Beef Brasato

Difficulty: intermediate

Brasato is the Italian word for braise and is a traditional dish, my stereotypical Italian friend suggested “I make-a this”. The procedure is a little tedious so summon the soul of Nick Stellino. This dish is classically made from Barolo, which is a red Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (according to Wikipedia), and is considered to be one of Italy’s finest wines. With great prestige comes great cost, so we are going to use a Cabernet Sauvignon, and not just any Cabernet Sauvignon, the cheapest Cabernet Sauvignon in the market. The wine has to be a very dry variety to bring out the flavor of the red meat. This dish is cooked two days in advance and reheated right before serving. This will let the meat absorb the taste of the red wine. Lets begin.

Ingredients:

1 kg beef chuck roast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground

2 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

5 cloves garlic, crushed

125 grams bacon, finely chopped (optional)

1 cups celery, finely chopped

1 cup carrots, finely chopped

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

750 mL Cabernet Sauvignon

Fresh rosemary for garnish

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius (330 degrees Fahrenheit). Pat the chuck roast dry and apply the salt, pepper and finely chopped rosemary. Coat well and let is settle for about 10 minutes. During this time, heat the olive oil on high in a large skillet and sear all the side of the roast until sightly brown, about 10 minutes.

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Take the roast out of the pan and put it in a casserole dish/heavy pot. It is best to grind the bacon, celery, carrots, onion, and garlic using a food processor. This will make the sauce silky smooth. Add the finely chopped/ground vegetables and bacon into the pan with the roast juices. I had to change my pan since it couldn’t fit all the vegetables inside. Cook until onions turn golden brown and vegetables soften, about 10 minutes.

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Add the red wine and bring to a boil. Close the heat as soon as it boils.

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Put the red wine sauce on the roast in the casserole dish and cover with a heavy lid. Braise (as the name suggests) the meat for 3 hours, the heavy lid had to be air tight otherwise the sauce will dry up.

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Now take it out of the oven and let it cool uncovered to room temperature. You might notice that one side it more juicy than the other, so it’s best to flip the roast upside down so the whole meat can absorb the wine. Then put this dish, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 days. You read that right, 2 whole days.

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Thirty minutes before serving, heat the cold brasato on medium heat on a stove top until you are confident that the insides are not cold anymore. Using a large pair of tongs or two forks, lift the meat up and place it on a really fancy deep serving dish. I managed to buy this amazing set at Walmart. Boil the remaining liquid and mix as much as your can until the vegetables look like they are a granulated paste. Drop this wine sauce mixture on the roast, making sure the vegetable particles don’t pile up.

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Cut the meat into layers and put on a plate, drizzle the red wine sauce on top, and serve with a side of polenta. I used a firm polenta that was initially cooked and then reheated in the oven for 30 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Garnish with fresh rosemary. This dish pairs wells with a dry red, since we already used a Cabernet Sauvignon in the recipe, I suggest reusing it. You could go for the expensive Barolo, I cannot.

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Enjoy!

 

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