Authentic Italian Beef Recipes

My selection of authentic Italian Beef Recipes from regional and local traditions.

Italian Meatballs

The few simple secrets for the best Italian meatball recipe: dress up minced beef with fresh herbs and a tasty tomato sauce...

Ingredients for 4:

750 g/1 ½ lb lean minced beef

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 spring onion, very finely chopped

45 ml/3 tbsp chopped fresh basil

45 ml/2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

40 g/1 ½ oz/3 tbsp butter

For the tomato sauce

45 ml/3 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

300 g/11 oz tomatoes, chopped

A few leaves fresh basil

45-60 ml/3-4 tbsp water

5 ml/1 tsp sugar

15 ml/1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the onion gently until translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the basil, cover the pan, and cook for 7-8 minutes over moderate heat.

Add the water, sugar and vinegar, and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly, and pass the sauce through a food mill or strainer. Check the seasoning.

Combine the meat with the garlic, spring onion and herbs in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Form into 4 burgers, patting the meat as lightly as possible.

Heat the butter in a frying pan. When the foam subsides add the burgers, and cook over moderate heat until brown on the underside. Turn the burgers over, and continue cooking until done. Remove to a warmed plate.

Tilt the frying pan, and spoon off any surface fat. Pour in the sauce, raise the heat and bring to a boil, scraping up the meat residue from the bottom of the pan. Serve with the burgers.

Italian Liver and Onions

A classic Venetian dish, this liver and onions is great served with grilled polenta. Allow enough time for the onions to cook very slowly, to produce a sweet flavour.

Ingredients for 6:

75 g. of butter

3 tablespoons of olive oil

750 g. of onion, finely sliced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

800 g. of calf’s liver, chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Grilled polenta wedges, to serve (optional)


Heat two-thirds of the butter with the oil in a large heavy frying pan. Add the onions, and cook over low heat until soft and tender, about 40-50 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a side dish.

Heat the remaining butter in the pan over moderate to high heat. When it has stopped bubbling add the liver, and brown it on both sides. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until is done.

Remove to a warmed side dish.

Return the onions to the pan. Raise the heat slightly, and stir the onions to mix them into the liver cooking juices.

When the onions are hot, turn them out onto a heated serving platter. Arrange the liver on top, and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with grilled polenta wedges, if desired.

Beef Carpaccio

The classic carpaccio recipe is very easy and quick to make. I have also added a balsamic version with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar...
I know, I can't get enough of it in my dishes!

Carpaccio is a fine dish of raw beef in lemon juice and olive oil. It is traditionally served with flakes of fresh Parmesan cheese. Since this is a raw dsh, remember to use only very fresh meat of the best quality.

A good way to cut very thin slices of beef is to chill the piece of fillet in the freezer for at least half an hour. This way, the meat is firm enough to allow you to cut thin slices.

Ingredients for 4:

1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half

1 ½ lemons

2 cup of extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

150 g. of rocket or mixed salad leaves, washed (endive, radicchio, lettuce, escarole)

4 very thin slices of beef top round

100 g. of Parmesan cheese, thinly shaved

2 tablespoons of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar (optional, see below)

2 stalks of celery (optional, see below)


Rub a small bowl all over with the cut side of the garlic. Squeeze the lemons into the bowl. Whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the sauce to stand for at least 15 minutes before using.

Carefully wash the rocket or salad leaves and tear off any thick stalks. Spin or pat dry. Arrange them on individual plates.

Place the beef on top and pour on the sauce, spreading it evenly over the meat. Arrange the shaved Parmesan on top of the meat slices.

Balsamic version:

For this version prepare a vinaigrette with the oil, Traditional Balsamic Vinegar, salt and pepper.

Cut the celery into small, fine strips. After you have arranged the salad on individual plates, place the fillet on top and garnish with the celery.

Add the shavings of Parmigiano Reggiano and dress with the vinaigrette.

Beef fillet with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

This beef fillet recipe is a simple and tasty way of enjoying fillet.

It is something you can always prepare even if you have unexpected guests, and it is guaranteed to impress every time.

Ingredients for 6:

6 good slices of fillet, approx. 100 g, each

50 g. of butter for the sauce

50 g. of butter for pan frying the fillet

3 or 4 shallots

2 tablespoons of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

1 teaspoon of sieved flour


Put the finely chopped shallot, butter, salt, pepper and a few drops of water in a pan and sweat for at least 10 minutes.

When the shallots are well cooked and very soft, add the two tablespoons of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar and the flour blended with one tablespoon of water which, as you know, will thicken the sauce.

Allow to simmer for a few minutes, then turn off the heat and keep warm. Next, place the remaining butter in a clean pan and quickly sauté the fillet until cooked ad desired.

Season with salt and pepper and then arrange on individual plates on top of a pool of hot Traditional Balsamic Vinegar sauce.

This is a simple and tasty way of enjoying fillet. It is something you can always prepare even if you have unexpected guests, and it is guaranteed to impress every time.

A few drops of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar to each slice of fillet at the table make a great finish for this dish.

Balsamic Beef Liver

Liver is not to everyone’s taste, but this beef liver recipe is an unusual and enjoyable version.

The Traditional Balsamic Vinegar adds a deep sweet aroma to the dish.

Ingredients for 4:

400 g. of calf’s liver cut into fine strips

4 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of Traditional Balsamic Vinegar

200 g. of mixed salad leaves: lamb’s lettuce, escarole, roman, etc.

6 sage leaves

1 handful of toasted pine nuts.


Wash and drain the salad leaves. Divide between the 4 plates, arranging the leaves carefully for an attractive colour composition.

Next, heat the oil in a pan, add the liver and 3 sage leaves. Fry briskly for 4 minutes, stirring constantly, then season with salt and pepper and arrange on top of the salads.

Pour the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar into the pan used to fry the liver, season with salt and pepper, if necessary, and heat briefly.

Garnish each plate with the remaining sage leaves, torn into pieces, and the toasted pine nuts, then pour the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar dressing over the dishes. Enjoy!

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