Beef braised in Barolo is a classic Italian dish from Piedmont, a super traditional, easy-to-do recipe, where a simple piece of meat becomes pure poetry.
But be careful if it is true that it is a simple dish, to prepare the perfect beef braised in Barolo is not a walk in the park, so it is with great honor that we are going present you the recipe of a great Piedmont restaurant: the Santisè restaurant in Calliano, in the hills around Asti.
First of all, what cut is best for beef stew?
There are many cuts to choose from: you can go with the rump, the cheeks, even if the best part of all is the shoulder muscle, where the meat is rich not only in thin veins of fat but also in connective tissue. And you know what happens when you have plenty of collagen and time: the meat will become tender like a dream.
But don’t rush it, take it easy and start with a good glass of wine, because the most important step is marinating the meat, so if you want to prepare a good beef stew in Barolo, take some time for yourself and the recipe and, even better you manage to plan it with a few days in advance.
But no more talking, let’s go to the recipe!
Ingredients for the beef braised in Barolo
- 1 kg of beef shoulder, chuck meat, rump
- 2 bottles of Barolo, 1 for the recipe and 1 to drink with it: should be always the same!
- 300 grams of carrots
- 340 grams of celery
- 400 grams of onions
- 320 grams of shallots
- 15 grams of juniper
- 10 grams of nutmeg
- 20 grams of cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 60 grams of rosemary
- salt and pepper
- 50 grams of extra virgin olive oil or 40 grams of butter
- 30 grams of flour to thicken the sauce, only if it’s too liquid
How to make the perfect beef braised in Barolo
For the success of this recipe you need time and ingredients of great quality, as you will have seen from the shopping list above, are not required many ingredients, but only dedication and an excellent bottle of Barolo.
We open a small parenthesis about cocking with wine. Many tremble at the idea of ” burning” an expensive and precious bottle for a trivial recipe, but we must warn you: if the wine is shoddy, the stew will be equally bad. You need a wine with good balance, round tannins, not too acid, because the wine shrinks during the cooking and it will become more concentrated as flavor and intensity, so if these flavors are not good enough…
That’s all: the recipe is straightforward and has no difficulty whatsoever; as of the last tip we recommend you to use a thick cast iron pot or a dutch oven, to ensure that the heat is transmitted uniformly and slowly.
Ok, let’s start. Wash and cut all the vegetables into cubes, not too finely and place them in a large bowl with the meat and spices and cover with the wine. Refrigerate and marinate overnight.
Drain the meat and pat dry it, then flour it coarsely. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in the cast iron pot and brown (4 minutes) the meat on all sides, add the marinade—with vegetables—and simmer for 3 hours.
The cooking must be slow, lethargic, on low heat or even close to the embers of a fireplace: see what you have at your disposal.
Check occasionally that everything goes according to the plan and if it became too dry, just add some beef broth.
How to know when the beef stew is done?
Pierce the meat with a fork and if it penetrates without any difficulty is done.
Remove the meat from the pot, pick the vegetables, remove spices and herbs and put them through a sieve, pressing with a spoon. Return the vegetable puree to the pot, add 2 tablespoons of butter and correct for salt and pepper. The sauce should be thick and without lumps, if it is too liquid, add a teaspoon of cornstarch flour, stir and cook a few minutes more.
When the meat has cooled, cut it into slices, put on a plate and cover with plenty of sauce.
Before serving, just reheat the meat in the oven and serve. If you want to make “brasato al Barolo” the Italian way, just add some simple, delicious polenta.
Which wine should you use for the beef braised in Barolo?
Serve the same wine you have used in the recipe to create an incredible harmony of fragrances and flavors.