I love to cook authentic Italian food that most Americans have never heard of. So, for the current "Italiian" throwdown, I decided on Pork Braciole.
Braciole is kind of like pizza -- there are lots of ways to make it. Everyone's mama has the perfect recipe for it. I looked at dozens of recipes, and came up with my own version using bits and pieces from different recipes.
Italians use beef and pork for this, but it seems like pork is the most common, and they use pork shoulder -- pork butt. I found a few recipes that used pork loin, but most used pork butt.
I started out by slicing some butt into half-inch slices, which I pounded with a meat mallet into nice, thin pieces of meat.
I then made a stuffing of bread crumbs, Pecorino Romano cheese, dried oregano and basil from my garden, some diced garlic, olive oil, and some Pinot Grigio wine. I spread that onto the pork.
I rolled up the pork and stuffing, and tied it off.
I put it on my redhead, indirect heat until the IT hit 180 degrees. It took about an hour and twenty minutes.
When cooked, I let it rest. I sliced it and sauced it with some homemade San Marzano tomato sauce, and a little dusting of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Wow. I was worried about the pork butt being fatty and chewy cooked that fast. Pffft. It was awesome. nice smoke ring and smokey flavor, tender, and really moist. Seriously, the texture completely surprised me -- it was perfect. The stuffing was really savory, and the sauce was a bright and acidic complement to the meat and stuffing.