Tuesday, September 6, 2011


For years I've heard Italian characters on tv talk about eating braciole, but didn't have the foggiest idea what it was. I was already curious after practically every wise guy on The Sopranos spoke so lovingly about it. Then I caught a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond that centered around Debra making it. It was the only dish she ever cooked that everybody liked. They must have said braciole fifty times in thirty minutes. After that, I just had to satisfy my curiosity and find out what all the fuss was about.

Turns out braciole is beef - rolled and stuffed with breadcrumbs, cheese and seasonings, then pan seared and cooked in tomato sauce. Delizioso! Especially the sauce (with the wine and drippings from the braciole)...mmwah! I'm practically Italian now. I think I'll make a gabagool sandwich for lunch (maybe topped with some mozzarell).

(Yield:  4 servings)

1/2 cup dried Italian-style bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/3 cup grated provolone
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak
1 cup dry white wine

equipment: butcher’s twine

1.      Stir bread crumbs, garlic, cheeses and parsley in a medium bowl to blend. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
2.      Lay the flank steak flat on the work surface. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the steak to cover the top evenly. Starting at a short end, roll up the steak (like a jelly roll) to enclose the filling completely. Using butcher's twine, tie the steak roll to secure. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3.      Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
4.      Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the braciole and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes.
5.      Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the marinara sauce. Cover and bake for 1 ½ hours, turning the braciole and basting with the sauce every 30 minutes.
6.      Uncover and continue baking until the meat is tender, about 30 minutes longer. [The total cooking time should be about 2 hours.]
7.      Remove the braciole from the sauce. Remove twine.  Using a large sharp knife, cut crosswise and diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices. Serve slices with sauce spooned over the top.

from Giada De Laurentiis
filling ingredients
filling mixed
flank steak
filling spread out on top
starting to roll
mostly rolled
You can expect a lot of the filling to fall
out while you're rolling. Here's what I did:
I tied up the sides so it wouldn't come apart.
Then I stuffed as much filling as I could
back in to the ends (really jam it in there).
Then I folded the meat closed and tied the whole thing
vertically so the ends would stay shut and the filling would stay in.
It was a little sloppy (I'm probably didn't do it right), but it worked.
browning the braciole

It's pronounced bra-zhjole (at least by Americans
like me who like to pretend they're Italian).
I'm sure actual Italians are laughing at me.
browning one of the sides
wine added
I lifted up the braciole for a minute so I could scrape up
any bits on the bottom of the pan and get them into the sauce.
tomato sauce added
I added closer to 4 cups (I was serving pasta on
the side and wanted plenty of sauce for that too).
basting the braciole after 30 minutes in the oven
after 1 hour
after 1 hour, 30 minutes
after 2 hours
removing strings from the braciole
sliced braciole
braciole cross-section
I served the braciole with salad and
pasta (this new shape I found called Trofie)


Judie Cleland said...

So glad you are back!

Susan said...

Thanks Judie...nice to be back!

Shannon stanek said...

OHHH, another use for flank steak (my teriyaki flank steak is Jamie's favorite).

Susan said...

Teriyaki flank sounds interesting...if you see me going through a teriyaki phase soon, you'll know why!

Anonymous said...

I missed my daily visit to bloatalrecall. This looks like a good new beginning. Becky

Randi said...

So that's what it is! Looks yummy.

Shannon Stanek said...

Made it for Sunday dinner. Made the sauce on Saturday. Having two flank steaks (thanks Costco) filled one this way and filled the second with sagg paneer (spinach and paneer cheese and Indian spices) and rice, then cooked both the same way with the tomato sauce. Fantastic on both. Thanks for the inspiration this week Susan.
And we have lots of home made pasta sauce for the next week!

Susan said...

@Shannon: I'm so glad you liked it! I love your idea of combining the Indian/Italian (yum). Of course extra sauce is never a problem (I usually double the recipe so I can freeze some). :)

Shannon said...

Two Quart containers still in the fridge. Was thinking about putting one in the freezer. Guess I will do that this AM.

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