, since we enjoyed this one so much. Flank steak will be easier to roll in layers, the pork tenderloin ends up more like a single layer of meat enclosing the filling. I imagine that I could have pounded it a bit thinner, but I was afraid to compromise the texture of the meat. At any rate, this one is a keeper, and I hope that – sous-vide or not – you’ll give it a try.
ONE YEAR AGO: Raspberry Buckle
TWO YEARS AGO: Seafood Gratin for a Special Dinner
THREE YEARS AGO: Cooking Sous-Vide: Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Loin
FOUR YEARS AGO: Farewell to a Bewitching Kitchen
FIVE YEARS AGO: In My Kitchen. June 2012
SIX YEARS AGO: Goodbye L.A.
SEVEN YEARS AGO: 7-6-5 Pork Tenderloin