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5 pound Venison Leg
2 cups Romano Cheese, grated
2 cups Parmesan Cheese, grated
6 cups Panko Bread Crumbs
6 Eggs
Tomato Sauce (lots)

Some Parsley
Some Oregano
Some Rosemary
Some Thyme

Toothpicks or String

1) Prepare the filling: I started by beating two eggs in a smallish bowl, and added the breadcrumbs and cheese in until it felt right. I'd say about a cup of breadcrumbs and 1/2 to 2/3 cup (total) of blended cheese. You're going to have to mix this by hand. It should be a wet, sticky mess that more or less holds it's shape.

Chop (or food process) the various herbs, then mix those in the filling as well.

I started with about an ounce of each herb, fresh; I made about three batches of that filling and still had herbs left over to throw in the sauce later. But seriously, this is by your palate. Exact numbers are superfluous.

2) Prepare the vension: We cut slices about 1/2 inch thick, and then pounded it as flat as reasonably possible, maybe to 1/4 inch thick.

3) Stuff the venison: Because these still ended up being (relatively) small, in an area sense, we just added a healthy gob of the stuffing on each one and wrapped them up like little burritos, then fastened them with a toothpick.

4) Braise the venison: Put some reasonable amount of tomato sauce into a stock pot, then put the venison wraps in the sauce. This will depend on your pot and the quantity you make, but basically you just want to cover the meat. Season the sauce to taste (I added excess herbs, salt, and pepper to taste. Had I remembered, I would have added a splash of red wine.) Simmer for several hours. (Seriously, there is otherwise raw egg in that filling, all the way at the center. Make sure it's cooked.)


A) Traditionally this is done with beef, something that can be sliced thin but with a large area, like a flank steak. Probably skirt steak would be exquisite.

B) Because that's usually larger in area than the venison cut I used, you traditionally put a layer of the stuffing on each steak, then roll it up. The cross section will look like a pin-wheel, and because they're taller you'll need more tomato sauce to cover them and will need to cook them longer.

C) (Just as a side note, what I did was more akin to a Czech dish called... well, phonetically called "thatchy". It's about the size of what I made, but uses thin round steak and a stuffing of finely chopped bacon, onions, and garlic.)

D) That stuffing can be pretty much whatever the hell you want, in my opinion. What I put in was traditional. What I forgot to put in was pine nuts (which, by the way, would have made it even better.)

One day, I will experiment with a sweeter filling-- I'm thinking mascarpone instead of parmesan and romano, and dried cranberry or raisins instead of pine nuts. But I wouldn't spring that on y'all without a taste test, first.

E) People kept asking me what I did to the sauce. IT WAS HUNTS FRICKING TOMATO SAUCE, PEOPLE! I put very tasty venison and fresh herbs into it, is what I did.

F) I liked the chile well enough, but I fucking loved this. You're all lucky I didn't take the pot and leave you to fight over the chile.

Date: 2011-01-08 03:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Contra you and everybody else, I loved the chile to distraction and thought the braciole was merely delicious.

The Czech dish sounds criminally tasty.

Date: 2011-01-08 03:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, it is. One other thing I should add about that one is that it's not served in red sauce like brachiole, but in a brown gravy. (In a smaller batch, braise that in a pan of beef consommé and burgundy, reduce the remaining liquid, and thicken with corn starch. So good.)

Date: 2011-01-09 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'll assume that was an appreciative sound.

The variation on it that I really want to try is: replace the beef with pork, replace the beef stock with chicken stock, replace the burgundy with sherry, and then add ginger, soy, red chili paste and sugar to taste.

I've made that substitution on a similar recipe, and it was excellent.

Date: 2011-01-08 05:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We are again in agreement!

Date: 2011-01-09 04:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They both were excellent, and I've had that Czech dish before. It is phenomenally good.

Date: 2011-01-09 04:21 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Not surprising, all things considered.
How do you spell it/what do you call it?

Date: 2011-01-09 04:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, I went looking for it, and it seems that "Tschechische" is the spelling. Turns out that's is an area name (I had Tschechische Rindfleisch, which is "Beef Thatchy", it seems). Awesomely good nonetheless.

Date: 2011-01-09 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, I went looking for it, and it seems that "Tschechische" is the spelling.

Doesn't that mean, essentially, "Czech-style beef" in German?

I may ask my mother how it's spelled in her recipe book when I talk to her next, but there's no guarantee that whatever characters my mother wrote down forty-odd years ago bear any relation to any word in any language....

Date: 2011-01-11 05:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Answer to spelling question: Mom has no idea, either.

Date: 2011-01-11 06:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ptáčky (pronounced tach-key) seems to be what you're looking for. It's Czech for bird, supposedly because the dish looks like a bird. I've also seen recipes that use sausage instead of bacon, FWIW.

Date: 2011-01-09 04:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I haven't had braciole in a long time. I believe my mom's was a simple beef and bacon rollup and then into the sauce for pasta. Nummy.

Date: 2011-01-09 04:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm not any part Italian, but I grew up in an overwhelmingly Italian neighborhood, so I've had several variants of it and I more or less know what it's supposed to look like and taste like.

The venison twist was just because I had a wild game theme going on, and it seemed like it would be a good protein substitution. Which it really, really was, in my opinion.

Date: 2011-01-10 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This was phenomenally good.


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