Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 31st, 2010

Braised Beef Cannelloni

I recently went to Maggiano's Little Italy and had this dish for the first time. It was so great that I couldn't wait to try and make it at home. I went online to see if I could find Maggiano's recipe, alas, I came up empty handed. I did, however, find an article about the dish, which gave me the ingredients. I made my own recipe tonight and Matt said it was better than Maggiano's. I need to change a few things, but it was really good and way less salty than what I had in the restaurant. Here's my recipe which serves six:

For the beef:
3.5-4 pound pot roast
3 carrots, peeled
2 onions, peeled and halved
6 stalks celery
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
8 whole peppercorns
32 ounces beef stock*
4 ounces grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

*veal stock would be preferred here but it is very hard to find and beef stock worked fine. Changes I will make for next time are I would only use 16 ounces and then use 1 cup of red wine. I also forgot the tomatoes, so I would add a can of whole tomatoes.

Place all of the ingredients, except cheese, in a dutch oven or a slow cooker. If using a dutch oven place covered in a 350 degree oven or place in a slow cooker (which is what I did) and cook for 6 hours. After beef is cooked remove and place in a bowl. Shred beef with two forks. Chop carrots and half of one onion (and tomato) and place with beef. Pour 1/2 cup strained braising liquid over beef to keep moist. Stir in cheese and set aside.

For the sauce:
1 1/2 cups strained braising liquid
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup cream
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon flour*
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

*My sauce was too runny, so I would use 2 Tablespoons of flour.

In a medium saucepan melt butter and cook flour until golden and bubbly. Whisk in stock and vinegar and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened (a little thinner than gravy.) Remove from heat and whisk in cream. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook 18 cannelloni shells according to the directions. (Next time I hope to make my own sheets of pasta!) Make sure when they are done cooking that you don't let them dry out or get sticky. Cold water helps with that.

1/4 cup italian breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

I used a large baking dish, you could also use individual gratin dishes. They just need to be oven safe. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place just enough sauce to coat the bottom of the baking dish(es.) When beef is just cool enough to handle stuff each pasta with about 2 Tablespoons of beef mixture. They should be full, but not over-stuffed or your pasta will tear. You should end up with about 1 cup of beef mixture left over. If you are using individual servings I would make 3 cannelloni per person. Pour remaining sauce evenly over filled pasta. Top with remaining beef. Cover and bake about 10 minutes. Uncover and set oven to broil. Mix breadcrumbs and cheese and even top cannelloni. Broil on high until golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Buon appetito!

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