Braciole (bree-zshole)...Italian stuffed & rolled flank steak

August 9, 2010


Author Notes: This recipe is my updated version of Grandma Angelo’s beef dish that was always served for special Italian gatherings. I use flank steak, butterflied, sprinkled with pecorino, garlic, Italian parsley, basil and prosciutto; then roll it together and braise in an Italian tomato sauce. I prefer keeping the braciole in one large roll, and then to serve it sliced and arranged on a sauced platter.

My Grandma used a beef steak, usually bottom round, and cut it in strips to make individual size bracioles - about the size of large meatballs. Back in the day they often explained bracioles to others as Italian Beef Rolls, and this is exactly how my mom posted the recipe in a spiral bound Catholic Church cookbook for my no-speaka-da-English Grandma!

Regardless of the meat used or its size, as the braciole simmers it becomes tender, mouth-watering juicy, releasing a wonderful flavor throughout the kitchen; you will know it is done when the sauce sticks to the meat and the aroma fills the air with Italian goodness.

Leftover braciole slices are excellent for a sandwich the next day!

SPECIAL NOTE: during the summer we like braising braciole outdoors; grill the rolled meat on all sides over direct heat to brown, and then using a cast iron Dutch oven, simmer, covered, in sauce over indirect heat. This method ends in a delicious smoky flavored braciole.
lapadia

Food52 Review: I grew up eating Braciole, my mother made it often when she made a mixed meat ragu. So Lapadia's recipe brought back some wonderful memories. I'm glad that my mother doesn't use a computer so she won't see this, because I love Lapadia's version more than hers. I was a little intimidated at the idea of butterflying a flank steak but Lapadia made this step so easy by providing a link to a wonderful how-to video. Thanks to that I was successful. The filling is delicious. It was a perfect balance of flavors. The only change I made was not to the braciole itself but to the sauce; I used basil instead of oregano. The braciole flavored the sauce so beautifully it was irresistible and I thoroughly enjoyed every bite. This recipe is a keeper! - sdebrangosdebrango

Serves: 4-6
Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 2 hrs

Ingredients

MEAT & FILLING

  • 1-1/2 lb flank - butterflied
  • Minced garlic; at least 4 cloves
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil - chiffonade
  • 1 cup micro-plane grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 6-8 thin slices prosciutto
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

SAUCE

  • 2 lb crushed plum tomatoes with basil
  • 6-8 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt/Pepper

Directions

  1. Butterfly the flank - see step 2 (or ask the butcher to do it). Cover with plastic wrap and pound out it out to an even thickness; and you can trim to square off the meat, if needed - for easy for rolling. At this point decide if you would like to make one large roll or smaller rolls; if not, then divide the meat into 2-3 pieces.
  2. Here is a helpful 1 minute demo butterflying the flank: http://www.cuisineathome.com/extras/050/video/butterflying-flank-steak/
  3. Sprinkle the interior of meat with pepper, garlic, parsley, basil, cheese and prosciutto (I don’t salt this, the cheese is enough).
  4. Roll the meat jellyroll fashion with the grain - so that it will be cut against the grain when serving. Tie the roll(s) up with butcher string about every 1-1/2 inch.
  5. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet and sear to brown the meat thoroughly on all sides.
  6. Add the crushed plum tomatoes and seasonings to the browned braciole. Cover skillet. Simmer the meat for at least 2 hours, or until beef is tender when pierced with a knife.
  7. When ready, place on serving platter, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, cut the string and slice about every 2 inches…spoon some sauce over and serve.

More Great Recipes:
Italian|Parsley|Beef|Prosciutto|Steak|Plum|Entree

Reviews (39) Questions (0)

39 Reviews

Lori July 30, 2017
What would you serve with this? Maybe a risotto and sautéed greens, or Brocolli rabe?<br />
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 30, 2017
LOVE your wonderful ideas, Lori :) for "special" Italian occasions I have served this place of meatballs, spaghetti, green salad and breadsticks https://food52.com/recipes/7105-cheesy-sticks-aka-the-bomb<br />I have done with risotto, too, depends on the crowd I am serving. Thanks for checking my family recipe, Enjoy!<br />
 
cat March 25, 2017
It's pronounced bra - zhole.
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 30, 2017
Thanks, but how I pronounce is "familial" going back to my immigrant grandparents and mom...tradition.
 
cat March 25, 2017
It is pronounced bra - (like what a woman wears) - zhole. Also I would suggest a more ingredient filled, flavorful filling and better sauce recipe
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 30, 2017
Scusa but this is a family recipe; however, I do believe that recipes are made for people to "tweak on" to their heart's desire, so have at it.
 
Steve September 24, 2014
The braciole is currently simmering in the pan right now. This is the the second time that I have made this dish. Absolutely wonderful. The smell that fills the kitchen is phenomenal. Thanks for sharing!
 
Author Comment
lapadia September 24, 2014
Thanks so much for your feedback, Steve! It is definitely a family favorite that brings back many memories. I am happy to share it...
 
LoneStarrGirl December 7, 2012
Thank you for bringing back childhood memories!! I always loved my mama's Braciole. I believed she used round steak as well. One of my fav's. Do you make the spaghetti with the green grassy (Fa-know-qah)with toasted bread crumbs?
 
