Braised Beef - A Hearty Meal For Fall and Winter


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I’m certain that our Nebbiolo and Barbera tastes best in the fall and winter. It may sound crazy, but it’s absolutely true. Without fail, they shut down at the end of winter and become slightly muted or funky, not bad, just not to their full potential. At first we were disappointed, but sure enough when September came around, they perked right back up and dazzled us again. I think it’s natures way of letting us know they’re meant to be enjoyed with food that grows in the fall and winter.

This brings me to our next recipe. This Piedmontese recipe is a great dish for fall or winter. It can be enjoyed with polenta or mashed potatoes and goes great with a full glass of A&G Fantino's Barolo. Not quite a “set it and forget it” dish, but it’s pretty darn easy to prepare. Here goes:

How To Make Barolo Braised Beef from Soil and Vine on Vimeo.

INGREDIENTS

 3 lb. boneless beef chuck
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
3tsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cup Red Wine
1 bay leaf
1 rosemary sprig
1 thyme sprig
3 juniper berries, crushed
1 whole garlic clove, crushed
4 whole black peppercorn
peel from 1/4 orange
cheese cloth
 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Season the beef with a generous hand of salt and pepper. If it’s not a thick chunk, you can tie it up using butchers twine.
  3. Heat about 1/4 cup of oil in a dutch oven (i.e. cooking pot with a lid) and add the beef. Sear each side on medium to high heat until it’s got a nice toasty color. This took me about 8 minutes.
  4. Remove the meat and set aside.
  5. Without cleaning the pot or adding more oil, add the onions and sweat them for a few minutes (medium heat until they start to look translucent). Add the carrots and celery and cook for 2 minutes before adding the tomato paste. Once you’ve added the tomato paste, mix it into the vegetables and cook until it darkens and takes on a rich caramel color, about 4-5minutes.
  6. Put the beef back in the pot and add the wine. Lower the heat to a simmer and let the liquid reduce by half.
  7. Make a spice sachet by wrapping the spices in the cheesecloth and securing it with butcher's twine. If you don’t have cheesecloth, it's no big deal, just remember to fish out the spices before serving.
  8. Add the spice sachet to the pot and add 2 cups of beef broth.
  9. Bake for 2 hours and remove spice sachet when you take it out of the oven. Ideally the beef will be fully submerged, if the beef is not fully submerged cover and bake for 1 hour. After 1 hour turn the beef over so that the other side can cook in liquid.
  10. Remove beef from pot and set it aside.Then use a submersible mixer, blender, or food mill to turn the liquid into a sauce. Adjust sauce with salt and pepper. If it’s too thin, reduce it over medium heat.
  11. Thinly slice meat and place it in a shallow bowl on top of mashed potatoes or polenta. Spoon a generous amount of sauce over the dish and serve.

 


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