Beef involtini is a dish often seen in Italian-American restaurants. This recipe calls for a Spanish twist! Instead of the usual cheeses of Parmesean and mozzarella, you will use Mahón cheese. Yes, Mahón cheese!
This specialty cheese hails from the island of Menorca off the coast of Spain. The island is known for its cheese production and the region itself is considered to have some of the best dairy plants in Europe. Mahón cheese has a semi-soft consistency with a slight sharpness and tanginess to it. These characteristics of the cheese make it a nice substitute for the Italian cheeses previously mentioned and it helps to add a tasty new twist to this dish.
This beef involtini dish is stuffed with Mahón cheese, asparagus, fresh basil leaves, and a couple of thin slices of Jamón ibérico. If you can not find Jamón ibérico a good substitute would be Prosciutto di Parma. You will find that all these flavors blend together beautifully. You can serve this dish with Italian bread or your favorite pasta to soak up all the deliciousness of the tomato sauce and that creamy melted Mahón cheese.
How to Make Beef Involitini?
Beef Involtini (serves 4)
- 4 thinly sliced beef top round cuts approximately 4 ounces each.
- 12-14 slices of Mahón cheese, depending on the amount you desire in each involtini.
- 8-10 slices of Mahón cheese to melt over the involtini.
- 12-14 basil leaves to lay over the cheese.
- 8 thin slices of Jamón ibérico or Prosciutto di Parma (optional).
- 12 trimmed, blanched, and well-seasoned asparagus.
- Salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- 2 chopped garlic cloves
- 1, 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 4 fresh basil leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut uniform slices about 1/8th of an inch thick from the Mahón cheese and reserve aside.
- Between two pieces of plastic wrap pound the beef strips to about 1/4th inch thickness. Make sure the thickness is uniform all around.
- Then season on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place 2 to 3 slices of the Mahón cheese across the seasoned beef.
- Now add a few fresh basil leaves.
- Add the asparagus
- Cover all with a couple slices of Jamón Ibérico or Prosciuto di Parma if using.
Close the Involtini and Cook
- Roll up the involtini tightly to create a nice tight cylinder shape. Skewer them closed using a couple of toothpicks to keep them together, or simply use kitchen twine to tie them securely.
- In a saute pan heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil.
- Once hot add the involtini and sear them on all sides to create a nice uniform color all around the beef. This should take about 3-5 minutes.
Tip: Remember this cut is from a top round of beef. So, it’s either quick cooking at high heat for a short period of time or longer cooking at a lower heat for a longer period of time to keep the meat from toughening up. In this case, you will cook them quickly in order to avoid a longer cooking time.
- Take the involtini out of the pan and set them aside on a dish to collect their juices. Allow them to cool a little and remove the twine or toothpicks. (by now, they will hold well).
For the Tomato Sauce
- Add two chopped garlic cloves to the pan with two tablespoons of olive oil.
- Once slightly golden add the crushed tomatoes.
- Season with salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 12-15 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Once you’ve cooked the tomato sauce for almost 10 minutes, place the beef back inside the pan.
- Add the reserved slices of Mahón cheese on top of the involtini and cover and cook for 5 additional minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Tip: Keep in mind that some of the cheese might ooze out, but it’s going to stay in the sauce, so you don’t have to worry. Delicious!
- After the cheese is nicely melted you can remove the beef involtini from the saucepan. Spoon a liberal amount of sauce on a serving plate. Top with the involtini and add a sprig of fresh basil for garnish.
- You can serve the dish with Italian bread or your favorite pasta!