Beef in Barolo

By • April 14, 2014 7 Comments

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Author Notes: Mario Batali's iconic dish is a great example of something that is more than the sum of its parts. I owe Amanda full credit for introducing me to it. Mario has you slow cook a whole brisket in half a bottle of Barolo, some homemade tomato sauce and a handful of aromatics until the beef is fork-tender and the sauce is rich and supple. It is a soul-satisfying dish, a few rungs higher on the culinary ladder than your grandmother's brisket without requiring much more effort. I often make this version using short ribs instead of brisket.Merrill Stubbs

Serves 6 to 8

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 pounds bone-in short ribs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups Barolo or other hearty red wine like Chianti or Barbaresco
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade tomato sauce or diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over high heat. Sprinkle the short ribs generously with salt and pepper and add them to the pot in batches, making sure not to crowd the pot. Brown them for 4 to 5 minutes per side, setting them aside on a plate as they're browned.
  2. Once all the meat is browned, pour off all but about a tablespoon of the fat and add the rest of the olive oil. Turn the heat down to medium-low.
  3. Add the onion, carrots, celery and pancetta and cook until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the wine and tomatoes and a few large pinches of salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so that the liquid is simmering. Add the short ribs back to the pot, submerging them in the liquid. Cover the pot and put in the oven until the meat is very tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
  5. Remove the short ribs from the pot and keep them warm. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce to about 2 cups. Taste and season with more salt if necessary. Return the meat to the pot and serve, or cool slightly, then refrigerate (it will be even better the next day once you reheat it).

More Great Recipes: Beef & Veal|Entrees|Stews|Ribs|Tomatoes

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Comments (7) Questions (0)


7 months ago Ginny

I am looking forward to making this today. Aside from the veggies, wine, salt and pepper, there are not many spices here. Although there is something magical about simple, delicious dishes. Just wondering if there were any thoughts on adding a bay leaf, sprig of rosemary, etc. like other similar recipes call for?! Thank you!


11 months ago Ariette Coleman

This is much like a beef stew and hearty red wine. =) I've made one last Saturday and it's good, according to my brother. Anyway, a Carlo Rossi burgundy tastes fine with the lamb shanks. I've tried copying Jasques Pepin recipe and I felt like I'm about to change my career now. Haha. How about you guys?


over 1 year ago sansan123

okay. doing this for hubby return dinner on the weekend with the short ribs. Will be using chianti for cooking and picking up a nice (is there bad?) Barolo to drink. That, salad and crusty bread for soaking up sauce should make for a very nice weekend


over 1 year ago nratt

I was all set to rush out and buy some short ribs, but, NellyBell's point about the fat is well-taken. It's difficult for me to smell a dish like this cooking and not eat it as soon as it's done. So, maybe I'll go with the brisket first off. But I'll get around to the short ribs soon enough.


over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

If you brown the short ribs well and pour off most of the fat initially, you may not have to skim at all -- but it depends on your short ribs, of course. Hope you like the brisket version!


over 1 year ago Can I have a bite?

I made this tonight with a brisket and it was amazingly good. I love short ribs but feel like I need to make them a day in advance to skim the fat; in this case, the much leaner brisket makes that unnecessary. I will definitely make this again.


over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Glad you liked it!