- 3/4 cup dried bread crumbs
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 pounds thin, flat beef cut for braciole (such as top round)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 to 6 thin slices mortadella
- 3/4 cup grated caciocavallo or Pecorino Romano
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/3 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley leaves
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 3 hard-boiled eggs
- 1 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 (28-ounce) whole Italian tomatoes, crushed, with juices
- 2 bay leaves
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, combine the bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and cook, stirring frequently, until bread crumbs are golden and toasted. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and set aside until cooled to room temperature.
Place the beef on a clean, flat work surface and pound to tenderize and achieve a thickness of 1/4-inch or less. Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Cover 1 side of the beef with the mortadella slices, leaving a 1-inch border along all edges. Add the grated cheese, garlic, parsley, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and pine nuts to the cooled bread crumbs and stir to combine. Spread the bread crumb mixture evenly over the slices of mortadella. Cut the eggs in quarters lengthwise, and lay them down the middle of the meat, end to end, and cut sides down. Roll the beef up, carefully enclosing the filling around the eggs, all the way to the other end. Tie the roll with kitchen twine in several places so that the filling is secured and the roulade is tightly bound.
Heat the remaining oil in a large Dutch oven or other pan large enough to hold the roulade and brown the meat on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and turn the meat to coat on all sides. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes and their juices, and enough water or stock to come 2/3 of the way up the meat. Bring to a boil, add the bay leaves, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, turning occasionally and basting with the pan juices, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until tender when pierced with a knife. Remove the meat from the pot, cover loosely, and allow to sit for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing and serving. If necessary, continue cooking the pan juices until reduced to sauce consistency. When the meat has rested at least 20 minutes, remove the twine, slice into 1/2-inch slices, and serve with the reduced pan juices.