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Braciole

My wife has been pestering me to make braciole. I believe it is a pounded flank steak that is stuffed, rolled and tied. Does anyone have a recipe that they learned or was handed down that I may impress my wife with? She says that her great grandmother made the best, unfortunately there is no-one whose brain I may pick for this endeavor.

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  1. If you look at cookbooks or recipe sites, know that roulade is another term for braciole. You may see braciolettini, rouladen, rolladen as well. Here is the Wikipedia entry, which outlines some of the variations, as you haven't specified what the stuffing and braising liquid were: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roulade

    1. Let's see what I can remember - no real recipe - but it always tastes really good - it's a very forgiving dish with just a few rules -

      Stuffing - italian sausage removed from casing, parmesan, sauteed onion & garlic, parsley (prosciutto or pancetta would be a great addition too) - stuff tie and roll.

      Braising - in a heavy pot Brown the roll and remove from the pot - add some chopped onion, celery and carrot - soften,

      add a few tablesoons of tomato paste and caramelize a little (don't burn this, there is a lot of sugar), deglaze the pot with red wine -

      add puree or crushed tomatoes - add meat back to pot and ensure that the liquid comes about 1/2 way up the meat (add broth or water or wine if more liquid is needed)

      Bring to a simmer - lower heat to make sure the liquid does not boil (this is important) - cover and cook in the oven or on top of the stove - until meat is very soft (use a skewer to test for resistance)

      Remove meat, allow to sit for twenty minutes - reduce sauce - slice and serve - yummy!!

      2 Replies
      1. re: harryharry

        Gotcha! I was definitely thinking down the right path. Seems kind of like an Italian pot roast. There must be as many variations as there are Nonnas!

        1. re: Lenox637

          I would just ask her if she can remember specifics, since there is no tried and true recipe. For example, my dad and grandma would line each pounded steak with prosciutto, then top with a spoonful of parm and bread stuffing, rather than sausage, as above. That may help you figure it out.

      2. Braciole is one of my favorite Italian dishes. I cannot give you a specific recipe, however I can offer you my preferences to consider. Braciole, Sausage, Meatballs and Spare Ribs are all part of my Sunday Gravy.

        1. do not overwhelm it with too much garlic.
        2. if using Provolone Cheese, nothing too sharp...I prefer Parmigiano Reggiano myself.
        3. Pignoli Nuts are a must
        4. I do not like raisins in my Braciole
        5. I prefer pork over beef or veal

        1. our traditional recipe was based on flank steak, pounded thin then rolled as you described. The filling was lucatelli romano, some bread crumb, parsley, garlic and egg yolk. Sorry, but we never measured anything so I can't provide specifics. For a normal size flank steak, I'd suggest 2 handfuls of cheese, 1 handful of bread crumb, 1/2 a bunch of parsley chopped, 3-5 garlic cloves and 1 egg yolk to start. Simply mix in a bowl then spread in a thin layer over the flank steak that has been seasoned with salt & pepper.

          Roll braciole jelly roll fashion and tie with string, salt and pepper the outside, sear on all sides to brown then drop it into the "gravy" to continue cooking. We never added meats to the cheese mixture but I guess that would make it all the better!

          3 Replies
          1. re: chicaraleigh

            This is the recipe my mother used as well. Try to use the italian (flat leaf) parsley
            So simple and delicious.

            1. re: chicaraleigh

              My favorite is the pork. It's quite a simple filling-we make ours almost exactly like chicaraleigh describes. I've seen it done with hard boiled eggs in the filling, and I don't care for it. Braciole is one of my ultimate favorites. Since I can't get my Mom's or Gran's anymore, I either must make my own, or get it from our friends who have a small deli here... (sniffle)
              Let us know how it turns out, I'm sure it will be delicious!

              1. re: chicaraleigh

                I make our braciole with a boneless veal breast - so good. Stuffing includes breadcrumbs, garlic, Locatelli Romano, egg, currants and pine nuts. Some even put hard boiled egg in it but I'm no a fan of that. But I love it made with veal breast and will brown it on the stove and then finish it in the oven with my sauce. Mangia!

              2. For us, braciole was always part of sauce meat. The braciole could be beef, but more often it was pork. It was pounded thinly, and the "filling" such as it was, consisted of romano cheese, chopped parsley and some breadcumbs. The Sicilian version also contained some currents. There was never a big filling. The braciole was rolled, tied, and browned. It was then added to the pot where the tomato sauce was cooking, and would be served on the side with the meatballs, sausage and the rest of the sauce meat.

                1 Reply
                1. re: roxlet

                  This is how my Grandma made it too.

                2. You might find this to be the answer you are looking for: I have used it and recommend Italian Food Forever as a web site for authentic Italian Recipes.

                  CIAO

                  Beef Braciole ~ These tasty, tender beef rolls are cooked in a robust tomato and wine sauce. They go perfectly with a side dish of Risotto Milanese, garlic mashed potatoes, or polenta.

                  Serves 6
                  by Deborah Mele

                  1 1/2 Pounds Top Sirloin, Cut Into 12 Small Thin Slices

                  2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced

                  2 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary

                  6 Thin Slices Of Prosciutto, Cut In Half

                  1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

                  1/3 Cup Olive Oil

                  1 Cup Dry Red Wine

                  1 Carrot, Finely Chopped

                  1/2 Onion, Finely Chopped

                  1 Celery Stalk, Finely Chopped

                  2 Cups Chopped Canned Tomatoes

                  Salt & Pepper

                  1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley

                  Pound each piece of the beef into thin slices. Spread a little bit of the minced garlic, chopped rosemary and grated cheese over each slice. Cover this with a slice of prosciutto, and roll up into a small bundle, securing each with toothpicks.

                  Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown all of the bundles well on all sides, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a separate dish, and add the onion, carrots, and celery to the skillet. Cook until the vegetables are tender. Add the wine, and cook up until it is reduced by half, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Add the tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, until the sauce has begun to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove the toothpicks from the bundles, and return them to the skillet. Add the fresh parsley, and cook until heated through, about 3-4 minutes. Serve hot with a side dish of your choice.

                  Buon Appetito!
                  Deborah Mele 2002

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Tony Theobald

                    I just love Braciole, I can't wait to try this recipe! Thank you for sharing, Tony.

                  2. Was her great grandmother Italian or Italian-American? I ask because Mr. Sfumato's family is Italian but has been here for about a century, and their braciole is actually involtini. Sounds like that's what you're looking for, too. Knowing that might help you in your quest (especially if you're poking around online or in Italian cookbooks for recipes)! If I can get a recipe out of them tonight, I'll come back and post it. :)

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Braciole

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: sfumato

                      She came over from Italy when she was 19, I think about 1910 or so. I do realize though that alot of so called authentic Italian cuisine is actually family recipes based on foods from the area of origin for these immigrants. Sort of like Meatloaf, there must be as many recipes for meatloaf as there are meatloaf makers.