Slow Simmered Beef Braciole

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Braciole is a popular Italian dish, it’s usually preserved for special family gatherings and not something you would normally eat during the week. Beef is the most commonly used meat and it’s typically flank or a top round steak. The meat needs to be pounded thin to tenderize it before it gets stuffed with a flavorful filling.

flank steak

I like using flank steak, if it’s too thick you might have to ask your butcher to butterfly it open for you, or you can easily do it yourself at home. When and if you need that done then the next step is to tenderize it with a meat mallet, pounding it to about 1/8 of an inch thick

You can cut your meat in half lengthwise for smaller rolls or you can keep it large as one big roll, I’ve done it all different ways.

braciole stuffing

The fillings for beef braciole can be a number of things, some families add slices of prosciutto, pine nuts, raisins, spinach, I could go on and on. My version is pretty straight forward using fresh parsley, garlic, chopped hard boiled egg, grated Pecorino, some provolone or fontinella cheese and depending on whom I’m making this for I’ll add either dry breadcrumbs or torn pieces of soaked day old Italian bread.

Lately everyone seems to be watching their carbs or someone is gluten free so I make a version minus the bread/ breadcrumbs and I must tell you it’s equally delicious, you won’t be missing anything but the carbs!

un-cooked braciole

Some use toothpicks to secure their braciole after you get it rolled up, I use to do that in the past but found that often they would break open, either on the sides or middle and the filling would seep out into the sauce making a mess of it.

large braciole

I prefer using butchers twine I find it really holds the filling tightly inside and your rolls are more uniform.

browning braciole

Once rolled up and tied securely you’ll want to give the braciole a good sear on each side then deglaze the pan with some wine.

cooking braciole

Then it’s time to let them cook by submerging them into some good quality marinara sauce allowing the braciole to simmer away in a heavy bottom pan with the lid slightly ajar. Simmering is a process that you can’t rush, you’ll know they’re done, they’ll be nice and tender and the tip of a knife should go through them like butter!

large braciole

You can easily make braciole a day or two ahead of time, I’ve done that many times especially for parties.


sliced baciole

If I make them ahead of time for a party I also like to take my time removing the strings and cutting the rolls while they’re cold.

I then layer the slices on a platter, so I can easily warm them up adding more warmed marinara.

Just remember this tip, after you fill them, you roll them up in a jelly roll style with the grain, but when you cut your slices it’s always against the grain.


cooked braciole

However creative you get with the fillings inside is up to you. This”fancy”comfort food can stand alone, eaten with just a salad, served with polenta or a favorite pasta of your choice, it’s all good!

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Slow Simmered Beef Braciole
You can get creative with your filling adding prosciutto, raisins, pinenuts, spinach if you wish. Below is my tried and true version.
  • 1½ to 2 lbs flank steak, butterflied if to thick then pounded with a meat tenderizer to ⅛ inch thickness.
  • 2 to 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • breadcrumbs, enough to spread all over your meat, or (soaked in water and squeezed out ) day old Italian bread, enough to spread all over meat
  • a handful of parsley, enough to sprinkle all over
  • grated pecorino romano spread generously all over the meat as well as grated provolone or fontinella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a good drizzle all over the layered filling on the meat
  • wine for deglazing (optional)
  • 2 quarts of marinara
  • basil for garnish
  1. After meat has been tenderized, salt and pepper it then rub the minced garlic all over.
  2. Sprinkle a good amount of pecorino all over.
  3. Add your bread crumbs or soaked bread and spread it all around, or eliminate this step all-together if making them gluten free.
  4. Spread your chopped eggs all around, along with the chopped parsley.
  5. Then end by scattering your shredded provolone or fontinella cheese.
  6. Lastly generously drizzle meat filling all over with olive oil.
  7. Tightly roll the meat up jelly roll style with the grain of the meat.
  8. Secure with butchers twine all over the roll, this process takes a little time but it's worth it.
  9. Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of a heavy bottom pan that has a lid
  10. Sear well on both sides.
  11. Deglaze with wine, (optional).
  12. Then pour in your marinara with some torn basil.
  13. Put the lid on and slow simmer on top of stove until they become tender and the tip of a knife goes in like butter!
  14. Let the braciole rest before you remove the string and begin slicing them against the grain, or all this can be done the day before, cutting them cold as stated in my post.


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  1. Looks amazing! How would you heat them up if making ahead of time?

  2. Oh goodness this looks good! And I just ordered some flank steaks. I love that they’re cooked in the good red sauce. I have a lot of that in my freezer thanks to a good tomato year!

  3. Maria Gillette says

    Ah, cara mia Marie,
    Once again, you have captured the memories of our families Italian Tables. My beloved Papa and Father in Law were so enamored when I cooked braciole (such smiles on their faces – it always melted my heart).

    Thank you! (raisons and pine nuts are essential)

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