Authentic Italian beef braciole (braciola) is made with tender skirt steak that is rolled with bread crumbs, provolone cheese, and prosciutto, then simmer in a red wine tomato sauce. This is perfect for a hearty Sunday dinner!
Italian braciole recipe
Sundays are always special because they are a time for relaxation and food comas. You can find me in my kitchen (probably listening to trap music), dancing, ugly singing, and throwing down a mean authentic Italian pasta sauce.
What is Italian beef braciole
This authentic Italian beef recipe is one of my favorites. It’s hearty, easy to make, and packed with tons of flavor. The tender flank steak is rolled with provolone cheese, proscuitto, breadcrumbs, garlic, and fresh parsley, then simmered in a red wine tomato sauce.
As the beef braciole simmers, all the flavors marry. The tomato sauce resembles beef ragu because the flank steak adds all it’s delicious flavor to the sauce.
Beef braciole (braciola) is perfect for wintertime or entertaining because it’s hearty, easy to make, and just so. damn. good. I usually end up with leftovers and am guilty of eating it for breakfast the next morning because the sauce just keeps getting better as it sits!
I have all the tips for you to make this beef braciole (braciola) using various methods like stovetop (my favorite), in the oven, or in a slow cooker, because I want you to enjoy this recipe with whatever cooking method suits you! No matter how you make it, I know you are going to just love how juicy and tender this steak comes out!
Beef braciole (braciola) ingredients
- Flank steak– Look for a flank steak that comes in one piece. You will want to pound the steak out so it is thinner and easier to roll.
- Provolone cheese- You can opt for a smoked provolone cheese if you enjoy that flavor (it goes so well with the red wine tomato sauce!), or you can use regular provolone.
- Proscuitto– Don’t get skimpy on the prosciutto! Add a couple of layers so each bite has that delicious added saltiness of the prosciutto.
- Italian seasoned breadcrumbs– Using the Italian seasoned breadcrumbs was a no brainer because it adds the seasoning blend for you!
- Parmesan cheese– The nutty, salty flavor of parmesan cheese just adds to the deliciousness of this dish.
- Garlic– Nothing is complete without garlic- especially beef braciole (braciola).
- Fresh parsley– A few tablespoons of fresh parsley gives this dish a layer of freshness.
For the red wine sauce
- Dry red wine- Use a dry red wine (unsweetened red wine) like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Pinot Noir.
- Crushed tomatoes– A 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes is all you need for the tomato base!
- Fresh basil– Fresh basil is simply tossed in the pot (no chopping involved!) and removed right before it’s served. This method adds just the right amount of flavor!
- Garlic powder– Use a pinch of garlic powder to bring it all together!
- Salt– Add salt to taste, but start off with using 1 tsp.
What cuts of beef can I use for beef braciole (braciola)
You can use a variety of different beef cuts for this recipe. I prefer to use a large flank steak because the beef is thicker, more tender, and is super juicy.
You can use cuts like boneless top round beef, sirloin, flat iron steak, or any other lean cuts that are thin.
Simmering is key
Everyone knows the term “low and slow,” which is the key idea for making beef braciole (braciola). This is a quick and easy dinner to prepare, but it takes some time to simmer so all the flavors have time to marry.
Trust me, you are going to be drooling when you smell this dish, but be patient. You want this beef braciole (braciola) to simmer for at least 1 hour on the stove top. If you are not using the stove top method- no worries, I got ya covered!
How to make beef braciole (braciola) on the stove top
- Prepare the beef braciole. Lay the beef out on your work surface and pound it with a meat hammer until its thin and tender and no thicker than 1/2 inch. Lay the beef flat and add a few slices of provolone cheese to the center. Layer some Proscuitto on top of the provolone cheese. In a small bowl, combine the parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, garlic, and parsley. Add the breadcrumb mixture on top of the prosciutto and provolone cheese. Roll the beef over the mixture, then secure with cooking twine. If the beef is larger than the dutch oven or pot you will be using, you can cut it in half.
- Sear the beef. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Once the pot is hot, add the beef and sear on all sides for about 2-3 minutes until it has browned.
