To me, food is the extension of an experience; something that lives at the forefront of any good memory. And, every time that I make a pot of gravy(yes, it's gravy, not tomato sauce), I'm immediately transported back to some of the best memories from my childhood. Dishes that were simple by design, but always rich in flavor. Sincerely the ones where you could taste the dedication in each bite. My grandmother was famous for these meals and you always knew that whatever was sitting at the bottom of that bubbling pot of gravy would be nothing short of amazing. This venison bracciole is just that and then some.
Generally speaking, bracciole(brah-shoal) is made with beef flank steak, which is pounded thin and then filled with parmesan cheese, parsley and garlic. After being rolled and sealed shut with a toothpick, it get's nestled in the bottom of a pot of gravy for a few hours to cook. Usually, you can also find a couple of meatballs and few links of sausage in that very same pot. After a few hours of slowly percolating on the stove-top, the end result is an incredibly tender piece of steak that has soaked up the rich flavor of the gravy(and whatever else you might have added). And whether it's the middle of the summer or the frozen days of winter, it's a meal that always works.
No matter how you like to process your deer or have them processed, having a few steaks in the freezer is never a bad idea. In my early days of hunting and cooking, I was often puzzled on what exactly I should do with steaks. Marinating and grilling them always worked, but there's always the lingering thought of overcooking them and there's just no coming back from that. And then, cutting them into stew meat just defeats the point of cutting it into a steak in the first place. So, turning a piece of steak into bracciole is a great alternative cooking method, especially because having steaks of different sizes doesn't matter and that happens often.
Yields 4 steaks
6-8 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup of chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese
4 slices of prosciutto(1 slice per steak)
Salt and pepper to taste
To begin, I like to lay out all of the steaks(boneless) on a board to figure out what I'm working with. As we all know, sometimes cut venison steaks can vary quite a bit from one another, so I always like to check prior to starting the cooking process. Once you have everything laid out on a cutting board, pound each steak to roughly 1/4 inch thick and set aside.
To assemble, season each steak with salt and pepper and then sprinkle chopped garlic, parsley and grated parmesan cheese on each. Top with one layer of prosciutto. Roll each steak from the shortest side and stick with a toothpick to keep closed. *
**This is an Italian recipe, so there's little need to measure your seasonings, "a little bit of garlic here and a little parsley there..." will do the trick.***
Now, you could just drop them into your gravy straight away, but searing them first really adds to the level of flavor. So, get yourself a smoking hot skillet, add a little olive oil and sear each roll on each side, just until each side is nicely browned. Now, go ahead and drop it into your gravy to cook.
After simmering, covered on the stove for 3-4 hours, you'll be left with one of the most tender and flavorful pieces of venison that you've ever tried.