This recipe was printed in Epicurious magazine in 2007 as "Brasato al Barolo." The first time I made it, I did use Barolo, but then decided that I'd much rather drink a $40 bottle of wine than cook with it. Cabernet or Zinfandel work quite nicely - but get something you like to drink so you can have a glass or two while cooking! Using a food processor to finely chop all the vegetables and pancetta makes the preparation a lot faster. Yummy with mashed potatoes or creamy polenta. Leftovers are excellent heated, with a little sauce on a crusty roll. —CookOnTheFly
- Serves 4
3 to 3 1/2 pounds
boneless beef chuck roast
sliced pancetta, finely chopped
medium onion, finely chopped
medium carrot, finely chopped
celery ribs, finely chopped
garlic cloves, thinly sliced
(4 to 6 inch) fresh thyme
( 6 to 8 inch) fresh rosemary
full-bodied red wine
- Put oven rack in the middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Heat the oil in a 4-5 qt heavy ovenproof pot (pot must have a lid) over moderately high heat until hot, but not smoking.
- Pat the meat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Brown meat on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Lower the heat if the pot starts to scorch. Transfer meat to a plate.
- Add pancetta to oil in the pot and saute over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until browned and fat is rendered, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and saute, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Add garlic, thyme, and rosemary and saute, stirring, until garlic begins to soften and turn golden, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- Add wine and boil until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add water and bring to a simmer, then return meat along with any juices accumulated on plate to pot. Cover pot with lid and transfer to oven. Braise until meat is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Remove pot from oven. Transfer meat to a cutting board.
- Skim the fat from the surface of sauce and discard along with herb stems. Boil sauce until reduced by about one third, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Cut meat across the grain into 1/2 inch thick slices and return to sauce.
- Optional: Beef improves in flavor if made 3 days ahead. Cool beef completely in sauce, uncovered, then cover and chill in the fridge. Reheat, covered, in a preheated 350 degree F oven until hot, 25 to 30 minutes, then slice meat.