Meat rolls with hazelnuts
Involtini alle nocciole
I have not been able to trace the origin of these meat rolls with hazelnut stuffing, but a qualified guess would point to Piedmont, where they have a proud tradition for growing nuts.
One of the most fascinating sights in the Barolo district is the striped and dotted undulating landscape. The stripes are of course vine, while the dots are hazelnut bushes or trees. Another main produce from this area. The hazelnuts are prime ingredients in sweets such as nutella and Piedmont hazelnut cake, but you’ll also find the nuts in salads, pesto or meat, which has led me to presume that these meat rolls with hazelnuts originate in Piedmont. They definitely have the refined, grand taste normally associated with the region.
I use young beef for this recipe, but pork, veal or even chicken and turkey can be used instead.
500 g ultra thin slices of beef
2 tbsp breadcrumbs
50 g hazelnuts
1 clove of garlic
A handful of parsley
Sprig of rosemary
Salt and peppercorns
500 ml white wine
200 ml beef stock
It can be difficult to obtain the ultra thin slices of meat used for involtini outside Italy, so I use semi frozen beef chunk to cut thin slices by hand.
Chop hazelnuts finely with garlic, parsley, rosemary and sage.
Place a spoonful of the nut mixture on each slice of meat.
Fold the meat around the filling and close it with a toothstick
Sprinkle breadcrumbs mixed with a little salt over the meat rolls.
Heat up the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and fry the meat rolls on all sides with a few peppercorns.
Remove the meat rolls from the pan, and keep them for later.
Pour white wine into the pot and let it boil through in order to release the alcohol and all the goodness stuck to the bottom of the pot.
Add beef stock to the pot and give the sauce time to thicken.
Return the meat rolls with hazelnuts to the pot and let the meat simmer in the sauce for about 20 minutes.
Serve meat rolls with hazelnuts with mash or polenta.