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

Neapolitan Beef-Rolls stuffed with Pine Nuts and Raisins

These Neapolitan beef rolls, also generally called ‘braciole’ – ‘chops’ not only in Naples but throughout Southern Italy, are stuffed with raisins, pine nuts, garlic, parsley and Pecorino cheese, then cooked in a bath of tomato sauce. Someone also adds chopped lard, just like the original recipe from the 1700s. If you have it available, please try it, it is a phenomenal flavour.

Moreover, the other cool thing about this recipe is that you can also get a first course by using the tomato sauce to season the pasta: kill two birds with one stone.


Serves 2, Preparation time 20 mins, Cooking time approx. 2 hours

  • 3-4 slices of beef
  • 30 g pine nuts
  • 30 g raisins
  • 60 g of grated or shaved Pecorino cheese
  • 750 ml tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 glass of red wine, not a sparkling one
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 3 tbsp

Method

Flatten the beef slices lightly with a meat tenderizer. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper, then add chopped garlic and parsley, then raisins and pine nuts.
Complete with a sprinkling of grated or flaked Pecorino cheese, roll up the slice of meat and tie it with kitchen string or toothpicks, which are perhaps more convenient to handle.

Fry the sliced onion in a pan with 3 tablespoons of oil over a low flame until soft. Turn up the heat now, add the roulades and brown them on all sides, turning them occasionally.
Season with salt and pepper, add the red wine and let it evaporate, now lower the flame, sprinkle the rolls with the sauce and add the tomato puree.
Cover with the lid, cook for at least 2 hours on a low flame.

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3 Comments

  1. I once knew a cook from Naples who used to make these and they were absolutely the best braciole in the world! I have never tasted another version as good as this. Sadly, he never shared his recipe, but this looks like it would come close. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thank you for posting it!

  2. I’m curious to know what kind of beef you use. Many roulades use flank steak, but I find it often tough after cooking. The feeling is great – love the use of the pinenuts and raisins!

    1. It’s ‘girello’. Depending on the Italian regions, it takes on several names as Magatello in Milan, Coscia rotonda in Turin, Lacerto in Naples and Palermo. It is a cut of lean meat (beef meat in this case) from the thigh without any nerve tissue, perfect indicated for the preparation of roasts, cutlets, meet rolls, pizzaiola.

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