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The Perfect Beef Braciole

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Very popular in many Italian families, the Braciole is a flank steak roll, made with pounded thin meat that’s filled with a very delicious filling and covered in tomato or marinara sauce.

This recipe is definitely what I call comfort food. That’s because it’s a ‘’secondo piatto’’, or a second course, normally served in special family gatherings and celebrations during weekends.

If you would like to make this recipe in a slow cooker, go to the bottom of the page.

beef braciole slice

What does it mean?

According to Define Dictionary Meaning, the meaning of braciole in Italian is the name given to thin cuts of meat that are rolled as a roulade with cheese and bread crumbs then seared or fried.

beef braciole served with tomato sauce

What cut of meat is used for braciole?

Any tender beef can be used to make this dish. Depending where you are, some cuts are easier to find and I will be unapologetic to say that you can choose the best beef, as long as it’s pounded with a meat tenderizer to thin it out.

  • Best beef cuts are: flank steak, sirloin, rump steak.
  • As a rule of thumb, flank steak is the best meat to make this dish. I recommend going for your trusted butcher and ask them to slice it open for you. But you can also do it yourself at home. Next important thing to do is to tenderize the beef with a meat mallet, pounding it about 1/8 of an inch thick.
  • You can cut it half lengthwise for smaller rolls or just keep it as it is, for a large one big roll and slice it when done. (That’s what I like to do)
  • To speed up things on your side, another tip is to buy the steaks, pound them thin and make smaller rolls.

steak ready to be be cooked to make beef braciole

Equipment

  • Casserole Dish with Lid
  • Butcher’s Twine
  • Meat Mallet
  • Kitchen Tongue

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Filling

As I said, the stuffing varies and some people use prosciutto ham, pine nuts, raising, spinach, cheese, eggs… Mine is pretty simple as I want to make it easy for everybody to try it at home, and it’s also very flavorful. 

Here’s a list of all ingredients of this insanely delicious meaty dish:

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 lbs steak, butterflied opened, pounded with a meat tenderizer to 1/8 inch thick, or steak for smaller rolls* See Notes
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup black olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 eggs, hard boiled and chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 2 or more prosciutto di parma ham, fats removed, teared into small pieces
  • breadcrumbs, enough to spread all over your meat
  • 1 branch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated grana padano cheese
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for frying
  • 1/4 cup white or red wine (optional)
  • 1 can (14 oz) chopped tomatoes
  • Basil to taste, for garnish

Cooking Time

  • Cooking: 1 hour
  • Preparation: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1h15 minutes

Servings

  • Up to 4 people

How to Make Braciole

  1. If using a piece of beef, cut the meat open, tenderize it with the help of a meat mallet, season with salt and pepper and rub half of the minced garlic
  2. Sprinkle the cheese all over the beef.
  3. Add breadcrumbs, if using and spread it out
  4. Spread evenly chopped eggs, parma ham, topped with chopped parsley and black olives and season with black pepper.
  5. Drizzle about 2 tbsp of olive oil over the egg mixture.
  6. Roll, tightly the meat up like a jelly roll with the grain of the meat.Secure with butcher’s twine all over the roll, it is important to secure it very well.
  7. Bring a heavy bottom large pan with lid over medium-high heat.
  8. Once hot, add a drizzle of olive oil and add the braciole. Sear it well on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes each side. Avoid turning the meat too much.
  9. Remove the meat with kitchen tongues and reserve.
  10. Add another drizzle of olive oil and add the chopped onions, cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the other half of minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
  11. Add the wine, if using, to deglaze the pan until the alcohol is reduced, about 2 minutes.
  12. Pour the chopped tomatoes and return the roll to the pan.
  13. Place the lid on and simmer over very low heat until steak is cooked through and sauce has slightly reduced, between 1 hour. If needed, add some water in the process to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  14. Check every 15 minutes after the first half an hour. It’s ready when the tip of a knife goes in very easily and the meat is tender.
  15. Remove from the heat and let it rest, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the strings and slicing.

Top Tips

  • Save time and surprise your guests by making 1 or 2 days ahead.
  • If preparing in advance, cut the meat when cold, as it will hold the shape better and will be easier to reheat later. Plus the flavors are enhanced.
  • After you fill the meat, roll it up like a jelly roll with the grain, so when you cut it, it will be ready to cut against the grain and the meat will be very soft.
  • Avoid doing this with partially frozen meat. It’s best to make the rolls with the meat cold or at ambient temperature.

