Important note about the process of browning the Meatballs and Braciole
I was recently asked a question from a visitor who wanted more clarification on browning the meatballs and braciole. Particularly, the order in which to approach this. I thought it was a good question, so I am placing her question and my answer below to help clear up this important step in the process.
I have a question about your Pasta Sauce. Do I make the meatballs or the braciole first? In your tips it says to make the braciole first, but I need the fried fatback from the meatballs to go into it. Can you please clarify a little bit for me? Thank you!
Hi Jessica, What I normally do is “prepare” the meatballs and braciole first. Meaning I mix the meatball meat mixture and shape the meatballs, then work on the braciole, pounding out the meat adding filling and then letting it sit unrolled until I have fried up the salt pork. Then I heat up a cast iron pan, get it very hot. Chop up the salt pork and fry it in the pan until I get a lot of salt pork grease in the pan and the salt pork is brown and crunchy, then take out the crunchy salt pork bits and let those dry on a paper towel. Then I brown the meatballs in the salt pork grease until they are seared well. (see the definition for searing below.) While I am doing this I have already worked on the sauce and it’s to the point where I have added everything including the wine and sugar. When the meatballs are done frying I take them right from the pan and then into the sauce. Then take the dried crunchy salt pork bits and crumble them into your braciole, adding that to the filling you have already put on top of the meat. Now you can roll up and tie the braciole. Then I brown the braciole in the same manor, (searing in the salt pork grease) then take the braciole from pan to sauce. Definition of searing. The benefit to searing is it locked in the juices from the meat and helps it to not dry out while cooking. Searing (or pan searing) is a technique used in cooking, in which the surface of the food is cooked at high temperature until a caramelized crust forms. Thanks you for this question. I will have to add it to my tips page. 🙂 Hope that helps. Ciao, Anthony