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How to Make Braciole: Italian Stuffed and Braised Beef Rolls

I have a sizable tried-and-true cookie recipe file, but I am always eager to discover new ones. Who doesn't love cookies?

 A dinner plate with two slices of braciola atop the delectable sauce, some polenta, carrots, sugar snap peas, and chopped parsley

A dinner plate with two slices of braciola atop the delectable sauce, some polenta, carrots, sugar snap peas, and chopped parsley


Many ingredients can comprise these delectable stuffed beef rolls (braciole). My husband started with a basic recipe and substantially changed it to his liking, which is his usual method; it's rare that he doesn't adjust a recipe.

The word braciola is singular, while the plural use of the word is braciole. Involtini in Italy represents the same meaning, while rouladen is the word used in Germany. Cooks also substitute other proteins for beef, such as chicken, pork, or fish, and the stuffing mixture can also vary widely.

Many recipes call for making individual stuffed beef rolls to serve each person, as is shown in the Racheal Ray video below. My husband, for aesthetic reasons, prefers making much larger rolls that he serves sliced. The interior of each roll is in full view and on display, as well as the thin exterior of beef encasing the delicious stuffing mixture. While this recipe is not a quick and easy one to make, it is so worth the time and effort! The completed dish freezes well, making future meals a breeze to thaw, heat, and serve.

Assembling some of the ingredients to make the braciole

Assembling some of the ingredients to make the braciole

Cook Time (Not Counting Overnight Refrigeration)

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

1 hour 45 min

2 hours 15 min

12 generous servings


For the beef rolls (braciole) and stuffing:

  • 12 thin slices (1/8 to 1/4 inch slice) top round, Milanesa cut
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground veal
  • 1/3 pound salami, finely chopped or minced
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 6 slices rustic Italian bread, or enough to make 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, or as much needed to brown the beef rolls on all sides

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry white wine


  1. If you cannot find already cut Milanesa-style slices of beef, flatten slices of top round by pounding as thin as possible. Ideally, it should be 1/8th to 1/4-inch thick. Set aside.
  2. Use a food processor to make breadcrumbs from the rustic Italian bread and put them into a bowl with the milk. When moistened, add the breadcrumbs by batches into a cheesecloth, and squeeze out the excess milk.
  3. Add the salami to the food processor and run until it is finely minced.
  4. Combine the ground veal, salami, Parmesan cheese, softened butter, beaten eggs, moistened breadcrumbs, minced parsley, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Combine until well mixed. (Tip: To test for the correct amount of seasoning, take a small amount of the stuffing mixture and fry it in a small pan. Taste it. If more salt or pepper is needed, add it to the raw stuffing mixture before proceeding).
  5. Lay one slice of the top round on a flat surface. Put a large helping of stuffing mixture in the center and turn up the sides and ends. If needed, add another cut piece of meat to fit the exposed top. Tightly tie each roll with about 3 or 4 pieces of kitchen string trimming the edges. Keep repeating this process until using all of the meat and stuffing.
  6. In a large kettle with olive oil, saute each beef roll until brown on all sides and set aside.
  7. Using the same kettle for browning the braciole, heat the oil and butter. Add the onions, carrots, and garlic, sauteing until softened.
  8. Add the bay leaves, and stir in the white wine. Cook over moderate heat until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  9. At this point, add the canned tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the beef rolls and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the combination for at least 1 hour or until the beef is fork-tender.
  10. Remove the braciole and reduce the sauce to desired consistency.
  11. Refrigerate the braciole and sauce separately overnight. Skim the fat from the surface of the sauce. The sauce may remain in this rustic stage, or if desired, be made smoother by using an immersion blender.
  12. Slice the braciola on the bias about 1/2-inch thick after removing the strings. (It cuts more easily when cooled overnight in the refrigerator.)
  13. To heat, put the sauce on the bottom of a baking dish and top with the slices of braciole. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until thoroughly heated.
  14. For presentation purposes, put some sauce on the bottom of a plate and top with one or more slices of the braciole. Garnish with additional chopped parsley and other accompaniments.

Wine Pairings

My husband does some wine consulting work, and we both enjoy good wine with our meals. He recommends pairing a Sangiovese-based wine such as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, a Rosso Di Montalcino, or a Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano with this braciola recipe. As you can see in the photo below, we enjoyed a good bottle of Chianti to accompany our meal.

In Italy, they add work and life on to food and wine.

— Robin Leach


© 2021 Peggy Woods