Beef Braciole Recipe (Braciola)

4.54 from 615 votes
2 hours 30 minutes
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Beef Braciole (Braciola) is a company-worthy, classic, hearty, homestyle Italian-American dish 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 love!

“I love how easy and flavorful these are. Hands down the BEST beef braciole recipe on the web!”

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

What is Beef Braciole (Braciola)?

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

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 love!

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 show fan, 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 featured prominently in an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond as the only dish Ray Barone’s wife, Debra, could make!

This Beef Braciole recipe reheats beautifully, freezes well, and has received hundreds of high ratings!

What’s in a Beef Braciole Recipe?

  • Boneless top round
  • Garlic
  • Italian parsley
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Seasoned dry breadcrumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Prosciutto
  • Olive oil
  • Dry red wine
  • Beef broth
  • Crushed tomatoes – preferably a good imported Italian brand
  • Italian seasoning
  • All-purpose flour

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.  The slices should be 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick.
  • Pound it out first to tenderize it.
  • Slices of the top round can be quite large, so if they are, you’ll want to cut them 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 Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region and can be 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 it into a cylinder and secure it 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 will 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.
Close-up photo of Beef Braciole on gray-rimmed platter.

What to serve with this dish:

Photo of Beef Braciole on gray-rimmed platter sliced into to show how beef is rolled.

For more great beef recipes, try my:

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

Beef Braciole Recipe

4.54 from 615 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Beef Braciole (Braciola) is a company-worthy, classic, hearty, homestyle Italian-American 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!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Beef
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6
Calories 570 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 thin slices boneless top round - about 2 pounds, preferably sliced 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch but no more
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Italian parsley - (flat-leaf parsley), plus more for garnish
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese - plus more for serving if desired
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned dry breadcrumbs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes - preferably a good imported Italian brand
  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour

Instructions
 

  • Cut top-round slices in half widthwise so that you have 12 equal pieces. Place beef between two pieces of plastic wrap. Gently pound to 1/4 to 1/8-inch thickness.
  • Mince 4 cloves of garlic; slice the remaining 8 cloves.
  • Combine minced garlic, parsley, cheese, breadcrumbs, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Place a prosciutto slice over the beef then sprinkle filling evenly over the proscuitto.
  • Roll the beef into a cylinder, tucking in the sides to hold in the filling as you roll. Secure with toothpicks.
  • Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Place the beef rolls, seam side down in the pot and brown seam side first to seal it. Cook, turning the meat occasionally until each roll is nicely browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add the wine and the sliced garlic. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add beef broth, tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Place beef rolls back in the pot and bring back to a simmer.
  • Cover and cook on low heat, turning occasionally until beef is tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 1 1/2 hours. Alternately, cook covered in a 325-degree oven for 1 1/2-2 hours or in a slow cooker for 3-4 hours on high, 5-6 hours on medium or 7-8 hours on low.
  • To thicken, place pot back on the stove if cooked in the oven. Remove some of the hot cooking liquid to a bowl. Add the flour and stir until smooth to create a slurry. Slowly add it to the hot cooking liquid, bring to a slow simmer and cook until thickened.
  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Remove toothpicks and serve over pasta with additional grated cheese if desired.

VIDEO

Notes

MAKE AHEAD: You can make ahead two ways:
  • Fill and roll as directed.  Brown the beef braciole rolls and place in a pot with sauce and refrigerate. Proceed with cooking as directed.
  • Cook, cool, and refrigerate the braciole. Reheat in the oven, on the stovetop, or in a slow cooker.
If cooking on the stovetop, you may not need the flour to thicken the sauce because of how the sauce will reduce.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Cool thoroughly, then place in an airtight container.  Store in the freezer for 1-2 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat in a 350-degree oven until heated.

Nutrition

Serving: 2 | Calories: 570kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 832mg | Potassium: 1006mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 584IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 275mg | Iron: 6mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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214 Comments

  1. I don’t know what I did wrong, but my sauce is extremely thin and tastes bitter. I used a decent cabernet sauvignon, and followed the recipe. The sauce doesn’t seem to have much of a tomato sauce flavor, I wouldn’t use it over pasta, and I don’t know how to salvage it.

