Italian Regional Recipes Secondi Piatti: Meat, Fish, Eggs, Cheese

Braised Beef Rolls in Tomato Sauce

This meat preparation, usually called ‘braciole al sugo‘, is a dish of Apulian tradition. Although horse meat was originally used for this recipe, nowadays beef – or even veal, is considered a valid alternative.

These rolls are often served on Sundays as the second course of a rather big lunch. This second course is presented with a side serving of baked potatoes or sautéed broccoli rabe, and the tomato sauce the beef is cooked in is used to garnish some pasta, served as a first course. You’ll have hardly any space left for dessert!

Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 15 mins | Cooking time: 45 mins

  • Beef or Veal meat: 4 slices (about 500 g in total)
  • Tomato sauce: 250 ml
  • White onions: ½
  • Basil, fresh: 4 to 5 leaves
  • Garlic: 2 cloves
  • Parsley, fresh: 1 sprig
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 2 tbsp
  • Whole plum peeled tomatoes: 400 g
  • Pecorino or Parmigiano, grated: to taste
  • Salt and pepper: to taste


Peel the garlic and press it or dice it in extremely small pieces. Finely chop the parsley, as well, then combine the two in a bowl and set it aside.

Place the beef slices on a plate or a clean work surface and season them with salt and pepper, using your fingers to rub them into the meat. Distribute a couple spoonfuls of garlic and parsley on the beef slices and gently press the mixture down on the meat to make sure it adheres well to its surface.

Sprinkle a handful of grated Pecorino on each slice and then close the rolls: start by folding in the longer sides, to make sure the filling doesn’t spill out, then roll up the slice by starting at one end and moving towards the other. Use either a kitchen string or toothpicks to close the roll and secure the slices in place.

Slice the onion. Heat up the oil in a saucepan and brown the onion on low heat.

Tip: We like to leave our onion in the sauce, but if you’re not really into its strong flavour, simply remove it from the oil right after browning it. The sauce will still have a pleasant, delicate aroma.

Fry up the rolls on medium to low heat, turning them often to make sure they brown evenly. Il will take about 10-15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the basil leaves and season to taste. Stir well and cook over low heat for 25-30 minutes.

Serve warm on a generous spoonful of the tomato sauce.

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  1. This was delicious! I served this last night when we had guest over and everyone loved it!

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