Beef Braciole, stuffed beef rolls slowly simmered in tomato sauce, are Italian comfort food at it’s best.

Beef Braciole

Beef Braciole is classic Italian comfort food and a great dish to make on a wintery Sunday afternoon. Stuffed beef rolls, simmered slowly in tomato sauce so the flavors from the stuffing infuse the sauce and the meat becomes fork tender, all while filling your house with the sweet smell of Italian Sunday dinner! My father used to serve this at the restaurant with Ricotta Gnocchi on the side, but any pasta you like will do. Just toss the pasta or gnocchi with some of the sauce from the braciole and serve it right along side. Perfection!

This is not a new recipe, I have had Beef Braciole on this site from close to the beginning back in 2000. I am revisiting it here to add a picture and tweak the recipe a bit based on more experience making it. I mention this because I will never forget the first time I saw a big spike in traffic for The Italian Chef. Back then I used to rank pretty high on all of the search engines for certain recipes and Beef Braciole was one of them. One day I noticed a huge spike in traffic, and most of it was people visiting the Braciole recipe from search engines.

“Why are so many people all of a sudden searching for Braciole recipes”, I wondered? So, I put my internet slueth hat on and dug in for some research. After a bit of searching around I figured it out! The night before, the TV show Everybody Loves Raymond aired the episode “Debra Makes Something Good“, which was about Debra making Braciole, everybody loving it and it driving Marie crazy. Seems it sparked a lot of interest in the dish, causing people to Google queries like “What is braciole”.

I always got a kick out of that, and for a few years after I would occasionally see a (much smaller) bump in traffic to the recipe and would check to see if that episode played in syndication somewhere, and that usually was the case. It would be great if the writer’s of This is Us could do a Tortellini alla Panna episode…

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Beef Braciole

Beef Braciole Recipe


  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

Beef Braciole, stuffed beef rolls slowly simmered in tomato sauce, are Italian comfort food at it’s best.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb boneless beef round, cut into 4 thin slices approximately 1/3 inch thick
  • 4 slices of prosciutto
  • 1 tablespoon pignoli beans(pine nuts)
  • 2 tablespoons grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped chopped fine
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 28oz cans imported Italian tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • flour spread on a plate for dredging
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place each slice of beef between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound with a meat pounder until 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Lay a slice of prosciutto on each one.
  2. Mix together the the pignoli beans, pecorino romano cheese, garlic and parsley and sprinkle evenly on top of the beef slices with prosciutto. Roll up the slices, tucking in the ends and tie with kitchen string.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Dredge the braciole in flour shaking off any excess, then place in the pan. Cook until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and keep to the side.
  4. If needed add some more olive oil to the pan then add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring until tender but not browned, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the red wine and cook, stirring up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
  6. Crush the tomatoes with your hands and add, with their juices, into the saucepan. Fill one of the tomato cans 1/2 way with water and pour in. Add the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Place the braciole back into the sauce, turn heat to low and cook at a simmer until beef is tender 1.5 – 2 hours.
  8. Sprinkle the basil over the rolls, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Transfer to serving plates, spoon the sauce over the top and serve at once.

33 Responses

  1. This looks really good, I think I would add more seasoning to the sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and some dried Italian seasonings-but my Mom was only half Italian so I don’t know if it would be authentic or not. I will definitely try this!

    1. My mother in law came from Italy, she taught me many dishes, this was one of them. There’s is many variations. It’s like meatloaf, everyone has a slightly different version, but they’re all good.
      This is mine;
      Any thin steak, pound it flat
      shake parmesan evenly over the meat, followed by Italian seasoning, garlic, onion powder & parsley, spread evenly over meat, sprinkle sparingly crushed red pepper flakes. roll up and tie, place in your spaghetti sauce and let it simmer.

      1. I learned this recipe basically just like this but without the prosciutto and with the rolls stuffed with pecorino, Italian parsley and fresh garlic pounded into a paste with a little black pepper.

  2. This sounds really good! My question is, could I use tomatoes from my garden instead of canned tomatoes?

    1. Julie, I typically use canned tomatoes for a slow cooked sauce like this, and fresh tomatoes for quicker sauces that need to be fresh and bright. However, you can try your garden tomatoes if you like. Just blanche them quickly in boiling water, to loosen the skin, then peel them and chop them up. Plum tomatoes that do not have a lot of seeds work best for sauces.

