Recipe: Grandma’s Braciole (Braciole della Nonna)

Sink your teeth into this delicious and hearty recipe sourced from Nonna Stellino's cookbook.

The following recipe, prepared by Chef Nick Stellino, appears on


For the stuffing:

  • 3 cups day-old bread, cut into half-inch pieces. For a quicker result shred the bread in a food processor
  • 1½ cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced thick
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup onions, finely chopped
  • 6 ounces chopped Italian dry salami, I prefer soppressata
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup grated pecorino or Romano cheese

For the Braciole:

  • 2½ to 3 pounds of top round beef cut into slices, pounded thin and each cut into a rectangular shape, approximately 4 x 5 each
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ cups Italian style breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons extra light olive oil
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup beef stock


Serves: 4

  1. Start with the stuffing. In a bowl mix the bread and the milk and let it sit for 10 minutes until most of the milk has been absorbed then squeeze out as much of the milk as you can and set the bread aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, pour the extra virgin olive oil, add the red pepper flakes and cook over medium heat until it is hot, about two to three minutes. Now add the garlic, onions and stir for two minutes until the onions start to soften.
  3. Add the chopped salami, stir into the mixture and cook for two minutes.
  4. Now add the white wine, increase the heat to high and stir until the wine reduces by half, about two to three minutes, then add the parsley and mix.
  5. Turn off the heat, add the bread stir into the mixture until all the contents are well mixed.
  6. Add the egg, cheese and additional bread crumbs to absorb excess moisture and combine with all the ingredients in the pan.
  7. Set aside and let the stuffing mixture cool down to room temp before you stuff the Braciole.
  8. Place about two tablespoons of the mixture in the middle of the rectangular piece of meat. Fold the top and bottom pieces of the meat over the stuffing. Next, fold the two short sides of the meat over the stuffing, fold over the long side and continue rolling to completely cover the stuffing. Now secure each Braciole closed with three wood toothpicks. (Do not use plastic toothpicks.) Repeat this process for all your pieces of meat.
  9. Now brush each Braciole, or roll in a bowl, with olive oil and coat with Italian breadcrumbs.
  10. In a large saucepan pour the tomato sauce, the beef stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  11. In a large sauté pan heat the extra virgin olive oil until sizzling hot. Add the Braciole and brown on all sides to sear in the juices. Once browned place the Braciole in the pot with the simmering tomato sauce. Cook on simmer for 30-40 minutes.
  12. Serve the Braciole family style accompanied by a steaming pot of mashed potatoes.

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