Beef Braciole Recipe (Braciola)

4.54 from 626 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 626 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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Recipe Rating




214 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Saw this being made in The Bear, so naturally I wanted to try it. The directions were incredibly easy to follow; the flavor of the beef and filling were amazing! I do feel like the wine in the sauce was a bit overpowering for me, personally. Overall, this was great and I plan to make this again in the future!

  2. 5 stars
    Love the sauce flavor! Easy to make it, however, the meat was dry but tender. Is there any way to avoid this? Was it overcooked?

    1. Hi, Corinne, Thanks so much and so happy you enjoyed! It’s possible it got overcooked, but that’s the nature of top and bottom rounds because they are so lean. If you’re familiar with ground round, it has very little fat. If you had used something like a chuck roast, it would shrink a lot because of all the connective tissue, which is what makes a pot roast so tender. The fact that the round is thinly sliced and pounded should help to tenderize it. Thanks again!

  3. I’d like to make a double batch for us [8 rolls], so can the rolls be frozen? Cooked or uncooked? If cooked, plain or covered in sauce? Thank you.

    1. Hi, Betty, Thanks much for your question. I would recommend you cook everything as the recipe states, cool everything completely, then freeze it. Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in the oven at 350 or so. Thanks so much and hope you enjoy!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was amazing. Waaaaay different from the braciole my mother used to make, hers more of a spaghetti sauce than what this is, but this was better. Will definitely make again as my family has requested/commanded that.

    1. Hi, John, Thanks so very much and happy everyone enjoyed! I wonder if your mother made more of a “Sunday” sauce; braciole is sometimes included. Thanks again!

    1. My Italian-born grandfather made Braciole too, but the sauce was a marinara with pasta. I just made this and it’s cooking now; I can’t wait to eat it and serve it to my family! But I’m not sure what to eat with it since it’s not a spaghetti type of sauce… or maybe it will still work with pasta…or rice… we shall see lol

      1. Hi, Tamara, Thanks so very much and I am hoping everyone enjoys it. I think it’s good with a hearty pasta such as rigatoni or with polenta. Also great with potatoes! Thanks again!

  5. 3 stars
    Actually, redact my earlier one star review. Reheated, this is EXCELLENT — I just found it a little more difficult than the description stated. Taste – five stars, protocol – one star.

    1. Hi, Jan, Thanks so very much!! I totally get it. Braised dishes often do well with a little time to sit and for the flavors to meld. It’s why I always tell readers to let soups sit for a bit before serving. I really appreciate your coming back to tell me. If you find a way to simplify it, please let me know that, too. Thanks again!

    1. This is an excellent recipe and really authentic. You obviously have no taste for the good stuff!!! Actually, this is an EASY recipe to make!!! You might just want to stick to those microwave meals and call it good…. lol. Have a great day.

      1. Hi, Heidi, Thanks so much and so happy you love this recipe!! People have different levels of cooking knowledge so perhaps that’s it? Thanks again so very much!!

  6. I’m going to cook this in my oven tonight. If I cooked it longer than 2 hours would the meat get tough? I used top round with my own sauce and added wine and beef broth. Tastes amazing!

    1. Hi, Germaine, Thanks so much for your question. You should be okay at 325 degrees. You could also check them at 1.5 hours and see how they’re doing. If they’re nice and tender, just turn the heat off and let them stay in the oven; they’ll stay hot in that liquid and the residual heat of the oven. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

    2. I made my rolls that were a bit bigger I think and I changed the sauce a bit. I added sautéed onions and carrots and some minced basil to the sauce. I cooked mine for 2 hours. I removed the rolls and cut the butchers twine off the rolls. I used my immersion blender to blend the veggies into the sauce smoother and put the rolls back into sauce, placed back in oven at 300 degrees for another 30 min and it came out tender with thicker sauce that didn’t need flour. It was very tasty. I put it over thick twisted Gentile Gragnino Napoli pasta.

      1. Hi, Susan, Thanks so very much! Love that you own an immersion blender–they’re so handy! Great tip to puree the veggies to thicken the sauce without flour. Thanks again!

  7. 5 stars
    Simpler and more flavorful than a lot of other recipes I’ve made, which is a win-win for the cook and his wife!

    After having made it a few times I’ve tweaked things to my preference: I add minced shallots and rosemary to the stuffing and use the trimmings from the beef to start the sauce. I also drape the outside in a fairly thin slice of pancetta. Instead of toothpicks I use butcher’s twine to tie little parcels that are easy to remove after cooking with kitchen shears. I strain the sauce and just before serving I add just a few drops of lemon juice (or sherry or red wine vinegar). This adds some balance: the sauce is incredibly rich.

    I also repurpose what I’ve strained out of the sauce to make a quick “bolognese” by adding a little bit of the sauce that if I don’t use it all with the braciole back into it and serving over tagliatelle. Makes a great 10 min lunch.

    Even without any of these additions though, its a great recipe that can be made in about 45 minutes to an hour of active time.

  8. Hello! I want to make this but our family can’t have alcohol, so what would you substitute for the wine? More beef broth? A little red wine vinegar? Thanks.

    1. Hi, Karen, Thanks so much for your question. You can definitely use a little red wine vinegar in addition to more beef broth. You can also use pomegranate juice, but only use half compared to the wine–so only 1 cup but then use 3 cups beef broth. Let me know how it works. Thanks again so much and hope you enjoy!

  9. 5 stars
    This was amazing. Prepped the roll-ups a few hours in advance and left them in the fridge to make things easier. The sauce was awesome, froze the leftover sauce. Going to use it with some clams, calamari and scallops over pasta. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi, Rusty, Thanks so much and so glad you enjoyed! Love that you’re finding another use for the leftover sauce. Thanks again!