Beef Braised in Barolo

Barolo is obviously the wine of choice for this stew; however, an inexpensive bottle of it may require some searching. You may substitute a Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel. Don’t use thinly sliced, prepackaged pancetta here; look for pancetta at the deli counter or in an Italian market where it can be sliced 1/4 inch thick to order. If pancetta isn’t available, substitute an equal amount of salt pork (find the meatiest piece possible), cut it into 1/4-inch cubes and boiled in 3 cups water for 2 minutes to remove excess salt.–Editors of Cook’s Illustrated

LC Once Upon A Cold Winter's Night... Note

Once upon a cold winter’s night, the editors of Leite’s Culinaria made this beef braised in Barolo and were too sated to type….

Beef Braised in Barolo Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • 5 H, 10 M
  • Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • One 3 1/2- to 4-pound boneless beef chuck eye roast, pulled apart into 2 pieces, trimmed, and tied
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 medium onions, chopped medium
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped medium
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped medium
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • One 750-ml bottle Barolo wine
  • One 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained

Directions

  • 1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300°F (150°C).
  • 2. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown the beef on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes, reducing the heat if the beef begins to scorch. Transfer the beef to a large plate. Pour off all the fat in the pot, add the pancetta, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, celery, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, 1 teaspoon of the thyme, and the rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour, tomato paste, and sugar and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the wine, scraping up any browned bits, until smooth. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
  • 3. Add the beef, along with any juices that accumulated on the plate, to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cover, place the pot in the oven, and cook until the meat is very tender and a fork inserted in it meets very little resistance, 3 to 3 1/2 hours, turning the beef every hour.
  • 4. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil. Meanwhile, strain the braising liquid into a fat separator or bowl, discarding the solids. Defat the braising liquid by pouring off the fat, skimming the fat with a ladle, or refrigerating the whole shebang overnight so that the solidified fat can be lifted from the surface.
  • 5. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon thyme to the defatted braising liquid, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and cook until thickened, saucy, and reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, 15 to 20 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  • 6. Remove the kitchen string, slice the beef against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and transfer to a serving platter. Spoon the sauce over the meat, garnish with twine if desired, and serve.
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Comments
Comments
  1. Testers Choice says:

    [Anonymous] When we ate this braised beef dish, we thought it was delicious and worthy of guests. All of the flavors blended together perfectly and made for a very satisfying autumn dinner. You can’t go wrong making this. It’s so good! I’m freezing the leftovers and looking forward to having it again soon. It’s definitely a dish for anyone who’s a “meat and potatoes” person. I served mashed potatoes with it–lovely! Also, aside from the instructions to turn it every hour, there’s really no need to hover over the pot; just let the oven do its work.

  2. Testers Choice says:

    [Linda Pacchiano] This is a great beef recipe, not very difficult, and exceptionally delicious. The beef was braised perfectly and fell apart into nice pieces, so slicing wasn’t even needed. The sauce came out perfectly. Be sure to trim some fat off the meat before you start, and you’ll have very little (for me it was nothing) when you de-fat at the end. I suggest serving this with some rice or boiled potatoes. You need a starch to balance the richness of this dish. We thought this was an outstanding recipe and very economical, considering the type of meat you’re using.

  3. Testers Choice says:

    [Alison McIntosh] This was a great braised beef recipe. It was simple and easy to follow. The beef turned out very tender and flavorful, and the sauce was absolutely amazing! I will definitely make this again.

  4. Testers Choice says:

    [John Velek] This recipe was killer, and I’ll make it over and over. The roast was absolutely wonderful. It was “self shredding”—it just fell apart. It was so moist and, with the braising liquid, extremely delicious. Full-seasoned flavour where present in the sauce: you could taste the pancetta, herbs, vegetables, and wine. It was truly wonderful. We served it with roasted vegetables and asparagus spears with hollandaise. What a wonderful meal on a cold day.

  5. Testers Choice says:

    [Elise Hufano] I’ve never encountered a Cook’s Illustrated recipe that disappointed, and this one is no exception. It was a huge hit in our house. I didn’t have any Barolo, so I used Cabernet, as suggested, with good results. The recipe is a cinch to make and once in the oven can be left untended for much of the cooking time. The recipe has a fairly large yield and I used the leftovers to make a rágu the next day. Fantastic!

  6. Testers Choice says:

    [Brenda Carleton] Succulent and packed with flavour, this braised beef dish is an excellent company dish. Our guests very much enjoyed it, as did we. The aromas were fantastic! This is definitely another recipe from LC that I’ll be making again in the future.

  7. Testers Choice says:

    [Anonymous] This dish was so tasty and tender. The sauce was to die for. My husband, who is picky when it comes to beef, loved it. I liked having to cook this so long and having the house smell like my grandmother’s.

  8. Testers Choice says:

    [Kristina Peterson] The wonderful smells that filled our home when cooking this dish were amazing! The recipe was easy to follow and very straight forward.

  9. Testers Choice says:

    [Jeremy Schweitzer] I served this beef dish for a group of friends who needed a break from work and grad school. I thought it would be great cool weather meal—of course it warmed up right in time for the dinner. This was easy to pull together. (Except for the beef, I had everything I needed on hand.) The sauce was probably the best part and was great with both the meat and the chive/thyme mashed potatoes I made. I followed the recipe exactly, but using basically the same recipe, and letting it cook even slower, would make it a great meal to throw in the oven before heading to work. Get home, make a salad and mashed potatoes (or polenta), pour a glass of wine, and you have a complete meal.

  10. Alice Lover says:

    Great heated up the next day. Yummy-the best beef stew we have ever had-thanks for sharing!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi, LC Editor-in-Chief says:

      You’re quite welcome, Alice! Love love love to hear that. We ask our recipe testers to put our recipes through their paces before we consider posting them for you to make. We don’t place anything on the site unless we feel it’s going to elicit exactly the kind of comment you just sent. Still, it’s always lovely to actually hear it from a reader. Thank you for letting us know!

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