Laura Frankel shares contemporary versions of classic recipes.
This Sicilian dish has many variations and can be made with beef, chicken and fish I think that it is a perfect cold weather Shabbat dinner or luncheon dish. Many of the steps can be done ahead of time and the dish practically finishes itself. I like to serve it with a toasted cappellini with onions and garlic.
For the filling
1 large Spanish onion-sliced very thinly
1 whole head of garlic-roasted
3 cups baby spinach
1 28 oz. can whole plum tomatoes (broken up with your hands, reserve juices for sauce)
3 tablespoons fresh thyme-chopped
3 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley-chopped
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup golden raisins
pinch of dried chili flakes (optional)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup soft bread crumbs (leftover challah works well for this)
Salt and pepper
For the sauce
Reserved juices from canned tomatoes
2 cups dry red wine (I like to use Chianti for this)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups dark chicken stock or veal stock
1 rib of celery-chopped
1 medium onion chopped
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
2 cloves of garlic-crushed but not chopped
1. Place the onion in a medium saucepan lightly coated with olive oil over medium low heat. Slowly caramelize the onion until it is very soft and lightly browned. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of bulb and mix it with the onion. Add the rest of the ingredients for the filling and increase the heat to medium. Continue cooking until the mixture is very thick (about 15 minutes). Cool the filling in a bowl.
2. For the sauce, place the wine in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce the wine by half and add the remaining ingredients. Then remove the mixture to the insert for the slow cooker.
3. Open up the butter flied meat. Pound the meat using a mallet until the meat is approximately the same thickness everywhere. Salt and pepper the inside of the meat. Spread the filling evenly over the meat leaving a 1 ½ inch space at the top. Roll the meat jelly roll style. Tie knots fairly snuggly every 2 inches to secure the meat and filling.
4. Brown the meat on all sides in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Remove the meat to the insert for the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours until the meat is very tender.
5. Cut the meat into 2 inch slices and serve with toasted capellini or potatoes. Pass extra sauce.
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