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Farsumagru (Stuffed Beef Rolls)

The word "farsumagru" literally translated means "false lean," and in Sicily it is the name given to stuffed and rolled beef. In other parts of Italy, it is called braciola.

11/2 pounds top round or flank steak, cut 1/4 inch thick
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, or more to taste
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, cut into thin slivers
1/2 cup packed minced flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 hard-boiled eggs, optional
1/2 cup chopped pitted Sicilian oil-cured black olives


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lard or olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups fresh or canned crushed plum tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 cup dry red wine
1 bay leaf
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Lay the meat on a cutting board and pound with a meat mallet to flatten to a uniform thickness. Be careful not to tear the meat. Pat dry with paper towels and rub all over with the salt and pepper.

Lay the meat flat, and sprinkle the garlic over it, then sprinkle on the parsley, cheese and onion. Place the eggs in a row lengthwise down the center of the meat, and sprinkle the olives over. Starting at a long end, roll up like a jelly roll. Tie with string every inch or so.

In a large deep saucepan, heat the olive oil and lard over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft. Add the meat and brown on all sides. Lower heat, add all remaining ingredients, and stir to blend. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 11/2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Remove to a cutting board and let rest.

Cut into 1/2-inch slices. Place on a serving platter and spoon the tomato sauce over the top. Serve immediately, or keep warm in a low oven on an oven-proof platter covered with aluminum foil until ready to serve.

Serves 6-8.

Mary Ann Esposito, La Varenne at The Greenbrier

Sunday, May 09, 1999

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