We recently had the in-laws over for an 8 course Italian style dinner to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. I originally wanted to cook Braciole (a type of roulade) as a main course. I made Braciole 3 Ways (with 3 different fillings) last year and it was delicious. Adrienne really wanted to braai. We compromised and went for a South African/Italian style fusion dish by cooking a rump steak with a braciole style filling over the coals.
Of course no Italian style meal could start without an antipasto platter as the 1st course. I tried to restrain myself as there were another 7 courses to go and only served a couple of slices of good salami, provolone cheese, roasted peppers, pesto mushrooms, olives and tomatoes.
We were treated to a very special bottle of Dom Perignon Vintage 2000 champagne that my sister in law has been saving for a special occasion. When the cork came out our hearts fell as the champagne seemed flat. We were very relieved when we poured it and what seemed like a million very tiny bubbles appeared in the glass.
The 2nd course (primo) was homemade pasta with olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley and Parmesan cheese.
Then it was on to the 3rd course (secondo) as well as the 4th course which was the side dishes (contorno).
Rump steak with Braciole style filling and Gremolata
Earlier the day I made a pocket in the rump steak and filled it with the following:
Braciole style filling
I used this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis for the filling.
Then I rolled up the steak and secured it with kitchen twine and toothpicks, rubbing a bit of roasted coriander, fennel seeds and black pepper over the meat for extra flavour.
The meat came out perfectly medium rare and the filling intact.
I toyed with the idea to serve this with some sort of tomato reduction as it was not going to be cooked in a tomato sauce as you would cook some bracioles. I ended up sprinkling some gremolata over it. Even though it duplicates some of the ingredients in the filling I found that it worked well with the richness of the cheesy filling.
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1 lemon, finely grated
Mix the ingredients and sprinkle over the meat just before serving.
We served our rump steak with a spinach bake and a beetroot and sweet pepper salad on the side.
Feeling like we could not eat any more (maybe I should have made less pasta) it was on to the 5th course – formaggi e frutta ( cheese and fruit).
By the 6th course which was the dolce (dessert) – panna cotta with fresh berries – we could not imagine ever eating again.
Not everyone made it to the 7th course – coffee and biscotti.
The 8th course – a digestivo / after-dinner drink – was very welcome in the end. Instead of the traditional grappa we had a delicious Tanagra Marc de Chardonnay Barrique.
What I’ve learned from having so many courses is to start earlier and when it comes to the carbs limit your portions. It was a fun evening though and of course the Dom Perignon was delicious.