Author Comment
lapadia December 9, 2012
Hi LSG! Thanks for checking out my recipe, love braciole! Will probably be making it this month sometime. I haven't made the spaghetti you have mentioned, would love to hear about it. We use to have Spaghetti & Broccoli a lot, my recipe is onsite http://food52.com/recipes/6193_spaghetti_broccoli ...we should talk again sometime :)
 
Mossbarger August 9, 2012
ah all i have to say is wow when i was in Italy i had this dish and had been trying to find one that was on par with it and here it is absloutly amazing dish
 
Author Comment
lapadia August 10, 2012
Hi Mossbarger! Thanks, and I would love your feedback after you have tried it :)
 
GloriousGarlic January 13, 2012
This is above all my most favorite dish. Of course you know that. I have made it but it hads never tasted as wonderful as what you make.
 
Author Comment
lapadia January 13, 2012
Thanks for stopping by and reminiscing, GG!!
 
joanone1 September 7, 2011
My mother always used flank steak and everyone use to tell her she was doing it wrong because it always called for round. Round steak can get very dry but flank is always juicy when it is cooked in a sauce. Always used pine nuts along with all the other ingredients you have listed.. I will have to try it with the prosciutto along with the pine nuts. Thanks for a little different take on this fab receipe.
 
Author Comment
lapadia September 8, 2011
Hi joanone1! I know what you mean about the round steak (how my mother made it) getting dry, love using the flank and the next time I make this I am sprinkling in some pine nuts :)
 
Author Comment
lapadia August 4, 2011
A special thanks to the editors for an EP award, and to sdebrango for testing and reviewing this recipe to help make that happen! :)
 
lorigoldsby July 18, 2011
drooling, mouth watering...actually saw a lady preparing this this morning on TV and I was bored...but your pic, description, oh yummm
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 18, 2011
Thanks, lori! I hope you will get to try it when the weather gets cooler...let me know :)
 
Wally July 18, 2011
I've been making this dish ever since I had it at Mario Batali's restaurant, Lupa, last year. The recipe I use is nearly identical to this one. It's always delciious and a great hit with company. I, too, did not know the correct pronunciation of braciole.
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 18, 2011
Great to hear from you, Wally, and lucky you eating at Lupa's! Yes, I just go with my grandparents pronunciation, and I have heard a few others throughout the years call it the same.....
 
healthierkitchen July 18, 2011
Saving this to try in the fall - it looks fabulous! Much too hot this week though!
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 18, 2011
Sounds great, HK! And, I agree, it's too hot to be in the kitchen for many of you Food52'ers. Would love to hear back once you have tried it though...stay cool!
 
Sagegreen July 18, 2011
I love your Italian recipe!!
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 18, 2011
Thanks, Sagegreen! I hope you will try it sometime, however, the summer sun is so hot, and probably not the best time for braising in the kitchen...well unless you were here in the NW, yesterday, was perfect weather for being indoors. :)
 
fiveandspice July 18, 2011
This sounds delicious lapadia! Also, I truly had no idea that that was how you were supposed to pronounce braciole!
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 18, 2011
Thanks 5&S, would love your feedback if you try it! Oh, and this is how I always heard it pronounced (growing up)...grandparents way, so I carry on the tradition! :)
 
MyCommunalTable July 18, 2011
Another great recipe. Love it! This is my kind of meal. Thanks.
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 18, 2011
Thanks, MCT, I hope you will try it and I would love your feedback, perhaps your special touches, too!
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 17, 2011
NOTE: I just added (in step 2 above) a one-minute link demo for butterflying a flank.
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 17, 2011
Thanks, sdebrango, normally you wouldn't haven't to pound. Sometimes just to even out what has been butterflied is needed, I just eyeball it.
 
lastnightsdinner July 17, 2011
I love this dish! There was an Italian butcher not far from where I grew up and they actually sold what they called "beef for braciole" :) This is very close to how I learned to make it from an old friend, though the prosciutto is new to me - and sounds fabulous!
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 17, 2011
Thanks, LND!! As I mentioned my mother & grandmother (they were a team) always used round steak pounded very thin. But then they use to make individual sized, which I started out doing, but that takes a lot of patience, I just want to get cooking :). After I ventured out on my own I started using flank and then prosciutto...Yum, I hope you try it!
 
EmilyC July 17, 2011
This looks really delicious -- and a great reminder that flank tastes wonderful when braised properly!
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 17, 2011
Thanks, and I agree, EmilyC, one of my favorite ways to do a flank :)
 
adamnsvetcooking August 13, 2010
This recipe is saved .... I can't wait to get cold and cook this!
 
Author Comment
lapadia August 13, 2010
This is a great dish on a cold day! Here is a link from my food database with step by step photos for making them: http://lapadia.wordpress.com/2009/12/04/braciole-bree-zshole/
 
GloriousGarlic August 12, 2010
This is the best !! I was lucky enough to have been served this dish 20+ years ago and it is by far my favorite. Linda is an excellent cook and very creative. <br /> <br />Glorious Garlic
 
Author Comment
lapadia July 17, 2011
Thanks, GG! You are very kind, and those dinners back then were fun and full of laughter!