Brasato ~ Make Ahead Meal with Beef, Veggies and Red Wine

Brasato served with creamy polenta and sugar snap peas.

Brasato served with creamy polenta and sugar snap peas.
Brasato served with creamy polenta and sugar snap peas. | Source

Where's the beef?


If you have family members or guests in your home that crave delicious beef dinners and you wish to satisfy them with an Italian styled home-cooked meal that offers succulent and well developed flavors, then this is a recipe for you. They will no longer be wondering, where's the beef...and will quite possibly be asking for repeats of this recipe soon!

Brasato is the perfect make ahead type of meal and this preparation is better when prepared at least one day in advance of serving it.

We generally refrigerate the meat and sauce (after being cooked) in separate containers overnight. The meat is much easier to slice when cold and fat can be skimmed from the surface of the sauce.

After this has been accomplished, simply cover the sliced beef with the wine and vegetable sauce and reheat in a covered dish prior to serving.

This makes it a perfect company dish with most of the work being done ahead of time. Simply add your side dishes and voilà!

Prepare yourself for many compliments!


Some of the ingredients readied for the Brasato preparation.

Some of the ingredients readied for the Brasato preparation.
Some of the ingredients readied for the Brasato preparation. | Source

Cook Time including preparation time plus time in the oven.

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 3 hours
Ready in: 3 hours 45 min
Yields: Serves 6 to 8 people

Vegetables and herbs for the Brasato

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Celery being choppedChopped celery and carrotsOnionsChopped onionParsley and rosemary Chopping the parsleyHow to remove the rosemary leaves from the stem.  Just use your fingers and pull up towards the tip of the branch to remove the individual leaves.Chopping the rosemarySageChopped sageGarlicChopped garlic
Celery being chopped
Celery being chopped | Source
Chopped celery and carrots
Chopped celery and carrots | Source
Onions
Onions | Source
Chopped onion
Chopped onion | Source
Parsley and rosemary
Parsley and rosemary | Source
Chopping the parsley
Chopping the parsley | Source
How to remove the rosemary leaves from the stem.  Just use your fingers and pull up towards the tip of the branch to remove the individual leaves.
How to remove the rosemary leaves from the stem. Just use your fingers and pull up towards the tip of the branch to remove the individual leaves. | Source
Chopping the rosemary
Chopping the rosemary | Source
Sage
Sage | Source
Chopped sage
Chopped sage | Source
Garlic
Garlic | Source
Chopped garlic
Chopped garlic | Source

Ingredients for making the Brasato

  • 3 to 4 pounds Beef, Chuck or Shoulder Roast
  • 2 tablespoons All purpose flour, (plus extra for dredging meat)
  • 2 tablespoons Unsalted butter, (mixture of butter and bacon fat may be used)
  • 2 tablespoons Olive oil, Regular or lite, preferred
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • (to taste) Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small Onion, diced
  • 2 medium Carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs Celery, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, finely minced or pressed with a garlic press
  • 3 tablespoons Parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Sage, finely chopped
  • 1 full sized bottle (750 ml) Red wine

Browning the meat and cooking the vegetables prior to oven time.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Browning the beef roastAfter being browned, remove to a platterSaute the celery and carrotsAdding the garlic, parsley, rosemary and sageStirring to combineAdding the flourAgain stirring to combineAdding the 1 cup of red wineCooking over high heatWine mixture reduced by halfAdding the rest of the wine and roast back into the pan.Placing in the oven for the 3 hours of cooking timeCooked roast removed from the pan...tender and ready to serve, or chill and slice and serve another day with the vegetable wine sauce.
Browning the beef roast
Browning the beef roast | Source
After being browned, remove to a platter
After being browned, remove to a platter | Source
Saute the celery and carrots
Saute the celery and carrots | Source
Adding the garlic, parsley, rosemary and sage
Adding the garlic, parsley, rosemary and sage | Source
Stirring to combine
Stirring to combine | Source
Adding the flour
Adding the flour | Source
Again stirring to combine
Again stirring to combine | Source
Adding the 1 cup of red wine
Adding the 1 cup of red wine | Source
Cooking over high heat
Cooking over high heat | Source
Wine mixture reduced by half
Wine mixture reduced by half | Source
Adding the rest of the wine and roast back into the pan.
Adding the rest of the wine and roast back into the pan. | Source
Placing in the oven for the 3 hours of cooking time
Placing in the oven for the 3 hours of cooking time | Source
Cooked roast removed from the pan...tender and ready to serve, or chill and slice and serve another day with the vegetable wine sauce.
Cooked roast removed from the pan...tender and ready to serve, or chill and slice and serve another day with the vegetable wine sauce. | Source

Red wine


In Italy, this recipe is often made with Barolo wine. It is also excellent and less expensive when made with Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon or any full bodied red wine. Serve the same varietal used for cooking, but not necessarily the same wine depending upon your budget.

Instructions on preparing and cooking the Brasato

  1. Take the meat out of the package and dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper both sides of the meat and dredge the meat in a mixture of flour and paprika.
  2. Brown the meat in a mixture of olive oil and butter or bacon fat in a large oven-safe casserole or pan.
  3. When meat is crusty brown on both sides, remove to a platter.
  4. Add the chopped onion and celery to the pan and sauté over low to medium heat until the vegetables are soft.
  5. Next add the garlic, parsley, rosemary and sage and stir to combine.
  6. At this point, add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to combine.
  7. When combined, stir in 1 cup of wine and boil over high heat until the wine is reduced by at least one-half. Stir occasionally during the reduction.
  8. Pour in remaining wine, adding the beef back into the mixture.
  9. Cover and bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 3 hours or until very tender.
  10. Turn the meat every hour while cooking.
  11. When done, slice the meat and serve with the sauce. If the sauce is too thin, boil to reduce to the consistency you desire. (This is where we stop and refrigerate the meat and sauce separately as noted at the top...to be served another day. The flavors get even better and for those people watching their calories, it can be de-fatted before being reheated and served. This also freezes well!)

Beef entrée


So many things can accompany this delicious Brasato beef entrée all depending upon your personal preferences. The day that I took these photos, we had creamy polenta and sugar snap peas plus a fresh tossed salad as side dishes to this meal.

Be forewarned...on a scale of one to ten, the fragrance of the enticing aromas coming from your kitchen will rate a good 12 or more!

Enjoy and Buon Appetito!


Please rate this Brasato (Beef Braised in Red Wine) recipe!

5 stars from 5 ratings of Brasato

Another version of this recipe...Braised Beef with Barolo wine - Italian recipe

© 2012 Peggy Woods

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Comments are always welcomed. 94 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 17 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Great! Let me know how they liked it! We had a nice sunny and relatively cool day here in Houston. Perfect! Hope your weather over there in Florida was nice as well.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 17 months ago from sunny Florida

I know they will..I am making it for Sunday afternoon. :D


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 17 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Patricia,

This is a wonderful meal to eat a day or so later or for leftovers as the flavors blend even better that way. Hope your family enjoys this beef dish. Thanks for the votes and share.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 17 months ago from sunny Florida

My family will enjoy this I am sure. They are beef eaters and this sounds like it is so full of flavor that no one could help but enjoy it.

It sounds like a dish that is great as leftovers too.

Thanks for sharing Peggy.

Pinned to good things to eat, shared and voted up++++

Angels are once again winging their way to you ps


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 21 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi peachpurple,

Glad you like the sound of this meal. Thanks for your comment. Wishing you a joyful holiday season!


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