Beef For Braciole

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We tried a recipe for Beef For Braciole and thought you might want to try it out. It’s amazing we loved it and hope you will too. Beef for braciole is a delicious Italian dish in which beef is pounded thin, filled with salty and savory ingredients, rolled up and braised in tomato sauce. Here’s my take on recipes for braciole.

Beef Braciole Recipe (Braciola)

Beef Braciole (Braciola) is a company-worthy, classic, hearty, homestyle southern Italian dish that’s perfect for a winter night or Sunday dinner.  Thin slices of beef with a savory filling slowly braise in a wine-infused sauce for a dish you’ll fall in love with!

Photo of Beef Braciole on gray-rimmed platter with serving fork.

What is Beef Braciole (Braciola)?

Beef Braciole (also known as braciola) is a classic Italian dish with many variations.

A Classic Italian Dish You’ll Fall in Love With!

Beef Braciole

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It can be made with thin, individual slices of beef such as round or as one large roll using flank steak.  It can also be made with pork and it always has a savory filling.

The filling for Beef Braciole may be any number of things including cheese, breadcrumbs, fresh herbs, and preserved meats such as prosciutto or salami.  Another combination might be spinach, pine nuts and raisins.

No matter what you fill it with, Beef Braciole is a delicious, hearty, Italian home-style dish you will fall in love with!

Photo of Beef Braciole on gray-rimmed platter ready to serve with serving fork.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

I adapted this Beef Braciole recipe from one in The Sopranos Family Cookbook.  A client, who was a fan of the show, requested I prepare that specific recipe.  A couple of tweaks later, it’s been a favorite on my personal chef menu ever since.

Beef Braciole also featured very prominently in an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond as the only dish Ray Barone’s wife, Debra could make!

It’s a dish that reheats beautifully, freezes well and has received hundreds of high ratings!

How to make Beef Braciole (Braciola):

  • For this version, you’ll need thinly sliced beef top round, which you can get your butcher to do.  Slices of top round can be quite large so you’ll want to cut them in half widthwise.
  • Pound it out first to tenderize it, then cut in half widthwise to make it the perfect size to accommodate a slice of prosciutto.  (Prosciutto is a dry-cured Italian ham.  Prosciutto di Parma is imported from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and can be quite expensive.  Less expensive domestic brands are available in most supermarket deli departments.)
  • Place a piece of prosciutto over the pounded beef.
  • Top with a combination of Parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic and fresh Italian parsley…
Process photo of Beef Braciole being assembled. Thin slices of beef round topped with prosciutto and a parmesan breadcrumb combination.
  • Tuck the sides in to secure the filling, roll into a cylinder and secure with a toothpick.
  • Brown in olive oil to a lovely deep brown.
  • Add the remaining ingredients then braise in the wine-infused sauce for a company-worthy dish!
Photo of browned Beef Braciole in Dutch oven before being braised.
  • If cooking Beef Braciole on the stovetop, you may not need the flour to thicken the sauce as it’s going to reduce as it simmers.  I prefer cooking Beef Braciole in the oven or slow-cooker because those cooking methods don’t require much attention.
  • If you do need to thicken the sauce, make a slurry with flour and slowly add it to the sauce.  Simmer until thickened. 

Beef Braciole Recipe (Involtini)

Beef Braciole Recipe is an American Italian dish of parmesan and bread crumb stuffed beef roulades braised in a delicious tomato sauce.

This is seriously is so dang good.  I’ve always said that braising is my favorite cooking method and this beef braciole recipe just proves that to be true!  I don’t have much of a family history making this but I’ve definitely made it at some the eateries that I worked out throughout the last 15 years.

beef braciole recipe

How Do You Pronounce It?

First off it’s pronounced bra-jahl not brock-e-ole, just wanted to be clear there.

What Is Braciole?

This is an American-Italian dish that is a pounded beef filet that is stuffed up with ingredients, pan-seared, and braised in a tomato sauce.

I say that this recipe is American-Italian because after doing a lot of research, a real braciole in Italy is a sort of breaded pork steak cooked and simmered in a tomato sauce.   The real Italian version as we know it is something known as Involtini in Italy.  Why did that name not make it over to America or why was it changed you ask?  Yeah, I’ve got nothin’.

I do know that regardless of how the name has been changed, this recipe is ridiculously delicious and easy to make.

braciole recipe

What Cut of Meat Is Used for Beef Braciole?

There are a few different cuts of meat you can use including:

  • Top Round
  • Flank Steak
  • Skirt Steak
  • Sirloin

I believe this is about personal preference and availability so this recipe in its original intent may have been dependent upon what was available.

What Are the Ingredients?

On google this recipe is murky and it is incredibly hard to get a read on what this original dish might have looked like.  I’ve seen it being stuffed with raisins and pine nuts and tons of herbs in some variations.  Knowing what I know now about Italian cuisine, just like in these Torta Caprese or this Cioppino recipe, is that recipes were simple.

People used what they had on hand to make the most delicious recipe possible, nothing more than that.  Most recipes, like this, were peasant food and with that in mind, I took that approach when creating this braciole recipe.

