Braciola Cooked in Ragu


In my haste to get this one down my throat, I failed to get a photograph. Apologies. The camera was right there, but I was exceptionally hungry and had no intention of waiting a minute longer. Half way through the meal I began to regret my greed as it would have been great for you to see how lovely it looked on the plate. It’s a very simple dish to put together and even if the thought of rolling and tying meat up seems a little complicated it’s really not. It’s pretty damn tasty too! You’ll have to make do with a picture I found on the Internet until I make this again.


1 Large rump steak (about 700g)
4 tablespoons olive oil
500g mushrooms (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped)
1/3 cup breadcrumbs

1 onion (finely diced)
1 stick celery (finely diced)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
2 tablespoons fresh basil (roughly chopped)
400ml tomato passata
salt & pepper

To stuff the steak:
Place the steak between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Flatten out to about 2cm width with a meat mallet into a large flat shape. Season with salt & pepper on both sides. Cut off any excess fat around the edges. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large deep frying pan over a moderate heat and fry the mushrooms and garlic together for 10 minutes until the water that comes out of them has almost evaporated. Season with the paprika, chilli flakes, basil and some salt & pepper then remove from the heat. Mix in the breadcrumbs then Spoon the mixture over the entire surface of the meat. Firmly roll up the meat into a large, thick sausage. With some kitchen string, tie around the meat in four or five places to hold it together.

To make the ragu:
Heat the frying pan with a little more oil and drop in the meat to brown on all sides for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the pan and add a little more oil. Gently fry the onion, celery and garlic for 4-5 minutes until light brown and soft. Sprinkle over the oregano and fresh basil and sizzle for 1 minute. Add the red wine and cook for 30 seconds. Pour over the passata and 250ml water. Season with salt & pepper and bring to a simmer. Return the meat to the pan and spoon over some of the sauce. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to very low and let the meat simmer very gently for 1 1/2 hours turning every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking.

Remove the meat and cut the string. Slice into thick wedges and spoon a little of the sauce over. Serve with vegetables.

A great way to get more out of this dish is to use the cooking ragu as a simple sauce for pasta. This makes an excellent starter course of which the meat features as a main course.

Image courtesy of HERE. Grazie.


2 Responses

  1. This recipe looks really interesting to me. I’m not sure what tomato passata is, however. Assuming I find out, I’ll give it a try.

    • Passata is simply tomato paste. Not to be confused with tomato puree which is concentrated and would be way too intense for this dish…

      You can use the same amount of canned chopped tomatoes if you can’t find passata or something like it.

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