Don’t call out for pizza! Make these beefy bracciole rolls instead!
Calling All Pizza Lovers
If your family loves pizza, then they’re sure to love this new twist on bracciole!
It starts out just like traditional bracciole, except you fill it with your favorite pizza fixings. Then you roll it all up and cook it in a tasty and herby chunky tomato sauce!
Beefy Pizza Rolls–It Starts With Round Steak
Top round is the correct cut to use for these beef rolls. Most stores have top round steaks cut ultra thin especially for bracciole. That’s what I buy.
Of course, you can buy a thick-cut steak, cut it in half horizontally and pound it down. Likewise you can cut thin steaks off a top-round roast. I don’t bother because it’s pretty labor intensive and the cost of the thin cut is not all that much more considering it saves you work.
You could also use round or even chuck cube steak, but the cube steaks I have bought weren’t really long enough to make a proper roll. However, if you can find longer ones, then by all means buy it and use it for this.
Traditional bracciole uses prosciutto as part of the roll. Since I wanted a pizza flair for this, I used pepperoni. The little bags were on sale so that’s what I used here–the small-diameter slices. Sandwich pepperoni, which is larger, will work here too. However, you will need less slices. I’d figure about 2 slices, per roll, for that size.
I love me some thick chunky sauce, and in this recipe, I feel it adds texture and character to the whole dish.
Fire roasted diced tomatoes have such a wonderful flavor and they work well here too. If you prefer a more traditional sauce then substitute crushed tomatoes for the diced.
The sauce has a definite oregano flavor. Oregano is often referred to as “pizza spice” (even though it’s an herb). Pizza sauces are generally a bit heavy on the oregano. You can add more or less depending on your taste.
And if you like a little kick, then by all means add some hot red pepper flakes to the sauce!
- 8 thin slices thinly sliced (1/8-inch thick)round steak (sold for bracciole)
- 32-36 slices pepperoni (see NOTES)
- 2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup milk or water (see NOTES)
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- ½ cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella, divided
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Extra Parmesan for topping (about ¼ cup)
- 2-15 oz cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 2 tbs brown sugar (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- In a medium bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, Parmesan, salt, pepper, 2 cups shredded mozzarella and just enough milk/water to moisten the crumb mixture so it holds together.
- Lay about 8 slices of the pepperoni on top of each steak. Distribute crumb mixture evenly over each steak. Roll up and secure with toothpicks.
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy skillet. Brown beef rolls on all sides; remove from pan.
- Add all the sauce ingredients to the skillet and heat till it boils. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Lightly spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the beef rolls in the prepared pan; top with the sauce. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
- Uncover the rolls and top with remaining shredded mozzarella and grated Parmesan. Return to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese topping is bubbly and melted.
Use only enough milk/water to moisten the crumbs—I needed ¼ cup, you may need more or less.