Beef Braciole with Peppers and Onions

Beef, braciole

Beef braciole is a common Italian-American meal, stuffed with cheese, herbs, and bread crumbs, made into rolls and cooked in tomato sauce. Growing up my mother prepared it in the same manner.  The sauce was used to dress the pasta and the braciole were served on the side along with the meatballs. Braciole can be made of any meat you prefer, beef, pork, lamb, and even chicken. My favorite is pork, but today I decided to use beef with a simple breadcrumb stuffing like Mom used to do.

Braciole is not only a great accompaniment to spaghetti, it also makes a great main dish. Today, instead of cooking the braciole in tomato sauce, I am making it with peppers and onions.  This recipe is easy and fast.

1 – lb. flank steak (sliced into four thin slices)
2 – cloves garlic
2 – green bell peppers
1 – medium onion
1/2 – cup dry red wine
1/2 – cup chicken stock
Ground black pepper

Ingredients for stuffing:
1 – cup panko
1/2 – cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp. – Herb de Provence
1 tsp. – oregano
1/2 tsp. – black pepper
1/4 tsp. – salt
1/2 cup pecorino romano
1 tsp. – garlic
1/4 – cup olive oil
1/4 – cup water
1/4 – cup fresh parsley

Directions for stuffing:
Mix all the ingredients together. The stuffing should be moist enough to hold together when you squeeze it in your hand. Add a little more water if it needs it.

Assemble the braciole:
Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the steak. Spread stuffing down the center of the beef slices, leaving a one-half inch border all around.

Start at the widest end of the steak and roll tightly. Insert two toothpicks into the roll to hold it together.

In a large skillet, add a little olive oil and the garlic. Once the oil is hot add the braciole and brown it on all sides.

In the meantime, cut the peppers into medium sized slices, and slice the onion in half and then make thin half moon slices.

Once all sides of the braciole are browned, remove them to a bowl and set aside. Add the peppers and onion to the skillet, sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and sauté about 5 minutes until they start to soften.

Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen all the brown bits. Cook about one minute to cook off the alcohol then add the chicken stock and stir, then return the braciole to the pan.

Cover and cook on a low flame for 15-20 minutes until the peppers are tender. As the peppers cook down, the wine and chicken stock will make a delicious sauce.  Stir occasionally and turn the braciole to cover it in the juices.

Remove the toothpicks and serve the braciole over the peppers and onions, and pour some of the sauce on top.

Buon appetito!

Beef Braciole, Peppers, Onions, Stuffing

Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage

Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage

Deconstructed Stuffed Cabbage

This dish is a deconstructed form of stuffed cabbage that I learned to make from my mother-in-law. The beauty of this recipe is that you get all the great taste of stuffed cabbage without all the work. I made a few changes to the recipe; for example, I add pork to the beef to give it more flavor, and I enhance the sauce with diced tomatoes and chicken stock. This dish is great left over and it serves a lot of people.  A side dish suggestion is mashed potatoes.  They go great with this dish.


1 – medium sized head of cabbage
1 1/4 – lbs. ground pork
1 1/4 – lbs. ground beef
1 – medium onion diced
1 – cup cooked rice
2 – tbls. canola oil
2 – 10.75 oz. cans tomato soup
14 – oz. chicken broth (preferably organic, low sodium brand)
1 – 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 – tbls. white vinegar
1 – tsp. sugar
1 – tsp. salt

1/2 – tsp. ground black pepper or to taste
2 – tbls. butter


Cook one cup of rice according to the directions, be sure to salt the water. Do not over cook the rice because it will cook more in the oven. Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons canola oil to a large skillet, add diced onion and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the ground meat, breaking it up into crumbles.  Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper and cook until no longer pink. Add the cooked rice to the meat mixture and combine thoroughly.  Set aside until ready to assemble.

Cut the head of cabbage in half and remove the core.


Rinse the cabbage and pat dry. Cut the half cabbage in half again and use a large kitchen knife to thinly slice the cabbage.


Rub a pat of butter over a large 11 x 13 deep dish baking or lasagna pan so that the cabbage will not stick. Then spread the cabbage in the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle with salt and a little black pepper and mix through.  Next add the meat mixture on top of the cabbage.

Prepare the sauce in a medium sized pot by mixing together the tomato soup, sugar, vinegar, chicken stock, and diced tomatoes. Heat on the stove until it just starts to a boil. Pour 2/3 of the sauce over the meat and cabbage. Keep the rest of the sauce to serve with the meal. Cut 2 tablespoons of butter into small pieces and scatter over the top.


Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375o for 1 hour 30 min. until most of the liquid is absorbed.  Check periodically to make sure it does not dry out. You can add more chicken broth if necessary.  Remove the aluminum foil and cook an additional 15-20 minutes.

Remove from the oven, cover and let rest about 30 minutes before serving.


Makes 8 servings