    2. I grew up working in my uncles Italian restaurant in RI . SO yes you can but I would blanch and peel the toms first.

  3. Hi Chef, do you know if there’s another braciole recipe made with a type of pork other than prosciutto? My grandmother used to make this and I can’t remember the other meat she used besides beef but I know it wasn’t prosciutto. Also, I think she put hard-boiled eggs in it. Is there a braciole recipe like this that you know of? Thank you

    1. Not sure what the other type of pork would have been. Lot of possibilities. Maybe some other kind of ham besides prosciutto? Some people put hard boiled egg in their braciole. Just not my thing 🙂

    2. She may have used a salami or supresatt. My mom did it that way and added hard boiled egg and at times raisins and pinolli. Really good. Brings. Sick memories. My family won’t eat it this way but they don’t know what they are missing.

  4. Tweaks made to this one: Made sauce the day before (added 6 cloves of garlic) and pureed it next day too. Used sopressatta instead of proscuitto. Added roasted 10 garlic halves about 15 minutes near the end of the cook time. Next time: Let the whole thing sit overnight before serving up. Somehow the flavors for this were ramped up overnight for the leftoversw. Adding herbs to sauce (oregano, fennel). Double the amount for the filling.

  5. I’m searching this recipe because of the Raymond episode! So funny. Would’ve never guessed that’s how it’s spelled. My Italian grandmother made this and it was part of the Sunday ritual. So sad that she passed before we were old enough to preserve this and many others. I’m going to study this and give it a try.

    1. Jayme…I’m with you on this one…been watching “Everybody Loves Raymond” “bloopers…the one where Deborah makes Braciole has me stumped…she added “currants”…??!! Haven’t seen a recipe ANYWHERE calling for this…oh well, maybe throw a few in the sauce just for fun!!

      1. Sicilians from Palermo make Braciole with raisins in it . I love it in the Braciole. Also bread crumbs in the stuffing.

  6. Just love your recipes..are quite authentic as I have been cooking Italian for years with so many of the recipe specifics you have. I would really like to have a “recipe box” where I can save your recipes..have no possibility to print. And is Phil Torre Italian? Thanks,Janet

    1. Janet, I don’t have that functionality but there are other sites dedicated to it. One is yummly.com. If you click the orange Yum button on any of my recipes, it will send you there and all you have to do is create an account and you can save the recipe in your own recipe box. Yes Torre is an Italian name. I am 100% Sicilian.

  7. Hi Phil,I always loved Braciole in my Sunday sauce, since my kids moved to Texas they got away from most of the italian dinners. Texans really don’t cook much they eat out.Me I cook everyday even now that I live in Texas. It’s very hard to find Italian ingredients here. But I make the best of it. Thanks for having great Italian recipes , I too am Sicilian. Will be making Braciole Sunday. With homemade ravoli.. Thanks again

  8. LOL I just came here because of Everybody Loves Raymond. I had an Italian nana growing up and she never made this. It sounds amazing!! Thanks for the recipe.

  9. I’ve made this recipe a couple of times but haven’t made it in years. Have it going today. I’ve also made the ricotta gnocchi and it’s amazing.

  10. I would like to make this well in advance for a,special occasion and freeze it so I’m not in a last minute panic and can relax and enjoy my evening. Does it freeze well? If so, tips on reheating Would be welcome.

    1. I think if you freeze it BEFORE you cook it, you are good to go. I would then thaw it and cook it according to the directions.

  11. Italian Chef, I made braciole on new years day. It was delicious brother. I used pork which I enjoy more than beef as do the ladies.

  12. Sounds amazing and plan to make this for a supper club. My question is related to the ricotta gnocchi…can they be made ahead and reheat? Possibly the day before or at least the morning of? Or can I make the dough and refrigerate it then let it come to room temp and then slice and boil?

    1. You can make the gnocchi ahead of time and put them in refrigerator for a couple of days or freeze them for longer. You can boil them right out of fridge or freezer. They don’t take long to cook so I wouldn’t recommend boiling then reheating next day.

  13. Just put them through a blender do they’re coarsely chopped.
    Lots of fresh garlic, a sprinkle if mint, parmesan and pepper…yuuuummm.
    Grew up in this…
    I’m a descendents of Martignetti and Festa family…
    Pasta 5 days a week!

  14. Just put them through a blender so they’re coarsely chopped.
    Lots of fresh garlic, a sprinkle of mint, parmesan and pepper…yuuuummm.
    Grew up in this…
    I’m a descendent of Martignetti and Festa family…
    Pasta 5 days a week!

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