Short Ribs Braciole

Adapted from “Urban Italian” by Andrew Carmellini

This is a very straightforward recipe with few but essential ingredients.  The name “braciole: refers to the classic Italian preparation of rolled stuffed beef braised in tomato sauce.  The short ribs are topped with delicious breadcrumb and Parmigiano cheese topping before serving.   This recipe serves 4 to 6 people.


For the short ribs:

½ cup roughly diced pancetta (about ¼ pound)
2 pounds boneless short ribs cut into thirds
1 heaping tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 small onion, diced (about 1 cup)
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
2 28-ounce cans of whole plum tomatoes, plus their juice (either chop them in a food processor or crush them in a large bowl with your hands)

For the topping:

¼ cup pine nuts, chopped into rough pieces
1 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup breadcrumbs (you can even use Panko)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
1 Pinch each of salt and ground pepper
2 tblsp grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large, dry ovenproof saucepot or Dutch oven, sauté the pancetta over medium-high heat until it starts to brown and some of the fat is rendered, about two minutes.  Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.

Season the short ribs well on both sides with the salt and pepper, add them to the pan and brown the meat on all sides (about 5 minutes).

Add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until onion softens, about 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and their juice and bring the mixture to a low boil.

Remove the pot from the stove and place in the oven.  Continue to cook until the meat is very tender and a fork can pass through it without sticking.  This should take 2 ½ to 3 hours.

To prepare the topping:

Toast the pine nuts until lightly browned in a dry sauté pan over low heat.  Add the olive oil and mix well, then add the breadcrumbs and continue to cook over low heat until everything is toasted brown, about 2 minutes.   Add the oregano and parsley and season with salt and pepper.   Remove from the heat; allow cooling slightly before adding the grated cheese.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This dish can be prepared even a full day ahead and reheated on the stovetop over low heat or in the oven at a moderate temperature (300 degrees) for about 30 minutes.  The short ribs can be served on their own but I like to serve them over pasta like rigatoni or wide noodles like pappardelle.   Either way, sprinkle the crumb topping generously over the ribs just before serving.

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