Braciola | Authentic Italian Braciole Recipe
Updated: Jan 21, 2022
Braciole are thin cuts of meat—usually pork, veal or beef—wrapped around bread, raisins, pine nuts and cheese before being cooked in tomato sauce. It's the kind of dish that makes you wonder "who the heck came up with this?" until you try your first, delicious bite!
Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:
Please note that the amounts needed for the stuffing elements will vary quite a bit depending on the size of your meat cuts. No need to be precise! As they say in southern Italy: "what you put in the dish, you will find on your plate."
For this recipe, you will need:
- 2 very thin-cut meat cutlets (pork, veal or beef steak). The size can vary but try to find bigger pieces as smaller cutlets will be difficult to roll
- Fresh bread, with crust removed and torn into tiny pieces
- Pine nuts
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino cheese
- Fresh black pepper
- 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 white onion, diced
- 1/2 large carrot, diced
- 1/2 stalk celery, diced
- 2/3 cup (150ml) white wine
- 1 lb. 12 oz. (800g) canned tomatoes
You will also need parchment paper, a meat mallet or rolling pin, butcher twine, and a saucepan.
Cover the meat in parchment paper and tenderize it with a mallet until it is very thin and flat. Remove the parchment paper.
Over the surface of the meat, spread a layer of torn bread, with a sprinkle of raisins and pine nuts. Try to keep the edges of the meat clear from stuffing so that it can be cleanly rolled. Next, evenly add some chopped parsley and one diced garlic clove. Finish with a generous grating of cheese and a pinch of salt/pepper.
Roll the braciola up lengthwise, like a carpet. About halfway through, fold the edges in and finish the roll. It should resemble a meat burrito!
Using butcher twine, tie the braciola tightly shut so that it can't unwrap and the ends can't open. Set aside and repeat the above steps with the second piece of meat so that you end up with two rolls.
In a small saucepan, bring the olive oil up to medium heat. Add the carrot, celery and onion, and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion becomes tender and slightly transparent. Push the vegetables aside to create a clean surface for the meat.
Add the braciole into the saucepan and brown on all sides. When the meat is no longer pink, add the wine. Bring to a simmer and reduce until almost all of the excess liquid has evaporated—about 20-25 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, 1/2 cup (120ml) of water, and a sprinkle of salt. Bring to a low simmer and cook, partially covered, for 1-2 hours or until the sauce has thickened and the meat is very tender. Be sure to move the rolls around occasionally to keep them from burning on the bottom! Remove the meat from the sauce and discard the butcher twine.
Please note that we used yellow tomatoes so don't be surprised that our pictures don't show a red sauce!
Serve the braciole with extra sauce drizzled on top. The rest of the sauce can be used for a pasta dish! We recommend using an egg fresh pasta. Buon appetito!