Boxing Day cannelloni

Boxing Day cannelloni

In Catalonia, meat cannelloni are eaten on public holidays, they are very typical for 26 December, Boxing Day. In the past it was a leftovers dish made on Boxing Day using the meat from the pot roast and oven from the previous day (25 December). Later they began to be made with roasted meat, flavoured with onion, garlic, a little béchamel sauce and a cinnamon stick. There are different recipes depending on each home, but above all the meat must be well roasted, not boiled. As it is a laborious dish, I recommend making a roast the day before. So the next day there is less work. Want to try?

Ingredients for 50 cannelloni

  • 50 sheets of pasta for cannelloni
  • 1 kg of roasting beef (tender)
  • 1 kg of lean pork
  • 1 farmer’s chicken
  • 300 g of cured bacon
  • 300 g of mi-cuit
  • 8 Figueres onions
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 small glass of brandy
  • 100 g Parmesan cheese
  • Virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of lard
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Salt and pepper


For the béchamel:

  • 1 l of milk
  • 60 g of flour
  • 60 g of butter
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg


  1. Dice the roasting meat and the chicken as well, finely chop the onion and put to one side.
  2. In a large iron pan, put the oil and the lard and when it is very hot, brown the previously salted meats. This step is very important, the oil must be very hot so that when you put the meat in it will seal quickly.
  3. Once browned, add the cognac, the cinnamon stick and let the alcohol evaporate.
  4. Remove the chicken and bone it, then put it back in the pan with the other meats.
  5. Pour the onion, sliced garlic and tomato into the pan. Let it fry for about 50 minutes with the pan covered and on low heat.
  6. Stir occasionally, until the meat is cooked. In this process, if you see that the meat is too dry, you can add a little water.
  7. For the béchamel: put butter in a saucepan and add flour, stir it until the flour is toasted. Add the milk to the dish, which will already be hot, and tie it with a roux of butter and flour. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg and put to one side.
  8. Mince the roasted meat (with a mincer, not with a blender) with the mi-cuit; once it is well minced, mix about 8 spoons of béchamel (if you want them to be smoother instead of béchamel we can add 2 glasses of milk, but in this case it must be added to the pan before chopping the meat, when about 15 minutes left for the roast).
  9. Stretch the pasta that we will already have boiled and drained on clean cloths and fill with the meat mixture. Roll them up and place them on a tray.

Cover them with the béchamel with the grated cheese on top and leave them in the oven for 20 minutes. They must be au gratin, but make sure that the béchamel is not too dry. It’s now ready to serve.

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