Italian Beef Braciole
Braciole, a stuffed and braised beef roll is one of those old-time classic Italian dishes that has as many variations as there are Grandmothers in Italy.
Most versions start the same way; a piece of round steak is pounded until thin with a meat tenderizer mallet. The fillings can include Italian cheeses, seasoned breadcrumbs, cured Italian meats, pesto, pine nuts and sometime raisins. The meat is rolled up, jellyroll style, secured with kitchen twine or toothpicks, browned and slowly braised in marinara sauce until tender.
This is our family’s standard braciole. After pounding the round steak, prosciutto, Genoa salami, fresh breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese are drizzled with olive oil before rolling up and braising. The cured meats can omitted completely and bulk raw Italian sausage can be spread on the pounded steak before rolling. The cheeses can vary as well; provolone and Romano cheese are very common. The dish is very versatile; don’t be afraid to try different combinations.
Instead of preparing the dish as one large roll, this can also be done in individual size rolls called “Involtini”. The leftover braciole makes an interesting cold sandwich on Italian bread the next day.