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This Sicilian beef braciole recipe is not the typical recipe of large braciole cooked in the tomato sauce, but a lighter version originated from the Strait of Sicily. The braciole are small bites and the breadcrumbs are flavoured with Parmesan, garlic, and basil. Sometimes cheese is put inside the meat or zucchini or eggplants are used instead of beef.
- What are braciolette
- How to cook braciole without sauce
- Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- How to prepare the Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- How to make these Sicilian braciole
- What to serve with braciole
- Beef substitute for Braciole
- Other recipes you may like
- 📋 Sicilian beef braciole recipe
What are braciolette
This is not the usual braciole recipe but a smaller and lighter version without tomato sauce. The meat rolls are much smaller, that is why they are called braciolette, small braciole.
They are often served at children’s parties or buffet. They are so tender, children love them and since there is no sauce and the rolls are small they can be easily eaten in one bite while standing.
How to cook braciole without sauce
These braciolette can be cooked in the oven or grilled. As the meat is very thin and coated with breadcrumbs, it remains very moist inside and crispy outside. The slices of beef are cut very thin and made even thinner by hammering them with a meat pounder.
They are then coated with olive oil that will keep them moist and will help the breadcrumbs sticking to the meat.
There is also some parmesan and basil mixed with the breadcrumbs, and sometime a small piece of provola, scamorza or cacio cavallo is added in the middle of the wrap. Provola, scamorza and cacio cavallo cheese are typical from the Calabria and Sicilian region, you can also use mozzarella or cheddar cheese.
The best cut of beef to use is a lean beef like rump cover, rump steak. You can ask your butcher to cut them very thin, like a carpaccio steak. If you have to carve them yourself, I would recommend using an electric knife.
Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
I always use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs in many of my recipes, that is why I usually prepare a large amount and keep it in the freezer. They don’t need to be defrosted ahead of time.
If you want to know more about it you can read the article: Grated Parmesan and Breadcrumbs. also check out the article: Once a Month Freezer Meal Prep to find out what else I keep in my freezer.
I always keep the stale bread aside and when I have time I prepare the breadcrumbs and freeze it. Here are the ingredients I use in proportion to 3 cups of grated stale bread:
- 3 cups of grated stale bread
- 1/2 cup of parmesan
- 1/2 cup of basil leaves or parsley
- 1 garlic cloves
If you are making it only for this recipe use the amount listed on the recipe card below.
How to prepare the Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- Grate the parmesan in a shredder
- Cut the stale bread in chunks small enough to fit in the shredder
- Shredd the bread putting the garlic first so the bread absorbs the flavour
- Take a cup of shredded breadcrumbs and blend it with the basil leaves (used shredded bread as the bread is too hard for a blender and you risk breaking it)
- Add the shredded parmesan to the breadcrumbs
- Then the breadcrumbs mixed with the basil
Following this procedure will minimize waste (like basil been stuck in the side of the blender, or parmesan left inside the shredder) and a perfect combination of flavours (the breadcrumbs absorbing the garlic and the basil)
It is best if the breadcrumbs rest overnight to absorbs all the flavours. If you freeze them you don’t have to worry about it and use them when needed.
How to make these Sicilian braciole
Preparing the meat
- Carve the beef into very thin slices
- Hammer each slice with meat ponder until they are evenly flat
- Cut them into small long stripes
- Put them in a bowl and season them with salt and olive oil
Preparing the braciolette
- Pour 1 cup of the breadcrumbs into a plate and coat each strip of beef with the breadcrumbs. Once the breadcrumbs are finished add some more (Leftover breadcrumbs cannot be stored and reused at a later date as they have been in contact with raw meat. Best to add gradually)
- Turn the beef into a small roll, you can put a small piece of cheese inside if you like. Tight the roll into your fist
- Lay all the rolls on a tray
- Insert the meat into the screws, from 5 to 6 rolls each screw
- Bake for 30 minutes at 355 F – 180 C
- Turn them and bake for another 10 minutes
What to serve with braciole
Although these braciole are very filling, they are so good that you can easily finish them all. I like to serve them with some fresh salad simply seasoned with extra virgin olive oil and salt.
The best dish to serve with them is the rice stuffed tomatoes, The juice of the tomato and the crunchiness of the braciolette perfectly complement each other.
Other sides that can be served are the grilled vegetables, baked ratatouille or a fresh Tabbouleh to add some vegetables and fresh juices to the meat.
Beef substitute for Braciole
This braciole recipe can be done also with pork or chicken, just make sure the slices are thinly cut. If you are in a hurry and don’t want to spend too much time rolling them, you can also try the recipe baked breaded chicken breast.
For a seafood option you can check the recipe: Baked swordfish Braciole
For a vegetarian or vegan option you can use zucchini or eggplants cut lengthwise. You can choose whether you want to put a small cube of cheese in the middle to make them more filling or keep them simple for a vegan meal.
Other recipes you may like
Here are some more ideas of recipe with beef:
- Classic veal Milanese
- Brazilian Picanha bbq
- Beef Daube Provencal
- Beef pie with Marsala and mushrooms
- Beef sausage hand pies
- Stuffed round courgettes
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