When I first read this recipe, I chuckled a little bit.
My husband, Mark, is well known in his circle of friends for an appetizer he brought to a Christmas party many years ago: Little smokies, wrapped in bacon, then spindled with brown sugar- sometimes a pinch of cayenne. It is fondly referred to as “Meat Wrapped Meat.”
Little did I know that a slightly more sophisticated version had been around long before the invention of the little smokie.
It starts with a glorious meatball- this has ground chicken, pork, and beef… a whole barn so to speak… may be that’s why it tastes so good.
Knead it all together and shape into one ounce balls. These then get placed on a thinly pounded piece of sirloin.
Then wrap it up, tuck in the sides and secure with toothpicks.
VOILA! Meat Wrapped Meat! or “Involtini” everything sounds better in Italian.
Brown in some olive oil on all sides until it gets caramel brown.
Remove from pan and add chopped onion, carrots and garlic- scraping off the browned bits… yum.
Deglaze with red wine. Add beef broth and tomato sauce and a couple bay leaves. Return Involti to the pan to simmer for about one and a half hours.
Can’t you smell it?
Now for the polenta- just two cups polenta, ten cups water, and stir stir stir for a long time. (about 40 minutes)
Then wonder if you made some mistake because it’s not done yet, your arm is falling off, and you need help. Also wonder if the above picture is at an odd angle.
Enlist your sister in law to stir for another hour…
Now we are about an hour and two glasses of wine further than I wanted to be when we ate- but I can tell you- it was delicious.
In the last five minutes of cooking, heat some cream with a touch of butter to serve on top of the polenta.
Dish is composed by a scoop of polenta, a splash of cream on top. Mama Maria used gorgonzola cheese- I used roquefort just a small slab on top of the polenta- then scoop your involuting on top with some spoonfuls of sauce… Oh yes. This was tasty.