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!
(Recipe updated and post republished from the original dated 12-24-14.)
What is Beef Braciole (Braciola)?
Beef Braciole (also known as braciola) 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 fall in love with!
The inspiration behind this dish:
I adapted this Beef Braciole recipe from one in the “The Sopranos Family Cookbook.” (Affiliate link.) 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.
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…
- 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 then braise in the wine-infused sauce for a company-worthy dish!
- 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. Here’s more information from The Kitchn on how to do it: How to Make and Use a Slurry
What to serve with this dish:
- Thick, tube-shaped pasta such as penne, ziti or rigatoni
- Cauliflower and White Bean Puree
- Celery Root Puree
- Spinach Parmesan Ranch Twice-Baked Potatoes with Parmesan Crumb Topping
For more great beef recipes, try my:
- Slow Cooker Boneless Beef Short Ribs Bourguignon
- Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs Barbacoa with Cilantro – Lime Cauliflower Rice
- Cabernet Braised Beef Short Ribs with Cauliflower – Leek Puree
- Feijoada (Brazilian Beef Stew)
- Korean Braised Beef Short Ribs
- Moroccan Beef Stew
- Stout-Braised Beef Short Ribs and Colcannon
Helpful tools and equipment (Affiliate Links):
- 6 thin slices boneless top round (about 2 pounds)
- 12 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup finely chopped Italian (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
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 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 all beef slices.
- 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.
MAKE AHEAD: You can make ahead two ways:
- Fill, brown and place in pot with sauce and refrigerate. Proceed with cooking as directed.
- Cook, cool and refrigerate. Reheat when needed 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.
Amount Per Serving Calories 357Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 67mgSodium 2197mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 29g