Get a Horse – Braciole

To most Italians, Braciole (pronounced brasz – ol) has always been a main-stay flank steak-dish.  However a joke has prevailed for many years that tells the story of how horse meat was used to make the original dish.   To this chef, if will remain a joke.

bracioleBraciole alla Barese  (Stuffed Flank Steak)




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    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 2/3 cup grated  Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese
    •  1 pat of butter for each piece of meat
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 (1 1/2-pound) sandwich flank steaks or flattened filet (even better)!
    • 1 cup dry Red Wine
    • 3 1/4 cups Simple Tomato Sauce, recipe follows, or store-bought
    • Marinara Sauce


Stir the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend.
Stir in 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season mixture with salt and pepper and set aside.

Lay the steak flat on the work surface. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the steak to cover the top evenly. Starting at 1 short end, roll up the steak as for a jelly rollto enclose the filling completely. Using butcher’s twine, tie the steak roll to secure. Sprinkle the braciole with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the braciole and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in the marinara sauce. Cover partially with foil and bake until the meat is almost tender, turning the braciole and basting with the sauce every 30 minutes. After 1 hour, uncover and continue baking until the meat is tender, about 30 minutes longer. The total cooking time should be about 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the braciole from the sauce. Using a large sharp knife, cut the braciole crosswise and diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Transfer the slices to plates. Spoon the sauce over and serve.

Simple Tomato Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 4 to 6 basil leaves
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional
  • In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil and bay leaves and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmerfor 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and taste for seasoning. If sauce tastes too acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, to round out the flavor.
  • If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and then pour 1 to 2 cup portions into plastic freezer bags. Freeze for up to 6 months.
  • Yield: 6 cups
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Enjoy!   Nino Grogolo

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