What to serve with?

There are many delicious Italian dishes to serve along with flank steak rolls. You can serve a braciole with:

Variations: Gluten-free and low carb

For who’s watching out for the carbs or are on a gluten-free diet, just remove the breadcrumbs as it is equally delicious.

steak roll sliced with tomato sauce

Making ahead

If you want to make this dish for a celebration, you can prepare it 2 or 3 days in advance as it will enhance the flavour and the buttery texture will stay perfect. 

See how to store this dish below:

Storage

If making it ahead, store the braciole in the pan with the lid on in the fridge for 2 days prior. When ready to serve, just bring back to the stove over medium heat to heat up. You can add some water to the sauce if it’s too thick.

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

flank steak roll

Slow Cooker method

Is it possible to cook an easy braciole in the slow cooker. For this you will have to:

  1. Follow steps 1 to 12 as normal, but after pouring the wine and deglazing the pan, transfer it to a preheated slow cooker on high, add the tomatoes and cook on high for 4-6 hours or more, depending on your slow cooker.
  2. Then transfer to a serving dish and wait to cool before cutting. 

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Beef Braciole

The Perfect Beef Braciole

lucasgian
Very popular in many Italian families, the braciole is a steak roll, made with pounded thin meat that’s filled with a very delicious filling and covered in tomato or marinara sauce.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 367 kcal

Equipment

  • Casserole Dish with Lid
  • Butcher's Twine
  • Meat Mallet
  • Kitchen Tongue

Ingredients
  

  • 1 to 2 lbs flank steak or other meat butterflied opened, pounded with a meat tenderizer to 1/8 inch thick, or steak for smaller rolls* See Notes
  • 1/2 white onion chopped
  • 1/4 cup black olives roughly chopped
  • 2 eggs hard boiled and chopped 
  • 2 garlic cloves minced and divided
  • 2 or more prosciutto di parma ham teared into small pieces
  • breadcrumbs enough to spread all over your meat
  • 1 branch fresh parsley chopped
  • 1/2 cup grana padano cheese grated
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus more for frying
  • 1/4 white or red wine (optional)
  • 1 can 14 oz chopped tomatoes
  • fresh basil leaves to taste for garnish

Instructions
 

  • If using a piece of beef, cut the meat open, tenderize it with the help of a meat mallet, season with salt and pepper and rub half of the minced garlic.
  • Sprinkle the cheese all over the beef.
  • Add breadcrumbs, if using and spread it out.
  • Spread evenly chopped eggs, parma ham, topped with chopped parsley and black olives and season with black pepper.
  • Drizzle about 2 tbsp of olive oil over the egg mixture.
  • Roll, tightly the meat up like a jelly roll with the grain of the meat.
  • Secure with butcher’s twine all over the roll, it is important to secure it very well.
  • Bring a heavy bottom large pan with lid over medium-high heat. Once hot, add a drizzle of olive oil and add the braciole. Sear it well on all sides, about 2 to 3 minutes each side. Avoid turning the meat too much.
  • Remove the meat with kitchen tongues and reserve.
  • Add another drizzle of olive oil and add the chopped onions, cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, then add the other half of minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
  • Add the wine, if using, to deglaze the pan until the alcohol is reduced, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour the chopped tomatoes and return the roll to the pan.
  • Place the lid on and simmer over very low heat until steak is cooked through and sauce has slightly reduced, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If needed, add some water in the process to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Check every 15 minutes after the first half an hour. It’s ready when the tip of a knife goes in very easily and the meat is tender.
  • Remove from the heat and let it rest, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes before removing the strings and slicing.

Notes

  • *Any tender beef can be used to make this dish. Best beef cuts to make braciole are: flank steak, sirloin, rump steak.
  • Save time and surprise your guests by making 1 or 2 days ahead.
  • If making in advance, cut the meat when cold, as it will hold its shape best and will be easier to reheat later. Plus the flavors are enhanced.
  • After you fill the meat, roll it up like a jelly roll with the grain, so when you cut it, it will be ready to cut against the grain and the meat will be very soft.
  • Avoid doing this with partially frozen meat. It’s best to make the rolls with the meat cold or at ambient temperature.
Keyword bracciole, braciole, steak roll, stuffed meat

ready flank steak in a plate


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