It’s probably stretching a point to call this a simple supper because it does take a bit of effort to roll and fill the beef. But for a special weekend meal, few things are more delicious, and once you have everything assembled, the cooking is totally hands-off. After the meat is cooked, the savory tomato bath is pureed to make an almost instant sauce.
Place the panko in a dry skillet and drizzle with a 1-count of olive oil. Toss over medium heat until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Mince the garlic, toasted panko, and parsley and stir to combine.
Place the flank steak on a large piece of plastic wrap with the grain running perpendicular to you. Make a long horizontal cut into the edge of the steak almost all the way through and open it up like a book. Lay another piece of plastic wrap on top. Using the smooth side of a mallet or a rolling pin, gently pound the steak until it’s about
Place a roasting pan across 2 burners and heat over medium heat. Add a 3-count of olive oil then add the garlic and thyme. Cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Carefully add the braciola and sear for about 2 minutes on each side so it is evenly browned all over. Add the sliced onion and bay leaf to the pan, then pour in the beef broth and stir to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the canned tomatoes and their juices, then nestle the fresh tomatoes around the braciola. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the entire pan with foil and place in the oven to braise for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the beef reads 160°F on an instant-read thermometer.
Transfer the braciola and tomatoes to a platter using a slotted spoon. Discard the thyme stems, tomato stems, and bay leaf, then carefully transfer the contents of the roasting pan to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and add a splash of balsamic vinegar.
To serve, remove the kitchen twine from the beef and cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. Serve with some of the sauce ladled on top and sprinkled with parsley.
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