Brasato al Chianti
(Italian beef braised in red wine)
4 to 6 servings
- Olive oil -- 1/4 cup
- Beef chuck or rump roast -- 2 pounds
- Onions, chopped -- 2
- Carrots, peeled and chopped -- 2
- Mushrooms, sliced -- 1 cup
- Garlic, crushed -- 1 or 2 cloves
- Chianti red wine -- 2 cups
- Stock or water -- 1 1/2 cups
- Fresh thyme -- 2 sprigs
- Fresh rosemary -- 1 sprig
- Chopped fresh parsley -- 2 tablespoons
- Dried oregano -- 1 teaspoon
- Bay leaf -- 1
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high flame. Sear the meat to brown on all sides and remove it to a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium and saute the onions, carrots, mushrooms and garlic in the same oil until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown.
- Return the meat to the pot and add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer slowly for 2 or 3 hours. Add water as necessary to maintain liquid so it covers about half of the beef.
- Remove the meat to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- While the meat is resting, strain the pot liquid through a colander. Discard the sprigs of herbs and puree the vegetables in a food mill, blender or food processor. Stir the pureed vegetables back into the strained liquid and adjust seasoning.
- Slice the beef and place it decoratively on a warm platter. Serve the beef as a main course with the accompanying sauce.
- Brasato al Barolo (Beef braised with Barolo wine): For the Piedmont version of this dish, substitute a Barolo wine for the Chianti. A sangiovese or any light-bodied red wine can be also be substituted.
- If you like, you can marinate the meat ahead of time for better flavor. Simply mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate for anywhere from 8 to 24 hours. Remove and pat dry the meat and vegetables before searing and sauteing.
- You can finish the dish in the oven instead of the stove top for extra tender results. Once you add the meat back to the pot, cover the pot well and set it in a 350°F oven for 2 to 3 hours. Make sure your pot is ovenproof!
- If you like a lighter sauce, you can strain out and discard the vegetables. Then either reduce the sauce by half by boiling down, or lightly thicken it with a cornstarch slurry.