Pork Braciola Marinara
- 6 (8-ounce each) 1/2-inch-thick boneless pork shoulder steaks
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup grated aged provolone
- 1 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- 1 recipe Tomato Sauce, recipe follows
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Special equipment: Butcher's twine
Start by butterflying the pork steaks. With the palm of 1 hand firmly steadying a cutlet on the cutting board, and with your knife blade parallel to the meat, slice almost all the way through the meat (horizontally), leaving the last 1/4-inch uncut. Open up the cutlet like a book, season it with salt and white pepper, and set it aside. Repeat with the remaining pork steaks.
Next, sprinkle the cut side of each cutlet with a tiny pinch of minced garlic, a couple pinches parsley, and a generous tablespoon provolone cheese and Parmesan cheese. Roll the cutlets into tight logs and set aside, seam-side down.
Tie each rolled up pork steak with 2 or 3 pieces butcher's twine. Cook's Note: The ties simply have to hold the braciola together while it cooks so it doesn't need to be an overly tight or complex knot.
In a large pot, bring the tomato sauce to a steady, gentle simmer. Place the braciola into the pot of tomato sauce and let simmer 3 hours, or until tender. Cook's Note: You should be able to easily pull away a strand or 2 of meat with a tug of a fork.
To serve: Remove the braciola from the sauce and snip off the twine. Arrange, whole or sliced, on a platter with a generous blanket of sauce.
Transfer the remaining sauce to a serving bowl. Serve hot or at room temperature. Garnish with grated Parmesan and serve.
To make the Tomato Sauce:
Combine the olive oil and garlic in a large deep saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is deeply colored and fragrant. Cook's Note: If the garlic starts to smell acrid or sharp or is taking on color quickly, pull the pan off the stove and reduce the heat.
When the garlic is just about done, add the red pepper flakes to the oil and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, to infuse their flavor and spice into the oil. Dump in the tomatoes, add the salt, and stir well. Turn the heat up to medium, get the sauce simmering at a gentle pace, and simmer for 4 hours, stirring from time to time.
Check the sauce for salt at the end and add more, if deemed necessary. The sauce can be cooked with meat at this point, or cool and store, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 4 days or frozen for up to a few months, until needed.