Italian Meat Dishes

Braciole (Recipe)

Braciole topped wiht fresh grated cheese

Here is a recipe that should ring true for all Italians and lovers of home cooked Italian food!


is simply thin sliced beef, pork, chicken or veal which has been pounded, filled tied or picked and braised.  It is then simmered in a tomato sauce until it is very tender. 

Braciole is easy and may be made ahead of time.  The version I have here is a simple one which is rolled with garlic, Italian parsley and grated cheeses. Once you master this recipe you may get creative and try some other versions filled with slices of prosciutto, provolone, hard cooked eggs and more!   I have enjoyed ones filled with pine nuts and raisins as well.

When ever I see Braciole on a menu I always order it!


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Italian Beef (Recipe)

Mozza Italian Beef 
with Peppers and Red Sauce

Italian Beef! My first memory of Italian Beef goes way back!

  Not sure what date it was but I must have been about six years old.  My father took us to the suburbs or was it Little Italy in Chicago, I'm not sure?I do remember a place called Carmie's Beef & Hot Dogs. I remember a red neon sign in the window and walking in wondering where all the chairs were to sit?

Well this was a "stand" it had counters of Formica on the sides and near the window.  The counter was chest high to my dad, it had a lower area with napkins and this stuff that looked like green chopped vegetables in oil.

I learned later on it was one of my favorite foods of all time, Giardinara!  I could see over the edge of the counter a open grill with Italian Sausages on a skewer cooking over a open grill!

The aroma of this place was amazing!


The people in the restaurant seemed to be from some Italian Beef eating cult!  They were staring in anticipation at the menu board, I'm not sure why?

They were a savvy bunch that knew what they were there for and projected it in confidence when they ordered! My Dad yelled out in yeoman style, " Yeah, gimme two small beefs and I'll have a large combo with sweet and hot, wet!" A Coke and two Green Rivers (Green River is lime soda found in Chicago)


The man behind the counter grabbed a loaf of long Italian Bread then sliced it on a counter where you could see the worn knife marks.  He sliced a hinge into the sliced loaf and opened it wide.  With a quick flip of his wrist he grabbed a perfectly charred link of Italian Sausage, nested it into the bread and topped It with paper thin slices of Italian seasoned roast beef, which was held in it's natural juices!


He then dipped the edges of the sandwich in the juice like a dive bomber and topped the sandwich with roasted sweet bell peppers and some of the hot giardinara. We received our sandwiches wrapped in white butcher paper.  My Dad walked over to the counter opened our sandwiches so we can eat. 


I watched him as he took the "Italian Stance" he stood over the paper holding the sandwich resting his elbows on the counter, stepped back and spread his legs a bit for balance.

  This ritual was so the juice from the sandwich wouldn't go all over your shirt. (Business men flip their tie over the shoulder)

He then took his first bite, I watched as this abundantly stuffed  Italian beef sandwich yielded to his desire, juices dripping from his chin as he blissfully enjoyed every mouthfull!

Our family restaurant served Italian Beef and when I was young, it was the only beef I knew, not like regular roast beef like other families had.  My father taught my brother and I how to make Italian beef with Inside Rounds, huge pieces of beef that he roasted overnight in the pizza oven, a practice my brother continued to do when he owned his pizzeria, Pizza Sam.

Here is my home version of Italian Beef, don't forget the bread and giardinara!

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Lamb Shanks (Recipe)


Lamb Shanks

My first experience with Lamb Shanks was when I was working at a Greek Restaurant, those Greeks could really cook Lamb!

  One of the daily specials was Lamb Shanks and Macaroni.  Their version was rich and full flavored with the taste of a tomato sauce and a touch of cinnamon.

  I give you the option here to add cinnamon if you like, but stayed true to the red wine rosemary braised version.

This is a timeless dish that is great for those lazy Sunday afternoons or even as a departure from the traditional Leg of Lamb

The sauce this creates is wonderful and will go great with the sides I have suggested.  What's great about this dish is that the leftovers may be tossed with your favorite pasta, you simply add some fresh mushrooms or peas and you have a wonderful pasta creation as well.

You will find that there is a similarity in the ingredients and procedure when you compare this to the preparation of Shortribs.  This is because both recipes feature the braising cooking method.


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Porterhouse Steak Florentine (Recipe)

OMG STEAK, originally uploaded by roboppy.

My first experience was at home, My father would buy big Porterhouse Steaks.

He would then slice small slits into the body of the meat and fill the holes with fresh garlic and fresh Italian parsley.

The Porterhouse Steaks were then seasoned with salt and pepper. The Steaks were then simply grilled on a hot grill fired with charcoal briquettes.

He made a Porterhouse for each of us! I loved the flavor of the Fresh Garlic, Italian Parsley and seared beef!

We would fight for the juices left on the platter so we could soak it up with Italian Bread and savor the intense fatty juicy beef essence!

The image is from Osteria Bepo which was the same restaurant where I experienced the classic Florence version.

The Steak was dry aged and around 24 oz. I was able to see the Chef carrying beef on his shoulder into the kitchen so I knew it was cut in house! The Steak  was sliced table side and presented on a platter with the natural jus, wonderful simple rich deep beef flavor!

Here is my version, you may use a boneless Strip Steak or Ribeye Steak. I like the Porterhouse because it has the Strip Loin and the Filet cut plus the bone. By the way my Mother would never leave a bone not cleaned!

To this day it kills me not to be able to clean the bone of a great Steak when eating out at a Steak House!

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