Recipe ingredients would include:

  • Tomatoes
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Parsley
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Top Sirloin
  • Onion

How to Make Beef Barciole

  1. Slice the sirloin round into individual filets and pound them out
  2. Mix together bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, and olive oil.
  3. Evenly add the bread crumbs to each piece of pounded-out meat.
  4. Stuff the pounded sirloin and roll it up into a roulade.
step by step procedures for making braciole
  1. Truss it and sear them until golden brown in olive oil.
  2. Once browned, pour in the tomato sauce and braise over low heat for 1 hour.
  3. Serve.

What to Serve with Braciole?

  • Pastas, like ziti or penne
  • A risotto side dish will also pair nicely with this braciole recipe
  • You can also serve braciole with polenta

That’s all I got friends, I really hope you are digging following me on this journey to find the most authentic version of recipes out there and that you enjoy this beef braciole recipe.

Chef Recipe Notes + Tips

How to Reheat: Add the sauce and steaks to a saucepan and cook covered over low heat for 8-10 minutes or until warm.

Storing and Freezing: Store the steak and sauce covered in plastic for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.  Braciole will freeze well covered in a container for up to 3 months.

Being incredibly classic, I’ve also seen horse meat being used in classic braciole, but I’ll stay clear of that for now.

You can use strip loin in this recipe as well

Make sure the oil is lightly smoking over medium-high heat before adding the beef to sear.

You can get creative with this and use pounded out pork or chicken instead of beef

ITALIAN BEEF BRACIOLE (BRACIOLE AL SUGO PUGLIESI)

Italian Beef Braciole in a rich slowly simmered tomato sauce. This southern Italian dish is super comforting and delicious made with thin slices of beef stuffed with prosciutto, pecorino, garlic, and herbsToss the incredible tomato sauce with pasta and serve the braciole with your sides of choice!

An overhead shot of braciole on a serving platter covered in tomato sauce

Beef Braciole also known as involtini (rolled stuffed meat) is just such a homely and comforting meal perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon feast with the family.

This version, in particular, is traditionally served in Puglia, southern Italy although there are so many filling options you could try.

And don’t worry it’s also not an overly complicated dish to make either. A sharp knife (or your butcher) will ensure that the beef is cut into nice thin slices ready to be stuffed.

And the whole dish is simmered for just 2 hours, this really is rustic home cooking at it’s finest!

INGREDIENTS YOU NEED

This recipe is made with super simple ingredients all of which are pretty easy to find in most supermarkets; top or bottom round beef roast (also know as silverside), pecorino cheese, fresh basil and parsley, slices of prosciutto, garlic, strained tomatoes (passata), olive oil and salt and pepper.

See the photo below that shows all the ingredients you need.

An overhead shot of ingredients you need to make beef braciole from scratch

STEP BY STEP RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS

Cut the beef into ¼ inch (½ cm) thick slices. Pound them to half the thickness with a meat mallet or rolling pin (photos 1 & 2).

Step by step photos showing how to pound, stuff and roll beef

Sprinkle the inside of each slice of beef with a little salt and pepper then lay a slice of prosciutto on top. Sprinkle over a small amount of garlic, parsley and place a slice of pecorino in the middle (photo 3).

Roll up the slice of beef and secure each end with a toothpick, repeat with all slices of beef (photos 4 & 5).

Step by step photos showing how to brown braciole

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and brown the braciole on all sides. Once browned add the strained tomatoes (passata) and stir to combine. Cover with a lid and turn the heat down to low, simmer slowly for 2 hours (photos 6-10).

Once the braciole are cooked add the fresh basil to the sauce and stir to combine, serve.

Step by step photos showing what beef braciole look like before and after cooking

HOW TO SERVE IT THE ITALIAN WAY

The traditional way to serve beef braciole is to first toss a little tomato sauce with cooked pasta and serve that as a first course, the portion should be small and not your average main sized portion (photos 11 & 12 show how some of the sauce can be used to toss with pasta).

The braciole are then served with a little remaining sauce with some sides such as sauteed green veggies, beans, grilled vegetables or roasted potatoes.

I absolutely love serving braciole this way because the starter and main course are all prepared in the one pot and while it cooks you can prepare your sides.

It’s such a delicious, hearty and rustic home cooked meal that fills your home with the most incredible smell and brings the whole family together.

A close up of beef braciole cut in half so you can see the filling

FILLING OPTIONS

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s super versatile and you can stuff the braciole with whatever you like.

In Napoli the braciole are traditionally stuffed with pine nuts and raisins (no prosciutto) whereas this version is often found in Puglia.

You can get creative and choose your own fillings but one top tip to bear in mind is that less is more, don’t go overboard and don’t overcomplicate it.

TOP TIPS AND RECIPE FAQS

  • Beef thickness – it’s essential to pound the beef using a meat mallet or rolling pin to half of its thickness to tenderise the beef and make it easier to roll.

What cut of meat do I need?

The cut of beef you need is top round or a bottom round roast, either one will do. You’ll want the beef to be cut into thin slices so a sharp knife is essential otherwise ask your butcher to cut the beef for you. The slices should be ¼ inch (½ cm) before pounding. Also if you’re using top round the slices will be fairly large so cut them in half lengthways first.

Can I prepare this in advance?

Absolutely, you can stuff the braciole and store them in the fridge before cooking or you can cook the whole dish and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to re-heat and serve.

How can I store leftovers?

Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for around 2-3 days or can be frozen in suitable containers. After freezing thaw the braciole completely then reheat until piping hot all the way through.

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