Pot Roast Braised in Red Wine
Brasato Al Barolo
Serves 4 to 6
The night before serving, in a large bowl, combine the coarsely chopped onion, carrot and celery with the crushed garlic cloves and the red wine. Put the chuck roast in the marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight, turning once.
The day of serving, remove the roast from the marinade and pat dry. Strain the vegetables from the marinade, reserving the liquid. Discard the vegatables. Season the meat with the salt and pepper and dust with 2 tablespoons of the flour, shaking off the excess. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven set on medium-high heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Brown the meat on both sides in the hot oil, about 3 minutes. Transfer the meat to a bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and heat on medium-high heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add the thickly sliced garlic, red pepper flakes and pancetta and cook for 1 minute. Add the finely chopped onion, carrot and celery along with the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and parsley. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until almost dry. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes longer. At this point the mixture will be very thick and pasty.
Pour in the reserved marinade liquid and the beef or chicken stock and bring to a boil, stirring to dislodge any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the cooked meat and any accumulated juices to the pan, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 2 hours, turning every half hour. Transfer the meat to a cutting board to rest, covering it with a tent of foil to keep warm.
While the meat is resting, bring the cooking liquid to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until reduced by half, about 30-40 minutes. Cut the meat into thin slices and reheat in the sauce, if necessary.
To serve, arrange the meat slices on a serving platter with the sauce served on the side.
In this recipe I use a soffritto - finely chopped aromatic vegetables, herbs and sometimes pork fat, such as pancetta - which is sauteed in oil, to creat a flavorful base for the pot roast sauce. It is a useful technique to use for all kinds of soups, sauces and sauced preparations. To speed the preparation of the soffritto ingredients, use the food processor to chop the vegetables.
For a smoother sauce, remove the pot roast from the pan, place the vegetables and part of the juices into a food processor and puree until smooth. Return to the pan to reheat.