Bruciuluni, Farsumagru, Falsomagro
Call it Bruciuluni, Farsumagru or Falsomagro this is one of the meat based Sicilian recipes I like the most.
The name farsumagro literally means "false lean" because when you take it to the table it looks like a piece of lean meat, then when you slice it, the rich stuffing is a great tasty surprise: fresh spinach, mortadella, mince meat, hard boiled eggs, cheese. The stuffing, as you know by now, changes slightly from family to family, from cook to cook.
This recipe seems to date back to the XIII century during the House of Anjou domination of Sicily. Originally, it was a way to stretch the meat budget and was stuffed only with a bread crumbs mixture, but the recipe was then taken to a different level by some of the chefs working for the Sicilian aristocracy.
This is my favourite family version.
1 kg round steak or flank steak, about 1-inch thick, butterflied
4 thin slices mortadella
200 gr ground pork or beef
1 bunch fresh spinach
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons grated ragusano caciocavallo cheese (or parmesan cheese)
Salt and freshly milled pepper to taste
3-4 hard-boiled eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 glass red wine
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
Meat should be about 8 x 11 inches or larger as it must hold hard-boiled eggs. Pound flank steak on both sides to make it as thin as possible. Do not tear.
In a large bowl, combine ground meat, 1 raw egg, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Shell hard-boiled eggs. Beat the remaining eggs with grated cheese and prepare a thin frittata as wide as the piece of meat. Saute' the fresh spinach in a non stick pan and season with salt and pepper. Spread beef so width runs left to right and is facing you. Spread ground meat mixture over meat, leaving 1/2 inch space along the edges. Lay the mortadella slizes on the meat. Then spread the spinach on top of the mortadella and place the frittata on top. Line up eggs in the middle from end to end so that they touch one another. Have butcher's twine ready. Roll beef away from you, so that the meat can be fold over the eggs. Fold in outside ends and finish rolling the beef. Roll tightly and make a slipknot at one end, then run twine the length of the meat. Tie the roll, but not too tight or it will squeeze out the stuffing. Using a heavy, deep skillet or pot, brown meat on all sides over a high flame then add the chopped onion and pour in the wine. Lower heat to medium and stir in the tomato paste, add the bay leaf and enough water to cover 3/4 of the roll. Simmer meat, covered, for 1 hour, turning occasionally. Remove from pan and cool for about 20 minutes. Correct seasoning on sauce and simmer a minute or two longer. Remove bay leaf. Untie roll and slice. Ladle a little sauce over the farsumagru and serve.
Check out also my farsumagru picnic idea!