Brasato al Barolo (Beef Braised in Wine)

Every year for our anniversary, my mom sends us a card and/or a gift. And every year I tell her she doesn’t need to do that. But she insists. Since 2011 marks our 5th anniversary, she wanted to get us something bigger. She surprised us at the holidays with our early anniversary gift – a beautiful LeCreuset dutch oven!

Of course, I instantly started obsessing about what I would make in the dutch oven first. When we got home with it, I read the instruction booklet first. I was surprised to find that the plastic knob is only oven safe to 375. That doesn’t seem like a very high temp, so I went on Amazon and instantly ordered this stainless steel knob so I won’t have to worry about the black one melting or exploding in the oven. Once I got all of that taken care of, I scoured my Google Reader for recipes. I decided on this Beef Braised in Wine. Cooking some beef in red wine for four hours couldn’t possibly have bad results.

I made this on a chilly Sunday morning while Hubby was out snowboarding. It smelled so good cooking away and after three hours, my big hunk of beef broke into three pieces. By four hours, all of the meat had completely fallen apart.

The sauce adds a very complex flavor profile to the beef (check out how much it reduced in the picture below). My favorite bites were the ones with a chunk of carrot, some beef, and lots of the thick gravy. YUM! This is a hearty meal that’s perfect at this time of year. While it only makes 6 servings, it’s worth the effort.

I used a cabernet savignon for this recipe. We enjoyed that there was some wine left to drink after making this meal! I served this with some sauteed green beans.

I changed the recipe a bit to increase the amount veggies so we had nice chunks of veggies in our sauce at the end. I also added a slurry made of cornstarch to the sauce at the end to thicken it up even more. Those changes are reflected in the recipe below.

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Brasato al Barolo (Beef Braised in Wine)

Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 (3-pound) boneless beef chuck roast, patted dry
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces pancetta, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 medium carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 bottles (4 1/2 cups) Barolo, or other dry red wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions:

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. Add the beef to the pot and cook, turning every 2-3 minutes, to brown on all sides. Remove from the pan. To the fat in the pan, add the pancetta and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, celery and a pinch of salt; cook until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Return the beef to the pan and add the wine, 2 cups of the stock, rosemary, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat, then cover tightly and transfer the pot to oven.

Cook, turning the roast every 30 minutes, until fully tender and a meat is starting to fall apart when poked with a fork (3 1/2-4 hours). Remove the meat from the pan and tent with foil to keep warm.

Remove the rosemary, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick, and place the pot over high heat. Cook about 10 minutes. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the hot sauce into a small bowl. Whisk the cornstarch into the hot sauce then add slurry back into the sauce in the pan. Cook another 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened a bit. Adjust the seasoning to taste and turn the heat off.

Place meat onto a platter. If it has not completely fallen apart, thinly slice the beef across the grain into 1/4-inch thick slices. Serve the beef ladled with the sauce. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Recipe adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles, originally from Emeril

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22 Responses to “Brasato al Barolo (Beef Braised in Wine)”

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    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — January 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    You are one lucky girl because that is an AWESOME anniversary gift! I only got a Le Creuset Dutch oven this past fall and I’ve mostly roasted with it with the cover off but I am totally going to get a replacement knob. Thanks for the tip!

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    Evan Thomas — January 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    My family would love this. When meat is cooked for that long in juice and seasoning the flavor is always incredible. Thanks for the recipe!

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    Bridget — January 18, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    What a perfect virgin use for your new Dutch oven! I love the addition of more vegetables too – what a great way to make this isn’t a one-dish balanced meal.

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    Megan — January 18, 2011 at 6:49 pm

    That looks perfect for this weather! I always use my cover with the black knob, and nothing bad has ever happened to it. I do wonder though if I’ve ever come across a recipe that requires me to cook something covered at a higher temp that 375 (I’m thinking it’s not likely). Such a great gift!

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    Caroline — January 18, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I want to get a dutch oven just for something like this! What a wonderful anniversary gift! The beef looks melt-in-your mouth, and with a sauce made out of cabernet? To die for! Looks wonderful!

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    Jen — January 18, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Megan – I’ve seen a recipe for a nearly-no-knead bread that bakes at 450. But other than that, most things are cooked low and slow.

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    naomi — January 18, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    First off congrats on the anniversary milestone! This looks delicious. I’m bookmarking it now, since this definitely a recipe my family will love.

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    Shannon — January 18, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    what an awesome gift!! happy anniversary :) i got a stainless steel knob, but haven’t yet exchanged it… what a great recipe, and i can just imagine how succulent that meat was!

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    EliFla — January 18, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    Very good!!! Very very good!!! Hugs, ciao Flavia

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    Kimmy Bingham — January 18, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    I’m definitely ordering the replacement knob for mine as well. Great idea. This dish looks perfect for the cold weekend we’re about to have!

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    The Small Boston Kitchen — January 19, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Your pictures are absolutely amazing. Seriously amazing. I want to lick my computer screen.

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    Stef at TooMuchToDoSoLittleTime.com — January 19, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Happy Anniversary! Congrats on a fantastic gift!! I only acquired my first Le Creuset oven last May. I’m addicted! I have several pieces (which you can see on my blog). I LOVE the way they cook. I have a friend who was trying so hard to convince me to buy one. I got a great sale at the Outlet! I rarely use my stainless pots and pans any more. I now have two different kinds of skillets, too. I absolutely love them!

    I have several recipes on my blog which I have cooked in my ovens. I cook my chili for four hours. The first time I made it my husband said it was the best chili I had ever made (we’ve been married 23 years! I also cooked Pioneer Woman’s pot roast with rosemary in it (also listed on my blog)… it was AWESOME!

    If you ever get anything on your enameled pot that you can get off… try Bar Keeper’s Friend. I wrote Le Creuset and they told me that its OK to use it. ;)

    I love all your recipes and can’t wait to see what you create in your new oven!

    Stef at TooMuchToDoSoLittleTime.com

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    Nutmeg Nanny — January 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    This looks great! I love my Le Creuset….it’s the best! You made a great dish to break it in…yum!

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    kitchenmisfit — January 20, 2011 at 2:38 am

    Oh man that looks TASTY! And such a great anniversary gift!

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    Julie (thelittlekitchen.net) — January 20, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Awesome, wonderful gift. I just won my first Le Creuset french oven and like you pondered what to make with it! Thanks for the idea of the stainless steel knob.

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    Paul — January 21, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    A tip on that replacement knob: just go to a hardware store and buy a stainless steel kitchen cabinet knob along with a washer and bolt to fit. Bring the lid with you to the store to check the fit. This is MUCH less expensive than a “Le Creuset” knob and works great.

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    wgfoodie — January 22, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    This sounds absolutely perfect for a cold winter night. And with temps in the teens this week, I am definitely adding this to the list!

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    Peggy — January 26, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Your mom is way thoughtful for getting you guys that for your anniversary! I absolutely adore my dutch oven and bring it out every chance I get! I may have to bring it out fairly soon to try this beef because it sounds absolutely delicious!

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    Ashley — January 27, 2011 at 2:45 am

    What a wonderful gift! And so great that you’ll put it to good use. Happy anniversary :)

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    a frog in the cottage — January 27, 2011 at 11:27 am

    absolutely delicious !!!! i wish i could grab some !!

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    Robyn — January 11, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    I keep coming back to this recipe! I just made it tonight for the in-laws and I think they might let me stay in the family. ALWAYS delicious :)

    • beantownbaker — January 12th, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

      Isn’t it delicious? Especially in this cold weather. Glad you guy enjoy it.

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