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Italian Beef Braciole (Braciole al Sugo Pugliesi)

June 8, 2020 by Emily

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Italian Beef Braciole in a rich slowly simmered tomato sauce. This southern Italian dish is super comforting and delicious made with thin slices of beef stuffed with prosciutto, pecorino, garlic, and herbs. Toss the incredible tomato sauce with pasta and serve the braciole with your sides of choice!

An overhead shot of braciole on a serving platter covered in tomato sauce

Beef Braciole also known as involtini (rolled stuffed meat) is just such a homely and comforting meal perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon feast with the family.

This version, in particular, is traditionally served in Puglia, southern Italy although there are so many filling options you could try.

And don’t worry it’s also not an overly complicated dish to make either. A sharp knife (or your butcher) will ensure that the beef is cut into nice thin slices ready to be stuffed.

And the whole dish is simmered for just 2 hours, this really is rustic home cooking at it’s finest!

Ingredients you need

This recipe is made with super simple ingredients all of which are pretty easy to find in most supermarkets; top or bottom round beef roast (also know as silverside), pecorino cheese, fresh basil and parsley, slices of prosciutto, garlic, strained tomatoes (passata), olive oil and salt and pepper.

See the photo below that shows all the ingredients you need.

An overhead shot of ingredients you need to make beef braciole from scratch

Step by step recipe instructions

Cut the beef into ¼ inch (1/2 cm) thick slices. Pound them to half the thickness with a meat mallet or rolling pin (photos 1 & 2).

Step by step photos showing how to pound, stuff and roll beef

Sprinkle the inside of each slice of beef with a little salt and pepper then lay a slice of prosciutto on top. Sprinkle over a small amount of garlic, parsley and place a slice of pecorino in the middle (photo 3).

Roll up the slice of beef and secure each end with a toothpick, repeat with all slices of beef (photos 4 & 5).

Step by step photos showing how to brown braciole

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and brown the braciole on all sides. Once browned add the strained tomatoes (passata) and stir to combine. Cover with a lid and turn the heat down to low, simmer slowly for 2 hours (photos 6-10).

Once the braciole are cooked add the fresh basil to the sauce and stir to combine, serve.

Step by step photos showing what beef braciole look like before and after cooking

How to serve it the Italian way

The traditional way to serve beef braciole is to first toss a little tomato sauce with cooked pasta and serve that as a first course, the portion should be small and not your average main sized portion (photos 11 & 12 show how some of the sauce can be used to toss with pasta).

The braciole are then served with a little remaining sauce with some sides such as sauteed green veggies, beans, grilled vegetables or roasted potatoes.

I absolutely love serving braciole this way because the starter and main course are all prepared in the one pot and while it cooks you can prepare your sides.

It’s such a delicious, hearty and rustic home cooked meal that fills your home with the most incredible smell and brings the whole family together.

A close up of beef braciole cut in half so you can see the filling

Filling options

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s super versatile and you can stuff the braciole with whatever you like.

In Napoli the braciole are traditionally stuffed with pine nuts and raisins (no prosciutto) whereas this version is often found in Puglia.

You can get creative and choose your own fillings but one top tip to bear in mind is that less is more, don’t go overboard and don’t overcomplicate it.

Top tips and recipe FAQs

  • Beef thickness – it’s essential to pound the beef using a meat mallet or rolling pin to half of its thickness to tenderise the beef and make it easier to roll.
What cut of meat do I need?

The cut of beef you need is top round or a bottom round roast, either one will do. You’ll want the beef to be cut into thin slices so a sharp knife is essential otherwise ask your butcher to cut the beef for you. The slices should be 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) before pounding. Also if you’re using top round the slices will be fairly large so cut them in half lengthways first.

Can I prepare this in advance?

Absolutely, you can stuff the braciole and store them in the fridge before cooking or you can cook the whole dish and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to re-heat and serve.

How can I store leftovers?

Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for around 2-3 days or can be frozen in suitable containers. After freezing thaw the braciole completely then reheat until piping hot all the way through.

A side shot of pasta with tomato sauce in a bowl

More Italian dinner recipes you might like

If you tried this Beef Braciole recipe or any other recipes on the blog please be sure to leave me a comment below to let me know how you got on, I love hearing from you. You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, PINTEREST to see more delicious food and what I’m getting up to.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!
An overhead shot of beef braciole on a platter with tomato sauce
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5 from 1 vote

Italian Beef Braciole

Italian Beef Braciole in a rich slowly simmered tomato sauce. This southern Italian dish is super comforting and delicious made with thin slices of beef stuffed with prosciutto, pecorino, garlic, and herbs. Toss the incredible tomato sauce with pasta and serve the braciole with your sides of choice!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 386kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 1.3 lbs top or bottom round beef roast can also use sirloin or silverside (600g)
  • 8-10 slices prosciutto
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 8-10 slices of pecorino cheese
  • 3 cups crushed strained tomatoes passata
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  • Cut the beef into ¼ inch (1/2 cm) thick slices. Pound them to half the thickness with a meat mallet or rolling pin.
  • Sprinkle the inside of each slice of beef with a little salt and pepper then lay a slice of prosciutto on top.
  • Sprinkle over a small amount of garlic, parsley and place a slice of pecorino in the middle. Roll up the slice of beef and secure each end with a toothpick.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large pot and brown the braciole on all sides. Once browned add the strained tomatoes and stir to combine. Cover with a lid and turn the heat down to low, simmer slowly for 2 hours.
  • Once the braciole are cooked add the fresh basil to the sauce and stir to combine, serve.

How to serve it traditionally

  • Once cooked remove the beef braciole and set aside or keep warm on a plate. Add the fresh basil to the sauce and serve the sauce with freshly cooked and drained pasta then serve the beef braciole as a second course with a little reserved tomato sauce and your sides of choice.

Notes

  • Beef thickness – it’s essential to pound the beef using a meat mallet or rolling pin to half of its thickness to tenderise the beef and make it easier to roll.
  • leftovers & freezing – leftovers will keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days and can be reheated as needed alternatively you can freeze leftovers in suitable containers the thaw completely before reheating.

Nutrition

Calories: 386kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 1368mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1199IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 7mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We’d love you see what you’re getting up to in the kitchen!

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    John J Reele
    June 19, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    I always make this, you do it a little different than I do
    however the result is amazing

  • Reply
    Angela
    June 9, 2020 at 11:22 am

    Oh this looks so delicious! What can be better than slow cooked meat stuffed with cheese! Can’t wait to try this! and I love the idea of serving it the traditional italian way as two courses..perfetto!5 stars

    • Reply
      Inside the rustic kitchen
      June 11, 2020 at 9:48 am

      Thank you, definitely try it the traditional way the sauce is just so delicious with pasta, yum!

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