Braciole – Sicilian Style. Our favorite family dish of all time is Braciole. It is made with thinly sliced top round sirloin steak, stuffed with cured meat, bread crumbs, cheese, and green onion, then rolled up and finished in a slow-cooked tomato sauce until the meat is perfectly tender. Hearty and most delicious, Braciole is a crowd pleaser and will surely ‘wow’ your family and friends!
Braciole is an Italian meat dish our grandmothers and mothers made mainly for the family Sunday dinners, holidays and special occasions. Braciole meats are simmered in a very simple tomato sauce that gives the sauce it’s rich flavors!
The tomato sauce slowly cooks with the submerged braciole, creating an amazingly flavorful sauce – it becomes addicting. And it works perfectly with any pasta you serve it with.
It’s one of those dishes that looks like a lot of work, but actually, it involves a little patience and time. Having said that, keep in mind, this is not one of our quick meals, but one that is very impressive and so delicious!
Braciole will definitely become everyone’s new favorite Italian meal. And this is our family’s recipe.
There are different versions of making braciole. My Sicilian husband prefers his mother’s recipe over our mom’s and quite frankly, braciole is so good, our family loves any version we make.
But his mom’s version for Braciole-Sicilian Style is a simple one.
6 Ingredients Needed to Make Braciole Sicilian Style!
Thinly sliced top sirloin steak (about ¼-inch thick) (2 packages of 3 slices)
Plain bread crumbs
Grated pecorino cheese
A wedge of Auricchio provolone cheese
3 green onions – cut into halves
How To Make Braciole-Sicilian Style:
1. First, make the tomato sauce (see recipe below). You can make this dish using a heavy-bottomed pot or a slow cooker would work just as well.
2. Next, on a sheet of wax paper, lay flat the slices of steak. Scatter on top with bread crumbs and grated cheese, then top with prosciutto, a chunk of cheese, onions, and parsley.
3. Once you roll up the meats, tie them with thick string or butcher’s twine to secure.
4. Then sear and braise them on the stovetop in a skillet for a few minutes to brown them and transfer each one to the tomato sauce that is simmering next to it.
The sauce should slowly cook to thicken while it tenderizes the braciole meats. This recipe makes a big batch of sauce and can easily feed 8 people. You can make more bracioles to feed a larger gathering.
How to Store and Freeze Braciole – Sicilian Style
Store and keep fresh: Let the sauce cool down to room temperature, then store bracioles submerged in the tomato sauce in airtight containers. Chill in refrigerator up to 3 to 4 days.
How to freeze: First, let the sauce and bracioles cool to room temperature, then store in an airtight plastic container. Freeze up to 1 month. Allow defrosting completely before reheating on stove-top and with low heat, until the sauce and meat are completely heated through.
What To Serve with Braciole – Sicilian Style
Serve your favorite pasta with this dish, some Italian crusty bread and sprinkle on top with some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and call it a day!
We love to serve it with orecchiette pasta because it’s small pasta and it scoops up the sauce with every spoonful.
Your family will love this Braciole – Sicilian Style recipe!
This braciole dish is such a delicious dish. It’s a little labor of love – but worth it! I bet your family will go bonkers over this dish. It’s SO good, you’ll savor every spoonful along with every bite of this braciole, for sure!
…Thanks for Pinning our Braciole-Sicilian Style!
Here’s a KITCHEN TIP: To finely chop the large vidalia onion for the tomato sauce, I used an electric mini-chopper and it worked like a charm!
Also, try our Mom’s Best Sunday Meatballs recipe!
To Make the Braciole:
- 6 thinly sliced top sirloin steak (about 1/4-inch thick) (2 packages of 3)
- 6 Tbsp. plain bread crumbs
- 4 to 6 Tbsp. grated pecorino cheese
- 4 ounces sliced prosciutto
- 3 ounce wedge of auricchio provolone cheese- cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 3 green onions, cleaned and cut to fit the width of meat
- Optional: fresh parsley
- extra virgin olive oil, for sauteing the meat
- salt and pepper
Ingredients for Simple Tomato Sauce:
- 1 plus 1/2 vidalia onion - finely minced
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 4 large basil leaves
- 4 to 5 cans (28-ounces) Italian peeled tomatoes, blended in a blender
- 1/2 Tbsp. salt
Make the Braciole:
- On a clean surface working with 1 package of sliced steak at a time layout the slices flat on wax paper.
- Scatter bread crumbs over the steaks then again with grated pecorino cheese. Lightly drizzle olive oil over the cheese.
- Lay a slice or two of prosciutto on top, then in the center (or at the end of one side) add a chunk of provolone cheese, green onions and a sprig of fresh parsley on top (which I forgot to add).
- Grab one end of the meat and roll tightly, then tie with a strong string, or butcher's twine to secure. You can also use strong toothpicks to secure the meat. Finally, sprinkle braciole with salt and pepper. Set them aside in a dish. Repeat with the other package of sliced steak.
- Place a large skillet on the stovetop and add a drizzle of olive oil. Heat the oil for a few seconds, add the braciole and sear and braise the meats for a few minutes, rotating to brown evenly on all sides. Don't worry, it doesn't have to be fully cooked, the sauce will finish cooking the braciole.
- Transfer each one to the tomato sauce (recipe below) which should already be simmering and submerge each one into the sauce. Simmer the braciole for 1 hour, uncovered. Then cover with a lid, turn off the heat and allow it to sit and cool down slightly.
- Remove the braciole from the sauce. Using a sharp knife and carefully remove the string and discard. Slice the braciole into thirds, and transfer to a serving platter. Ladle with extra sauce on top and serve.
INSTRUCTIONS for TOMATO SAUCE:
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot, add the olive oil, onions, red pepper flakes, and basil, and simmer on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. Then add in only one can of tomatoes (blended) to the onions to prevent the onions from burning while cooking. (This is a trick my husband learned from his mom). Occasionally stirring. Continue to simmer the onions on low heat for another 15 minutes.
- Then add in the rest of the tomatoes and salt. Cover and raise the heat to bring to the sauce a boil. Lower the heat again, and continue to simmer the sauce on low heat.
- Add the braciole to the sauce. Simmer for an additional hour, occasionally stirring the sauce. The total cooking time should be about 1 and 1/2 hours. Taste the sauce. Turn off the heat. Allow the sauce to cool down slightly.
- Yields: 3 quarts
Keep in mind, I only made 6 bracioles, but you can make less or even more for a large gathering. Thin slices of steak usually come in packages of 3 or more. You can find them in your meat section at the supermarket, or ask your local butcher to make them for you. You can also secure the meat with thick toothpicks instead of the string- only remember to remove them before serving (especially when serving children).
For this dish, you will need a lot of tomato sauce since the braciole will soak up some of it. Also, the longer you simmer the sauce ( and you can simmer the sauce with braciole up to 2 hours), the better and more tender the meat will be. If the sauce is too thick, add a little water to it.
Keep in mind, if any leftovers, the sauce keeps in the fridge up to 3 days, and freezes well.