Bruciuluni- Sicilian Stuffed Beef Rolls – It is a typical dish of Sicilian cuisine, especially from the Trapani area and Palermo.
A dish that is apparently very ancient, also widespread in other parts of the island. In the eastern part, the dish is known as “farsumagru”, meaning false lean. Basically, it is a stuffed roll of meat, of which there are countless variations throughout Sicily.
In Alcamo (my town) each family creates its own version and passes it down from one generation to the next. What you read here is the one my mom used to prepare and she passed on to me. My mother did not use a large roll of meat, instead, she had the butcher cut slices of veal all of the same size, and then she’d stuff them. These rolls of meat were cooked in the sauce which was then used to season the pasta.
They take me back in time; when I was a child my mother prepared them on Saturday evening and then brought them on Sunday to my maternal grandmother or for Christmas to enjoy them all together.
Well, how many people were at these lunches?
In other posts, I have told you about my grandmother’s Sunday lunches.
Every Sunday a table of about 20 people was set up, including children and adults.
A table in the dining room was normally for 4 people or for 2, on Sunday, by magic, it became long enough to allow 20 people to sit down.
Then on holidays such as Christmas, this table remained extended until the last day of the celebration.
On Sunday the table was adorned with the Sunday tablecloth, which was very different from the Christmas or Easter one. Yes, even the tablecloth had and has its role in the Sicilian family.
For heaven’s sake, we can’t even make a mistake during the holidays, if it were to happen it would cause a family court case. In my family, the Christmas tablecloth was white, embroidered, and decorated with red-toned centerpieces. While on Sunday you can indulge yourself, use the one you prefer: embroidered, not embroidered, floral, mono, or multi-colored.
I miss these days of celebration so much, going back to being a child, joking, playing with my cousins. But I was lucky enough to even have these memories and I can share these sweet reminiscences with my children.
How are the Bruciuluni made?
As I said earlier, my mother had slices of veal (instead I bought tender beef) cut by her trusted butcher. She prepared crumbs from stale bread and seasoned it as if she were preparing meatballs, then a mince of garlic, parsley, grated Sicilian pecorino, salt, and pepper. Then to soften everything she poured in enough milk to form a soft and not dry compost.
She spread the slices of meat on a sheet of paper and on each slice she spread the crumb mixture then added a quarter of the long onion cut along its length, a sprig of parsley, a small knob of butter, or a small piece of lard, and a quarter of a hard-boiled egg cut into wedges.
She formed a roll and closed it with toothpicks and browned them in a pan with oil. In the meantime, she prepared in a pan the tomato sauce, as soon as the bruciuluni were browned, she threw them in the sauce and cooked everything for 1hr on a moderate flame.
- 8 slices of thin steak (6x6 inches each)
- 2 hard-boiled eggs (cut into 8 wedges)
- 8 sprigs of parsley
- 100g caciocavallo cheese (cut into 16 strips, 2 for each steak)
- 4 green onions (cut into 8 strips, 1 for each steak)
- 2-3 extra virgin olive oil
- 8 small knobs of butter
- stale breadcrumbs 1 ½ cup
- grated pecorino 2/3 grated pecorino
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt and pepper
- milk just enough to soften the crumb
- 800 ml of tomato sauce 3.3 cups
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 basil leaves
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Bread crumb mixture
- Stir all ingredients together and add milk just enough to
soften the bread crumbs.
- Season mixture with salt and pepper and set aside.
- In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent.
- Add tomato puree, salt, and basil, and reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.
In the meantime prepare the bruciuluni
- Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the steak to cover the
- Add 2 caciocavallo strips, a strip of the green onion, a sprig of parsley, a small knob of butter or a small piece of lard, and one hard-boiled egg wedge.
- Roll up the steak like a jelly roll to enclose the filling completely and secure it with toothpicks.
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the bruciuluni and cook until browned on all sides.
- Transfer the bruciuluni to the large casserole pot with the tomato sauce and cook everything for 1hr on a moderate flame.