I am in Twinland! Yay! For Ashley's birthday back in February, David gave her a copy of Everyday Italian and she has been wanting to make braciola. I'm not sure why, but for some reason I was a little skeptical. Thank goodness I trusted Ashley's judgment!
All the grocery stores that I went to in search of a 1.5 lb. flank steak had them labeled as London Broil and they were huge. I was 99.9% sure that London Broil is method of preparing flank steak, not the name of the cut of meat, so I googled and sure enough, it is. I finally found one that wasn't ginormous. But I couldn't find any butcher's twine. At home, I think it's always on the aisle with the utensils and such. But none of those three stores had any. At the last one, I asked the butcher where to find it. He said he didn't think they sold it, but he cut some off, wrapped it in plastic and gave it to me. Weird. Sadly, by that time, Thomas was in the midst of his nap, and woke up after we got home, so he never really got his good afternoon sleep. Poor Thomas. Poor Mommy & Daddy!
First I made Giada's marinara sauce, which is what the braciola would braise in. Then I made two slight variations from the recipe: I decided to butterfly the flank steak. I don't know if they come in different shapes or not, but the one that I found was long, narrow and very thick. There would be no way to spread cheesy breadcrumbs on it and then roll it up jellyroll-style. After butterflying, it was about 1/2" thick and much wider. It accommodated the filling and rolled up much better that way. I consulted Ashley and we also decided to close up the ends with toothpicks, or else the filling would fall out when I seared it and when I turned it during braising.
I cooked up some spaghetti to serve with the marinara and steamed some broccoli. Ashley and I laughed that brock-e-ola and broccoli sounded funny together as a menu, but I found out that it should be pronounced bra-chee-ola. We can't quite get used to saying it like that. We better practice because we both think the whole dinner turned out really well and would definitely make it again.