Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Brasato Al Chianti...Beef Braised in Red Wine



This comes from La Cucina Italiana, one of my favorite cooking magazines and one which I recommend you subscribe too.  Perfect to make ahead as this tastes better a day or two afterwards.

Best served with polenta.



  • 1 (3- to 3½- pound) boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 4 juniper berries (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups red wine, preferably chianti
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces guanciale or pancetta, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup water
  • 1½ tablespoons tomato paste, preferably double concentrated


Place meat, anise seeds, juniper berries and bay leaf in a large bowl; pour wine over the top. Marinate, refrigerated, turning occasionally, for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Remove meat from marinade; pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Dust with flour. Strain marinade into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve; discard solids.

Heat oil in a wide 4- to 5-quart pot over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown meat on all sides, about 10 minutes total, reducing heat if necessary to prevent scorching. Transfer meat to a plate and drain excess oil from pot.

Return pot to medium-high heat. Add guanciale, onion, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add reserved marinade, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes.

Stir in vegetable broth, water and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer, then return meat and any accumulated juices to pot. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until meat is very tender, about 3 hours.

Transfer meat to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes, then cut across the grain into
½-inch pieces.

Purée half of sauce, then return to pot. Return meat to sauce. Gently reheat before serving.

Note: Beef improves in flavor if made 3 days ahead. Cool completely in sauce, uncovered, then chill in sauce, covered. Reheat, covered, in a preheated 350° oven until hot, 25 to 30 minutes, then slice meat.

Recipe Adapted from La Cucina Italiana


  1. I LOVE Italian foods and posted an Italian recipe just this evening. We always have Chianti on hand and I definitely want to try this recipe. It sounds like a winner.




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