Involtini is the name given to any rolled and stuffed dish - just like these eggplant involtini I made ages ago.
In this case I'm using beef - something robust that will withstand the slow cooking, so a bbq or round steak is ideal - the meat is first lined with prosciutto and topped with a simple stuffing made from slightly stale bread and parsley. They are then rolled and tied, before being slowly cooked in a rich tomato based sauce.
Beef Invotini[Serves 4]
2 bbq steaks or round steaks
slightly stale bread, I used a sourdough
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 can/400 grams cherry tomatoes
stock (chicken, beef or vegetable)
Make the stuffing:
Roughly rip the bread into pieces and place into a bowl of a food proccessor - process until it begins to break down into smaller pieces. Add a generous handful of parsley leaves and process again until the parsley is finely chopped. Avoid making the stuffing too uniform in size - it is okay if there are still some bigger pieces of bread.
Make the involtini:
You'll need to bang out the meat a little so that it forms a rectangular shape. With the round steaks, I was able to form two involtini by cutting the steak in half along its natural divide.
Lay the meat out and cover it with a layer of finely sliced prosciutto - it's okay if the prosciutto sticks out over the edges, you won't notice it once it is rolled.
Lightly squeeze the stuffing and place it slightly off-center along the longest side of the meat - there should be enough stuffing so that the meat will just encase it when rolled.
Take the edge closest to you and roll over the stuffing - push the ends in to neaten the shape and then using kitchen twine, securely tie the roll.
Repeat the process with the remaining pieces of meat.
You can make the involtini while the sauce is cooking and just keep them in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.
Make the sauce:
Place a little oil and a knob of butter into the base of a heavy based pan and place on a medium-low heat - when the butter has melted, add in the onion, celery and carrot. Cook gently to allow the vegetables to soften and slowly caramelised - this should take a good 20 minutes. Like most Italian braises, the key to its taste is in the quality of this soffrito.
Add the involtini to the pan and lightly brown them on all sides before adding the canned tomatoes and enough stock to just cover the meat.
Mix well and then cook on a gentle heat for about 1½ to 2 hours - the sauce will reduce and become wonderfully rich and the meat will be incredibly tender.
Inside, the filling has added flavour but also absorbed flavour and if you serve them with something like creamy mashed potatoes, you'll be hoping winter lasts a little longer.