Braciole or Bracioloni or Braciola


I spent much of my preteen years hanging out with (borderline pestering) my dear neighbors, the Broussards. They were the parents of two young children and I was an aspiring babysitter. For those two reasons and many others, our relationship flourished. Under their roof, I learned to successfully change cloth diapers (Remember those?), spoon-feed a starving baby, negotiate nap times and navigate the terrible twos. I also learned to crochet, make homemade mashed potatoes in the microwave and roll brucioloni. I was fortunate to have a second family to love and help guide me through those awkward years. These days, those two young children are all grown up and one has a family of her own. Although I don’t get to see the Broussards that often, I continue to carry their love and lessons with me. And I reflect on the good times we shared each time I make one of their family recipes. Most recently, I reminisced over brucioloni.

In case you don’t know, brucioloni is a Creole-Italian stuffed meat braised in red gravy. Similar Italian and American-Italian dishes include Braciole (per Giada De Laurentiis) and Braciolona (per Molto Mario Batali). The dish involves pounding out an otherwise tough cut of beef or veal like a round steak or flank, filling it full of Italian flavors and simmering or baking it ever-so-slowly in a big pot of red gravy (tomato sauce) laced with white wine. The stuffing can be as simple as bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, olive oil and Parmesan cheese or as busy as Italian sausage, ham and provolone. I don’t recall the particulars of the Broussards’ recipe, but I do remember they added sliced hard-boiled eggs to theirs. They also made individual brucioloni, which is an extremely time-consuming process. That’s probably why they only made it on special occasions. I believe our close family friend, Josie Manca, also made individual servings. She put toasted pine nuts in hers and may have also added the eggs. I make one large brucioloni and walk the middle ground with the stuffing by layering the meat with ham, salami and cheese and then slathering on the garlic-tinged Parmesan and bread crumb base. I exclude both the eggs and pine nuts but add raisins–I love the subtle sweetness and texture they give the dish. If you have a special family recipe for brucioloni or braciole or braciolona, I’d love to hear about it!

Brucioloni Recipe

Print Recipe

Print Recipe

1 2 to 2 1/2-pound round or flank steak, pounded thin
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
8 slices hard salami
6 slices ham
6 slices provolone cheese
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup raisins
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
6 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 dry white wine
2 28-ounce cans tomato puree
2 cups water
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper to taste
Hot cooked pasta, for serving

Rub steak with 2 tablespoons olive oil; season generously with salt and black pepper.  Layer salami, ham and provolone on steak.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, raisins, garlic, egg and reserved 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Spread bread crumb mixture evenly over provolone.  Roll up meat around stuffing like a jelly roll; tie with kitchen twine to secure.  In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until fat has rendered, 5-7 minutes.  Add brucioloni and cook until browned on all sides, 8-10 minutes.  Add onions; cook until tender, about 3 minutes.  Add white wine; cook until alcohol evaporates, about 5 minutes.  Stir in tomato puree, water, bay leaves, basil, cayenne pepper and salt and black pepper to taste.  Lower heat, cover and gently simmer, turning brucioloni occasionally, until meat is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Remove brucioloni from sauce and transfer to a cutting board.  Remove twine and cut brucioloni crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.  Toss pasta with some of the sauce and top with brocioloni.  Serve additional sauce on the side.  Serves 6.


Category: Beef, Main Dishes
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3 Responses
  1. Dennis Kientz says:

    1. Print button not working (on brocciolone page.

    2. Registered twice but not getting newsletter.

    • Genet says:

      Hey Dennis! Thanks for letting me know. I double checked my Brocioloni recipe and am able to print it just fine, but will review my codes to make certain there are no other glitches. So sorry about the newsletter. I’ve had a bunch of problems with that and am exploring some new options to offer in its place.

  2. Frank Speyerer says:

    Bushaloni (Braciolone)
    Serves: 6


    • 1 large round steak, pounded thin
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 2 pods garlic, minced
    • ¼ bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
    • ¼ cup bread crumbs
    • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
    • – vegetable oil
    • 1½ teaspoons Frank’s Famous Creole Seasoning

    Ingredients Gravy:

    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • ½ bell pepper, chopped
    • 1½ Tablespoons flour
    • 1 can tomato paste
    • 1 can tomato sauce
    • 5 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
    • 1½ teaspoon oregano
    • 1 large bay leaf
    • – salt and pepper to taste
    • 8-10 cups water

    1. Season steak and set aside.
    2. Combine all other ingredients except oil.
    3. Cover the steak with mixture and dribble a small amount of oil over it.
    4. Roll the steak and tie with a string.
    5. Brown in oil, remove and set aside.
    6. Use pot for making gravy.
    7. Sauté onion and bell pepper in oil covering the bottom of the pot.
    8. Add flour and mix well.
    9. Add tomato paste and sauce, garlic, parsley, oregano, bay leaf, sugar, salt and pepper.
    10. Simmer for 25 minutes.
    11. Stir in water.
    12. Place rolled steak in pot and cook for 2 to 4 hours.

    Note: Additional tomato sauce if desired.

    13. Serve over angel hair pasta.

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