Judy’s Braciole alla Livornese Recipe – Twice-Cooked Beef

Livorno, one of Tuscan’s major ports, is known for triglie alla livornese, reef mullet cooked in a zesty tomato sauce. To simply cook braciole in tomato sauce would be drab, no matter how zesty the sauce, and Livornesi are not drab. However, if you first bread the cutlets and fry them before finishing them up in a spicy tomato sauce, they become much more interesting. And you have Braciole alla Livornese.

** The Beef **

  • 4 thin beef slices, trimmed of any fat
  • 1-2 cups flour
  • 1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • Oil for frying

** The Sauce **

  • 1 garlic clove
  • Extravirgin olive oil
  • 1 large can tomatoes
  • Chili flakes
  • Salt

Prepare the beef for frying:

Lightly flour, then pass in the beaten egg and dip in the breadcrumbs, pressing to be sure they stick well on both sides. You can do this twice if you like.

Refrigerate the beef.

Prepare the sauce:

Sauté the garlic and chili flakes in the olive oil.

When the garlic starts to get golden, remove the pan from the heat and add the canned tomatoes, crushing the tomatoes into small pieces.

Salt to taste. Let the sauce cook for 20 minutes.

Fry the beef slices in hot oil until golden.

Remove from the oil and let drain on a paper towel

Place the beef slices in a single layer in the tomato sauce and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

This recipe is from Judy Witts Francini’s new cookbook, Secrets from my Tuscan Kitchen (ISBN 0-9764066-1-6), and it is with her kind permission that I am reprinting it.

In classic Italian style, Judy leaves the amount of chili flakes up to you — if you’re mildly tongued, like my daughter, you might omit them, whereas if you’re asbestos-tongued, like a Livornese, you might want a teaspoon. The homey trattoria in Florence where I often enjoy this dish takes the middle route, and serves them up moderately spicy. They’re perfect with a tossed salad and a glass of red wine, and the book is quite nice too; if you have a foodie friend it’s the sort of thing you might want two of, one for you and one for the friend.

A little more about the book:

It’s beautifully put together, with a pretty cover drawing and a nice subtitle — Divina Cucina’s Recipes — a reference to her cooking school — and the Tuscan Husband Seal of Approval, to say her husband Andrea has tried and approved of everything in the book. And, inside, there’s a nice custom font that looks hand-written. Of course aesthetics will only take one so far with a cookbook; what counts is the recipes, and Judy doesn’t let us down:

She begins with a section on organizing a Tuscan pantry, with the ingredients one should have handy (dried beans, dried mushrooms, canned tomatoes and so on), continues with notes on the organization of the day — breakfast, snack times and meal times — and continues with about a hundred recipes, beginning with antipasti and continuing with first courses, main courses, quite a few side dishes, desserts, and (finally) several bread recipes. The recipes are on the right-hand pages, while the left-hand pages are lined, for notes.

Practical Information:
Secrets from my Tuscan Kitchen
Judy Witts Francini, 2009
Nidiaci, San Gimignano
ISBN 0-9764066-1-6
For more about Judy, and to order the book, see her site, Divina Cucina. http://www.divinacucina.com/

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Categories: Beef & Veal Steaks, Braciole, and More, Tuscan Meat Recipes

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.

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