Saint of the day:
St. Paul's Shipwreck
Patron Saint of Malta
St. Paul's Shipwreck
Feast of St Paul's Shipwreck History
The Feast of St-Paul’s Shipwreck commemorates the arrival of Christianity to the island of Malta. St Paul was a prisoner of the Roman Empire when he was being transported by ship to Rome. A great storm damaged the ship and stranded the passengers in Malta where St Paul performed miracles such as being bitten by a poisonous snake and experiencing no ill effects and healing an islander.
The Feast of St-Paul’s Shipwreck is celebrated on 10 February annually. During his time in Malta, St. Paul converted much of the island colony to Christianity.
The Church of St. Paul's Shipwreck
When is the Feast of St. Paul's Shipwreck?
This public holiday is always celebrated on February 10th. In Malta, it is called 'San Pawl Nawfragu'.
St. Paul is the patron saint of Malta.
This is the first major feast day of the year and it commemorates when St. Paul was shipwrecked on Malta in 60AD as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Bible.
History of the Feast of St. Paul's Shipwreck
Paul was being transported to Rome as a prisoner on a ship that had sailed from Adramyttium in modern-day Turkey. On the journey, the ship had been damaged by storms and was driven aground in Malta. Paul was made welcome by the islanders. When making a fire, Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake and the locals were astonished that he suffered no ill-effects. Paul then healed the father of an island official, after which many islanders would come to Paul to receive healing. While under guard as a Roman prisoner, Paul stayed on Malta for three months, leaving for Rome on a ship that had sheltered in Malta over the winter.
Paul is the patron saint of Malta.... and snakebite victims.
The day is a time for family gatherings and observed by religious ceremonies and processions, particularly at the Church of St. Paul Shipwrecked in Valletta.
Maltese Bragioli, "Beef Olives"
Adapted from Nanna
Prep Time: 1 hour; Cook Time: 2 hours
For the bragioli:
1 lb thinly sliced flank steak or skirt steak
2 slices bacon, diced
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup bread crumbs, seasoned
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1/2 lb ground chuck
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the gravy:
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine, drinking quality
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons Bisto
1 bay leaf
Cover steak with plastic wrap and, using the smooth end of a mallet, pound it flat, about a 1/4 of an inch. Cut the steak into four pieces, so that each piece is roughly 5 by 7 inches (or at least that aspect ratio). These will not be perfect rectangles, so don't fret over any irregular shapes; just try not to let them get too skinny. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, add bacon, eggs, Parmesan, bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper, and stir until thoroughly combined. Gently mix in the ground chuck, making sure not to overwork it.
Even distribute mixture onto the steaks, mounding the mixture into the center of each. Gather the ends of the steak and, using a toothpick, fasten together. Secure the openings on either end with more toothpicks, so that the entire bragiola is sealed. Repeat with remaining steaks. If desired, sprinkle salt and pepper over the bundles.
Place a heavy bottomed Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil and allow to heat. Once oil begins to ripple, add the bragioli, making sure to not crowd the pan; fry in multiple batches if needed. Cook for 1-2 minutes a side. Remove from pan and reduce the heat to low.
Add butter and onions to the pan, stirring frequently, until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds more. Add red wine and using a spatula, scrape up any bits that remain on the bottom of the pan. Add water and increase heat to medium-high. Once liquid begins to softly boil, whisk in Bisto. Add bay leaf and return the bragioli to the pot. Cover, reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours, turning the bragioli occasionally if not completely submerged. Adjust seasoning of gravy to taste. Remove toothpicks before serving.
Serving Suggestions: The Maltese love to pair bragioli with potatoes! We love mashed potatoes in our family, but boiled potatoes would be lovely as well. A nice side salad pairs well as do green peas and carrots.
-Have the butcher slice the steaks thin for you!
-The toothpicks were actually a little difficult to pull out. I found the easiest way to remove them was to hold the bragiola with a fork and then use tongs to pull out the toothpicks.
-Bisto can be found in the British section of the international aisle at most grocery stores. If you can't find it, you can substitute it with beef base or replace the Bisto and water with beef stock. You will also want to make a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce.