suggested video
suggested video

Beef Braciole: the traditional main dish recipe for Italian thin meat roll up

Total time: 2H30
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

Beef braciole is a traditional, hearty recipe from Southern Italy (in Naples) people enjoy during a family dinner. In Neapolitan dialect, the term braciola refers to an involtino, a thin, stuffed meat roll up such as top round that is braised in tomato sauce.

Tasty and super easy to make, they are delicious thin beef rolls similar to a roulade which are stuffed with raisins, pine nuts, parsley, garlic and pecorino cheese. Beef slices are cooked in the tomato wine-infused sauce for hours over low heat. You can also use the sauce to season pasta the next day.

What is a Braciola?

Braciole (pronounced bra-choh-leh) are a typical Italian recipe from Campania region (in the Southern Italy). A braciola (plural braciole) is a delicious dish made with thin meat slices that are stuffed, rolled up and simmered in a tomato sauce. The traditional savory filling is made of pine nuts, raisins, parsley, garlic and pecorino cheese, but everyone can customize it to taste.

This beef braciole recipe is so popular that has also appeared in many movies and TV series such as The Sopranos or Everybody Loves Raymond.

What is the best cut for making Italian Braciole?

To make perfect braciole, make sure to use slices of beef rump, top round or bottom round. Flank steak, sirloin and even skirt steak are good options.

If you don't want to use beef, you can replace it with pounded pork, veal cutlets, fish or vegetables.

How to make Beef Braciole

Making beef braciole is easier than you may think. Start by beating beef slices with a meat tenderizer, season and spread with raisins, pine nuts, garlic, parsley and pecorino cheese. Roll them up and tie each roll or seal the slices with four toothpicks crosswise.

Next, fry the sliced onion in a pan with oil. Add beef roll ups and white wine, then season and let them cook until browned. Add the tomato sauce and basil. Finally, let them simmer covered for up to 2 hours.

Tips for making Italian Beef Braciole

For a healthier version, make beef braciole in the oven, just bake them for 35 minutes to 400°F.

Don't forget to pound the beef with a meat mallet in order to get the right thickness when rolling it up.

Instead of pecorino cheese, you can also use grated parmesan cheese.

You can customize this recipe as you prefer. Add breadcrumbs, onions, tomatoes, Parmesan cheese or even hard eggs.

You don't have to tie beef braciole, just be sure to seal them well with a toothpick.

To make Sicilian braciole, use onions, breadcrumbs, sliced ham and stringy cheese for the savory filling.

You can also make braciole in the slow cooker. Cook beef roll ups on low for 5 hours. If you're in a hurry, you can make it in the instant pot, let them cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.

What to serve with Beef Braciole

Beef braciole are a delicious recipe that pairs great with ziti pasta, risotto, veggie puree or polenta and a full bodied red wine. 

How to store Beef Braciole

You can store the beef braciole in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, inside an airtight container. Reheat the dish in a pan over low heat for about 10 minutes or until warm.

You can also freeze beef braciole for up to 3 months.

More Recipes You'll Like

top round, boneless
4 slices
30 g
Pine nuts
30 g
roman pecorino
60 g
Black pepper
White wine
1/2 glass
Tomato sauce
750 ml
Extra virgin olive oil
garlic (optional)
1 clove


Arrange the 1/4 inch-thick meat slices on a cutting board.

Beat them with a meat mallet.

Beef slices should be large and thin.

Wash, dry and chop parsley, then mince the garlic.

Season with salt and pepper and add raisins, pine nuts, garlic, chopped parsley, leaving only the edges of the meat slices free.

Sprinkle it with pecorino cheese.

Close each one by rolling them up.

Continue until you finish beef slices.

Seal beef roll ups with kitchen twine or 4 small toothpicks crosswise or with a single large toothpick vertically.

Fry the sliced onion in a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil.

Add the braciole.

Let them brown, season with salt and pepper.

Deglaze with white wine.

Add the tomato sauce and basil, then cover with a lid.

Cook over low heat for 2 hours as the meat sauce should simmer.

Remove the lid and allow the sauce to reduce. Serve and enjoy!

Every dish has a story
Find out more on Cookist social networks
api url views