I always associate cannelloni with holidays. In Catalonia it is very typical to eat them on December 26, Saint Stephen's Day, although they are also usually prepared for the major summer festivals. It is a recipe that takes time to prepare and that is why it is reserved for special occasions.

The truth is that it is a very grateful dish to prepare and serve.

Cooking secrets for cannelloni with meat

Whenever you serve cannelloni you will receive words of approval and gratitude from your guests. And if you follow my recipe, you are guaranteed success. The mixture of meats and vegetables make the filling very tasty and with my little trick of adding a little foie gras, I end up achieving a perfect balance.

To prepare good cannelloni, you have to first cook a “rostit” , a stew with various types of meat and vegetables that I make in the oven. You can also prepare it over the fire, but I find it more practical to do it that way. Furthermore, in this way I take advantage of one of the great virtues of cocottes : that they can go in the oven without any problem and while I have the stove free to prepare other dishes.

Cannelloni recipe

Le Creuset baking tray

Ingredients (30 to 35 cannelloni)

  • 30-35 cannelloni plates
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 boneless chicken thigh with skin
  • 300g of beef (round, butt or shank)
  • 300g pork neck meat
  • 2 pear tomatoes
  • 2 Figueres onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 leek
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 100ml brandy or rancid wine
  • 50g duck foie gras
  • Olive oil
  • 2 slices of crustless bread
  • 100ml milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the bechamel

  • 60g of butter
  • 60g flour
  • 750ml milk
  • Salt
  • Nutmeg

For the final baking

  • Emmental cheese to gratin

Preparation of the cannelloni step by step

  1. Cut all the meat into regular cubes. To do this, use a good knife and a cutting board .
  2. Clean and peel all the vegetables and cut them into cubes the same size as the meat.
  3. Put the meat and vegetables in a low cocotte or other type of cocotte. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with a good splash of olive oil. Be generous with the salt (but be careful not to overdo it). There is nothing worse than bland cannelloni.
  4. Bake at 190ºC for one hour. After the time has passed, add the brandy and continue cooking for 30 more minutes.
  5. Once out of the oven, mix the bread soaked in milk and the foie gras with the rest of the roast. Grind everything with the help of a P2 type food processor . You want to get a fine filling, without lumps, but not excessively chopped. Before filling the cannelloni, it is very important that you test the salt level of the filling in case it is necessary to rectify it.
  6. Cook the cannelloni following the manufacturer's instructions. Drain them and fill the cannelloni. Some people use a spoon to do it, but I prefer to do it with a pastry bag . To do this, I put all the cannelloni plates on the counter and in a moment I have all the filling on the plates.
  7. Roll the cannelloni and put them on a tray that can go in the oven (Make it pretty! Think that it will be the tray that you will present to the table). Cover them with the béchamel.

Easy cannelloni recipe

Le Creuset round cocotte

For the bechamel:

  1. Put the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Stir with a whisk or a silicone spatula for a couple of minutes. Add the milk and a pinch of nutmeg. Stir until you obtain a fine sauce. Add salt.
  2. Cover the cannelloni with the bechamel. Sprinkle with grated cheese and put them in the oven for 20 minutes at 190º. At the last minute, turn the broiler to maximum power until you get a nice golden color.
Claudia Ferrer

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