- Add the sauce. After the beef is seared, add the red wine and allow it to boil and reduce for about 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, whole fresh basil, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
- Simmer the beef braciole. Simmer the sauce and beef braciole for 1 hour. When you are ready to serve, remove the basil and discard it.
- Serve. Use kitchen shears to cut the cooking twine off the beef braciole. Slice the beef into medallions, then serve over pasta, polenta, or as is!
How to make Beef braciole (braciola) in the slow cooker
- Prepare the beef braciole. This step will be the same as it is for the stovetop method.
- Sear the beef. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Sear the beef braciole on all sides for about 2 minutes (per side) until it is browned. Deglaze the pan with red wine and let is simmer for 5 minutes.
- Combine the ingredients in the slow cooker. Place 1/2 of the can of crushed tomatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the garlic powder, basil, and a pinch of salt, then stir. Add the beef braciole and all the juices/red wine to the slow cooker, then top with the remaining crushed tomatoes. Give the sauce a good stir.
- Set the slow cooker on low. Allow the beef braciole to cook on low for 5-6 hours, or on high for 2 1/2 hours.
- Serve. Cut the cooking twine off the beef using kitchen shears. Slice the beef into medallions, then serve!
How to make Beef braciole (braciola) in the oven
- Prepare the beef braciole. This step will be prepared the same as it would if it were to be cooked on the stovetop.
- Sear the beef. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in an oven-safe pot (with a lid) over medium heat. Sear the beef on each side for about 2 minutes until it is browned. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the sauce. Once the beef has browned, deglaze the pot with red wine and allow it to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, basil., garlic powder, and salt to the pot, then stir. Cover the pot with a lid, then placed in the oven and cook for 1 hour. Make sure the baste the beef every 20-30 minutes with more sauce. After it has cooked for 1 hour, remove the lid and cook for 20-30 more minutes.
- Serve. Remove the beef from the sauce and cut the cooking twine off of it. Slice the beef into medallions and serve.
What to serve with Italian beef braciole
- Pasta! Any kind of wide noodle pasta is great with beef braciole. My favorite pasta happens to be rigatoni, which I serve with this dish frequently.
- Homemade Italian gnocchi is a light, pillowy, potato-based pasta that uses 4 easy to find ingredients! Pasta making has never been easier!
- Roasted Italian vegetables with creamy parmesan polenta is a delicious vegetarian meal that is healthy, filling, and packed with flavor!
- This delicious tossed Italian sub salad is jam packed with all the best Italian sub ingredients and drizzled with a homemade vinaigrette- without the bread!
- This quick side dish results in crispy pan fried broccoli florets that are equally healthy and addicting! Robust olive oil and raw garlic adds a perfect touch of flavor.
Italian Beef Braciole
- large dutch oven or heavy bottom pot
- Meat hammer
- Cooking twine
- Kitchen shears
- 1.5 lb flank steak pound out to 1/2 inch thickness
- 6 slices of provolone cheese
- 6 slices of proscuitto
- 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 10 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Red wine tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 1 tsp garic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste
- Prepare the beef. Lay the beef flat on your work surface and use the meat hammer to pound the meat until it is 1/2 inch thick. Combine the breadcrumbs, chopped garlic, parmesan cheese, and parsley in a small bowl. Place the prosciutto in the center of the beef (lengthwise), then layer on the cheese. Place the breadcrumb mixture on top of the cheese. Roll the beef into itself to form a cylinder shape. Secure the beef with cooking twine every 2 inches.
- Sear the beef. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the beef to the pot and sear on each side for 2 minutes until it is browned.
- Build the sauce. Add the red wine to the seared beef and simmer for 5 minutes until the wine has reduced. Add the crushed tomatoes, basil, garlic powder, and salt, then stir to combine.
- Simmer the beef brasciole. Lower the heat to a simmer, then place the lid on the pot and cook for 1 hour. Baste the beef brasciole every 20-30 minutes with the sauce. *See notes for slow cooker or oven cooking methods.
- Serve. Remove the basil from the sauce and discard it. Remove the beef from the sauce and cut the cooking twine using kitchen shears. Slice the beef into medallions, then serve over pasta, polenta, or as is. Mangia!
Nutrition values are estimates, for exact values consult a nutritionist.