    1. Hi, Carolyn, Thanks so much for getting in touch and so sorry something didn’t work. Bitter or too tangy? If too tangy, it could be the tomatoes. Sometimes a beef broth can have an off taste. The sauce isn’t supposed to be heavy tomatoey like a tomato pasta sauce. You could add a little sugar to counteract the bitterness/tanginess. It’s hard to know exactly without tasting it and seeing the products you used. If it’s too thin, cool down some of the cooking liquid, stir it into some flour to form a paste, then add it back to the sauce and simmer to thicken it. Again, so sorry and hope this helps a little.

  2. 5 stars
    Excellent recipe, very versatile and tasty. I make my grandmother’s German Beef Rouladen recipe at least a couple of times a year. (Same concept as the Braciole but filled with bacon and thinly sliced pickles). Fortunately, my butcher (of German descent) cuts the beef round as thin as 1/4 inch, so I have very long, very thin slices of meat and don’t have to pound them myself.
    You may want to ask your butcher if they can do the same (they do have the tools)!
    Greetings from Michigan.

    1. Hi, Ursula, Thanks so very much and so happy you enjoyed! Yes, love rouladen! Have been wanting to get a recipe up for it; hopefully this year. Would love to have an old-fashioned butcher in this area, but sadly, have to rely on the Krogers of the world for sliced top round. My husband purchased a slicer for beef jerky a while back so he can do it for me now. Thanks again and appreciate your taking the time to come back and comment.

  3. Great recipe! Do yourself a favor and buy braciole meat. I used round steak and it took a lot to pound thin. I doubled it and baked in the oven. It made a lot of sauce so I froze the left overs for next time!

    1. 5 stars
      Hi, Jenice, Thanks so much and so happy you love this recipe! Braciole meat may be available in larger cities with Italian-American communities, but in my area or small communities, I highly, highly doubt it. Thanks again!

      1. Hi, Billy, Thanks for your question. Typically its thinly cut and pounded top round steak. The person who mentioned “braciole meat” may have a source in an Italian-American community where thin cuts of beef are sold already pounded. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  4. 5 stars
    Your braciole looks amazing, but I’m wondering if I can use another cut of meat to make them? I remember my neighbor used eye round.

    1. Hi, Dennis, Thanks so much for your question. You can use any cut of meat that allows it be thinly sliced. A sirloin roast would work as would a chuck roast. If you don’t have a slicer, it’s best to have your butcher do it. If you want to try slicing it yourself without a slicer, it’s very helpful if you freeze the meat for an hour or two. You don’t want it rock hard, you just want it semi-frozen so it’s firm. Thanks again! Great question!

  5. 5 stars
    These look like absolute comfort food! Question – I’m not a wine drinker and rarely use it in cooking. Could I double up on the beef stock or maybe go with a beef consommé?

    1. Hi, Lori, Thanks so much for your great question! Yes, you absolutely can. I often suggest using additional beef broth or stock in place of alcohol for people who don’t want it. When the braciole have finished braising, you can always add a splash of balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar if you want the acidic edge that wine provides. Thanks so much and hope you enjoy!

  6. 5 stars
    I’m getting ready to make this for our upcoming Sunday dinner so I have two days to prep. You say use a dry red wine. What specific red wine do you recommend? Merlot, cabernet sauvignon, Syrah? I don’t drink a lot of wine so I don’t know which ones are dry. Thanks for your help!!

    1. Hi, Amanda, Thanks so much for your question. All of those are dry but you don’t want to use anything that is too heavy, “jammy,” or bold. Merlot or pinot noir are both good choices as is a lighter cabernet. I usually recommend a Robert Mondavi Woodbridge cabernet which is drinkable, doesn’t cost a lot and is available in small cartons for around $5 each. Just make sure whatever you use IS drinkable.
      Thanks again! Great question!

    1. What does joining metals together with molten copper and zinc have to do with this dish, Sally?