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Italian Food - Beef Braised in Barolo Wine
Beef Braised in Barolo Wine
What is Barolo wine?
Beef Braised in Barolo Wine
One of the classic recipes of northern Italy is for beef braised in Barolo wine. Barolo is produced in the Piedmont region of Italy from the nebbiolo grape. It is tannic and acidic in its youth which allows it to age well over a long period of time. It is considered to be Italy’s greatest red wine along with Barbaresco, which is a little lighter.
Unfortunately, Barolo is very expensive, starting out here in America at about $40 a bottle. Since one entire bottle is used in this recipe, I recommend using a cheaper wine.
If you insist on trying to use the same grape variety, you can ask your wine merchant if he carries a wine called Spanna, which is made in the same wine region from the same grapes, but in areas that are not DOCG designated for Barolo or Barbaresco. This wine will still cost about $15 but it can be very good.
Being retired on a fixed income, I would use an even less expensive California varietal, probably Pinot Noir or Sangiovese. Cabernet Sauvignon is too full bodied and Merlot and Zinfandel are usually too sweet for my taste but feel free to use any dry red wine that you like. Just remember that you should never cook with a wine that you wouldn’t drink.
I currently favor a California vineyard named Crane Lake with a simple appellation of California. It sells here in Wisconsin for $2.99 a bottle or three for $10.00 and comes in many different grape varieties.
Many recipes for this dish call for the beef to marinate in the wine for anywhere from 4 hours to overnight. I don’t bother to marinate it since the beef will be cooking in the wine for at least two hours. Another thing that I do different is to finely chop the carrots, celery and onions and sauté them with bacon (or pancetta) before adding the wine and stock. That helps to thicken the final gravy. If you want, you can cut some carrots, potatoes and onions into cubes, drizzle them with olive oil and roast them in the oven for a side dish.
2 hours at 300 F
1-3 Lb. Boneless Beef Chuck or Bottom Sirloin Roast
1 Bottle of Dry Red Wine
1-32 Oz. box of Beef Stock
4 Slices of Bacon cut into ¼ inch strips
1 Large Onion Finely Chopped
3 Carrots scraped and finely chopped
2 Stalks of Celery trimmed and finely chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped
2 Bay Leaves
12 Whole Allspice
¼ Cup Oil
Salt and Pepper
- Heat the oil in a large cast iron frying pan or Dutch oven.
- Liberally salt and pepper the roast and then brown it on all sides over high heat.
- Remove the meat to another plate, pour off any excess oil and render the bacon until it is almost done.
- Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic and cook while stirring until the start to brown. If this is a Dutch oven continue cooking in the same pot. Otherwise, transfer the ingredients to a roasting pan adding some of the stock to loosen any remaining stuck on material.
- Return the browned meat to the pan and add all of the remaining ingredients and braise covered in a 300 F oven for at least two hours until the meat is tender.
- Remove the meat to a covered platter and reduce the remaining liquid up to half until the gravy coats a spoon when it is inserted into it. This is also where you should adjust the salt level if necessary.
Serve with mashed potatoes, polenta or an assortment of pan roasted vegetables.
Beef with Barolo Wine
Barolo Wine Making
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