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
- Quick Glance
- 1 H, 40 M
- 5 H, 10 M
- Serves 6 to 8
- 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 store-bought or homemade tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- One 750-ml bottle Barolo wine
- One 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 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.