Mr. Whipped has done it again. He put his patience and focus to work and created a slow-cooked, hearty masterpiece. 


Photography does not do this meal justice. I can’t possibly capture the amazing flavors that resulted after hours of diligent attention and slow cooking. If only I could make a poof of aroma emanate from your monitor right now – fresh minced garlic mingled with beef browned in olive oil, red wine and slow cooked tomato sauce.

This is the perfect meal to make on a cold winter day. All afternoon, your senses will be tantalized and teased with aromas, sounds and colors wafting from your kitchen. The foreplay is almost unbearable, making the satisfaction of your first bite climactic.

Things often taste better when someone else cooks them. After a few unwelcome (and overly controlling) interventions early in the process, I vacated my usual domain and let the man of the house have his way with our kitchen. Boy, was I rewarded.

Mr. Whipped chooses recipes I would likely not master as they require more time, precision or research than my patience will allow. His Liege Sugar Waffles continue to be one of the most popular posts on this blog. Though he stems from Dutch and Greek roots, he certainly has a knack for Italian. This Braciole was the best I have ever had.

Braciole Recipe – Italian Braised Beef

For the Beef:
2 pounds flank steak
1/2 cup pecorino cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup bread crumbs
olive oil
salt and pepper

For the Sauce:
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup finely grated carrot
1/4 cup celery minced
2 – 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp. basil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
1/4 cup pecorino cheese, finely grated
1 cup red wine

For serving:
Pasta of your choice

For the ragu (sauce), heat olive oil over medium heat at the bottom of a medium sauce pan. Add onion and cook a few minutes until translucent. Add carrot, celery and garlic and cook another minute. Add cans of crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, bay leaf, pepper and salt. Add 2 cups water and tomato paste and stir to combine. Add cheese to the sauce. Once the sauce bubbles, turn down the heat and let it simmer uncovered while you work on the meat.

Rinse the steak and pat it dry with paper towel. Use a meat tenderizer to pound the steak, reducing its thickness by a third. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the meat. Rub the garlic onto one side of the meat. Sprinkle both cheeses, parsley and breadcrumbs evenly over the steak. Roll the steak and secure the roll with either string or toothpicks.

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil to brown the meat. Add the roll and brown on all sides. Remove the meat to a plate. Add 1 cup of red wine and deglaze the pan, scraping to remove the brown bits from the bottom. Cook until wine reduces by half. Return the meat to the pan.

Pour the ragu (sauce) over the meat into the large pan so that the meat is submerged. Let the meat and sauce simmer for 2-3 hours uncovered. When it is down the meat should be very tender but not completely fallen apart. To test it, put a fork into the meat and turn it. The meat should come apart and loosen easily.

Remove the meat, untie string or remove toothpicks. Slice the roll into individual portions and serve covered in sauce on a platter. For the pasta, cook it until al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Ladle sauce over the pasta and heat over low flame for 2-3 minute so the pasta cooks a bit more and absorbs the sauce.

Serve the meat with the pasta and extra sauce and cheese on the side if desired.

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13 Responses to “Braciole – Italian Braised Beef”

  1. kickpleat Says:

    This looks amazing! I’ve never had braciole but it looks gorgeous and I’m a sucker for anything braised. Happy new year!

  2. Jane Says:

    I’m jealous. I want a husband who can cook like this!

  3. heather @ chiknpastry Says:

    OMG. My husband is the same way – he doesn’t mess around with the simple recipes. He always steps into the kitchen when it’s time to make pulled pork :).

  4. Anna @ the shady pine Says:

    This looks devine! Anyone who would cook for me is a star in my book!

  5. Steph Says:

    I was wondering where you were going with the foreplay / climax talk but you sold me. I think I’ll make this in the next week or so. Yum.

  6. Patty Says:

    This looks so good on a cold winter’s day! I can’t wait to try it!

  7. Jessica Says:

    I love that he stumbled across this recipe! This is a staple at my family’s Christmas dinner. I’ve rolled many braciole in my day!
    xoxo, jess

  8. Michelle Says:

    I will be making this tomorrow. I am always up for a challenge and this sounds and looks amazing!!!! The only way it would be better would be to talk my husband into making it for me. Ha!

  9. foodisgood Says:

    hi there-
    made this last weekend and loved it. great ragu, great flavors. only change i’d make it to use a cooks illustrated method of braising…get it going on the stove, then put it in the oven, covered, for a couple of hours. all told though, great recipe.

  10. Oliver Says:

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  11. lana Says:

    Plan to make this Feb 13,for our Valentine dinner ,since my husband is tkaing me out on Feb 14th .Sure hope it turns out very well

  12. BV Says:

    Looks great, however, you rolled it the wrong way. It has to be rolled with the long muscle fibers so that you cut it across the grain. If it is rolled the way you did in the photo it will be tough.

  13. Almond Provenzano Says:

    To Jane,, I’d life to have a wife that can cook it old style ,lol this is definitely my fav.. I kinda do it old country style.. there is no comparison period!! I buy only the best oils, garlic, and other spices. Yes its time consuming,, but well worth it. You’ll never tasteb any thing like it!! I just fired off a email to my aunt who is 90 yrs old, in kopes of gett my nanas recipe , she’s been gone many years but my aunt hasvthem all, ill post the info as soon as I get it bon appetite!!

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