Italian-Style Beef Braised in Red Wine (Brasato al Barolo)

Brasato al Barolo: Italian-Style Pot Roast in Red Wine
Brasato al Barolo: Italian-Style Pot Roast in Red Wine

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Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Marinating Time: 24 hrs
Total: 26 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
959 Calories
68g Fat
5g Carbs
73g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 959
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 68g 87%
Saturated Fat 30g 150%
Cholesterol 273mg 91%
Sodium 300mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 73g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 48mg 4%
Iron 8mg 42%
Potassium 1023mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Brasato al Barolo is one of the most classic and elegant dishes from the northern Italian region of Piemonte (Piedmont): a hearty cut of beef slow-cooked in red wine until meltingly tender.

It requires a hearty red wine, ideally a Barolo (though you could use other hearty red wines such as Chianti, Brunello, Barbera, or Taurasi), for the right results. Save it for a special occasion, and you'll be quite pleased with the results.

It is generally served over creamy polenta or mashed potatoes, but you could also serve it with buttered egg noodles. 

Any leftovers (though you might not have any, it is so tasty), can be used to make a filling for stuffed pasta—traditionally agnolotti or ravioli in the Piemonte region, but any fresh pasta shape will do.

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, peeled

  • 1 carrot, peeled

  • 1 stalk celery

  • 3 pounds beef, either rump roast, brisketchuck, or a similar cut

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Whole black peppercorns, to taste

  • 1 bottle Barolo, or similar full-bodied, tannic red wine

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 tablespoons prosciutto fat, or 4 tablespoons butter

  • 1/4 cup cognac, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Roughly chop onion, celery, and carrot, and put in a bowl with meat, bay leaf, and peppercorns.

  3. Pour wine over mixture and marinate overnight, turning meat occasionally.

  4. Remove meat, reserving marinade, and pat meat dry.

  5. Strain marinade, bring to a boil, and simmer over low heat until reduced by half.

  6. In the meantime, tie meat with string so it keeps its shape.

  7. Brown meat in a pot with butter and prosciutto fat.

  8. Once ​meat is well browned on all sides, sprinkle cognac, if using, over meat, and light it.

  9. When flames have gone out, season meat with salt and pour reduced marinade over, including vegetables.

  10. Cover and simmer over a low flame until meat is tender—about 2 hours.

  11. When meat is done, remove it to a platter and remove string.

  12. Remove and discard bay leaf.

  13. Skim excess fat from sauce and pour over meat.

Tips

  • Some people like to remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon, puree them, and return them to the sauce for a smoother sauce—this is optional.
  • The meat should be so tender that it could be cut with a spoon.
  • Serve it with mashed potatoes or a creamy polenta. And, of course, a bottle of Barolo.

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